What Do Bill and Account Collectors Do?
Bill and account collectors notify and inform the owners of delinquent or past due accounts and attempt to collect payment. Collectors typically employ phone calls, mail, and on occasion, personal visits, in order to receive payment. In addition to helping customers manage their past due accounts, collectors oftentimes prepare credit statements. If a customer fails to make payment arrangements, termination of services or repossession may ensue. It is the bill or account collectors job to keep track of each interaction in case legal action is required.
Bill and Account Collectors Skills and Abilities
Since account collectors typically speak directly to delinquent account holders, a high degree of customer service and sensitivity is required. The ability to stay organized and multitask is also beneficial to anyone who wishes to succeed at this career. In order to maintain an air of professionalism, a collector should possess basic knowledge of the English language and have the ability to understand and interpret a customers needs. The job usually requires some understanding of computers and technology, since the majority of the customers records will need to be accessed electronically.
Bill and Account Collectors Duties
The primary function of an account collector is to arrange for the repayment of debts. Active listening is required in order to fully comprehend the customers financial situation and make arrangements accordingly. After locating a delinquent customer, collectors offer personally tailored advice on how to most effectively resolve account issues. Other bill and account collector duties include:
- Determining reasons for account delinquency
- Consulting with post offices, credit bureaus, neighbors and phone companies in order to locate account holders
- Address customer inquiries, concerns, and complaints
- Receive payments and post amounts paid
- Negotiate credit extensions
- Arrange termination of services or initiate the repossession process
Bill and Account Collectors Tools and Technologies
Bill and account collectors frequently utilize computers and other technologies in order to perform their jobs. This job also requires heavy data entry skills and the ability to process large amounts of financial and personal information. Proficient telephone skills are highly beneficial, since the bulk of communication with account holders is done over the phone. For these two reasons, collectors should feel comfortable with multitasking and speaking for long periods of time. Collectors may also be expected to communicate with co-workers, superiors, and other department heads electronically.
Education and Training for Bill and Account Collectors
The education and training required to perform account collecting varies from company to company and industry to industry. The overwhelming majority of collectors possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Many companies offer on-the-job training, eliminating the need for vast amounts of work experience. Collecting positions that require in-depth financial knowledge or intensive use of accounting software may require a bachelors degree. Roughly 36% of bill and account collectors have some college education.
Bill and Account Collectors Salary
Account collections can provide many people with a reasonable and stable income. The median annual salary for a bill or account collector is $33,700. Collectors on the higher end of the salary chart can gross over $51,000 a year. Those on the lower end of the spectrum average around $22,000 a year. As with any profession, wages are dependent on experience, geographic location, and the specific industry you will be working in.
Bill and Account Collector Jobs by Geography
The job outlook for this particular profession is fairly positive. There was a 15% increase over the last year in the demand for account collectors. On a national level, California employed the most workers in this industry, followed closely by Texas, Florida, and New York. California collectors also received the highest wages in the industry.