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Become A Collection Agent

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Working As A Collection Agent

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $35,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Collection Agent Do

Bill and account collectors try to recover payment on overdue bills. They negotiate repayment plans with debtors and help them find solutions to make paying their overdue bills easier.

Duties

Bill and account collectors typically do the following:

  • Find consumers and businesses who have overdue bills
  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”
  • Inform debtors that they have an overdue bill and try to negotiate a payment
  • Explain the terms of sale or contract with the debtor, when necessary
  • Learn the reasons for the overdue bills, which can help with the negotiations
  • Offer credit advice or refer a consumer to a debt counselor, when appropriate

Bill and account collectors generally contact debtors by phone, although sometimes they do so by mail. They use computer systems to update contact information and record past collection attempts with a particular debtor. Keeping these records can help collectors with future negotiations.

The main job of bill and account collectors is finding a solution that is acceptable to the debtor and maximizes payment to the creditor. Listening to the debtor and paying attention to his or her concerns can help the collector negotiate a solution.

After the collector and debtor agree on a repayment plan, the collector continually checks to ensure that the debtor pays on time. If the debtor does not pay, the collector submits a statement to the creditor, who can take legal action. In extreme cases, this legal action may include taking back goods or disconnecting service.

Collectors must follow federal and state laws that govern debt collection. These laws require that collectors make sure they are talking with the debtor before announcing that the purpose of the call is to collect a debt. A collector also must give a statement, called “mini-Miranda,” which informs the account holder that they are speaking with a bill or debt collector.

Although many collectors work for third-party collection agencies, some work in-house for the original creditor, such as a credit-card company or a health care provider. The day-to-day activities of in-house collectors are generally the same as those of other collectors.

Collectors usually have goals they are expected to meet. Typically, these include calls per hour and success rates.

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How To Become A Collection Agent

Collectors usually must have a high school diploma. A few months of on-the-job training is common.

Education

Most bill and account collectors are required to have a high school diploma, although some employers prefer applicants who have taken some college courses. Communication, accounting, and basic computer courses are examples of classes that are helpful for entering this occupation.

Training

Collectors usually get 1 to 3 months of on-the-job training after being hired. Training includes learning the company’s policies and computer software and learning the laws for debt collection in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as their state’s debt-collection regulations. Collectors also may be trained in negotiation techniques.

Important Qualities

Listening skills. Collectors must pay attention to what debtors say when trying to negotiate a repayment plan. Learning the particular situation of the debtors and how they fell into debt can help collectors suggest solutions.

Negotiating skills. The main aspects of a collector’s job are reconciling the differences between two parties (the debtor and the creditor) and offering a solution that is acceptable to both parties.

Speaking skills. Collectors must be able to speak to debtors to explain their choices and ensure that they fully understand what is being said.

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Collection Agent Jobs

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Collection Agent Career Paths

Collection Agent
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Specialist Team Leader
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Agent Account Executive Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Agent Account Executive Branch Manager
Manager, Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Agent Account Executive Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collector Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Collector Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Collector Credit Analyst Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Specialist Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Specialist Customer Service Supervisor
Call Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Operations Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Account Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Property Manager
Asset Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Administrator Customer Service Manager
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Billing Specialist Customer Service Supervisor
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Accounts Receivable Clerk Credit And Collections Analyst
Senior Collection Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Account Representative Staff Accountant Fund Accountant
Senior Account Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Resident General Dentist
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Collector 3.9 years
Recovery Collector 3.0 years
Recovery Agent 2.7 years
Customs Collector 2.7 years
Collector 2.2 years
Agent 2.1 years
Debt Collector 2.1 years
Collection Agent 2.0 years
Dialer 1.3 years
Top Careers Before Collection Agent
Cashier 18.2%
Server 2.9%
Manager 2.7%
Collector 2.1%
Agent 2.0%
Supervisor 1.8%
Top Careers After Collection Agent
Cashier 11.0%
Agent 3.3%
Collector 2.9%
Server 2.7%
Manager 2.6%

Do you work as a Collection Agent?

Average Yearly Salary
$35,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$22,000
Min 10%
$35,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CSC ServiceWorks, Inc.
Highest Paying City
Newark, DE
Highest Paying State
Delaware
Avg Experience Level
1.7 years
How much does a Collection Agent make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Collection Agent in the United States is $35,287 per year or $17 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $54,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Collection Agent?

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Top Skills for A Collection Agent

  1. Payment Arrangements
  2. Customer Service
  3. Debt Repayment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Called Customer regarding past due account *Researched customer using skip trace and internet *Set-up forth coming payment arrangements and collection payment
  • Provide customer service to each customer by identifying needs, clarifying information, researching every issue and providing solutions and/or alternatives.
  • Recommended necessary strategies and arranged for debt repayment based on financial situations of the customer.
  • Communicated & followed up effectively with sales department regarding customer accounts on a timely basis.
  • Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visits to solicit payment.

Collection Agent Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 14,887 Collection Agent resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Collection Agent Resume

View Resume Examples

Collection Agent Demographics

Gender

Female

56.3%

Male

31.6%

Unknown

12.1%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

17.7%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

78.3%

French

5.9%

Portuguese

2.5%

Arabic

2.2%

Russian

1.7%

German

1.5%

Italian

1.0%

Hindi

0.7%

Bosnian

0.7%

Carrier

0.7%

Japanese

0.7%

Swedish

0.5%

Bengali

0.5%

Croatian

0.5%

Urdu

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Serbian

0.5%

Hebrew

0.5%

Swahili

0.2%

Romanian

0.2%
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Collection Agent Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

27.0%

Kaplan University

6.3%

Strayer University

5.3%

Trident Technical College

5.2%

Ashford University

5.0%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

4.9%

The Academy

4.7%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Salt Lake Community College

3.8%

Central Texas College

3.6%

Houston Community College

3.4%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.2%

South Texas College

3.2%

Everest Institute

3.0%

University of North Texas

3.0%

Liberty University

2.9%

Erie Community College

2.8%

Miami Dade College

2.8%

Grand Canyon University

2.8%

Columbus State Community College

2.7%
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Majors

Business

29.0%

Criminal Justice

8.2%

Accounting

7.4%

Health Care Administration

6.3%

Medical Assisting Services

6.2%

General Studies

5.1%

Psychology

5.1%

Nursing

4.7%

Communication

4.1%

Computer Science

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Management

2.7%

Education

2.4%

Finance

2.3%

Cosmetology

2.1%

Legal Support Services

1.9%

English

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%

Graphic Design

1.6%

Human Services

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

39.4%

Bachelors

27.3%

Associate

18.5%

Certificate

6.5%

Masters

4.2%

Diploma

3.0%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Top Collection Agent Employers

Jobs From Top Collection Agent Employers

Collection Agent Videos

A Day in the Life: Call Center Agent

How to Settle Unpaid Bills with Debt Collectors and Collection Agencies

The Profile of a Good Debt Collection Agent

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