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Become A Collections/Accounts Receivable

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Working As A Collections/Accounts Receivable

  • 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

  • $34,440

    Average Salary

What Does A Collections/Accounts Receivable 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.


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  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”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 Collections/Accounts Receivable

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


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.


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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Collections/Accounts Receivable jobs

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Collections/Accounts Receivable Career Paths

Collections/Accounts Receivable
Collections Specialist Billing Specialist Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Manager Office Manager Accounts Payable Clerk
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Credit And Collection Manager Accounts Receivable Manager Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Credit And Collections Analyst Collections Specialist Billing Specialist
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Billing Specialist Collector
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Accountant Operations Analyst Intelligence Analyst
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Service Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accountant Assistant Vice President Credit Officer
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Customer Care Representative Customer Account Representative
Customer Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant Finance Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Credit And Collection Manager Accounts Receivable Specialist Accounts Receivable Manager
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Collections Manager Branch Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Credit And Collections Analyst Accounts Receivable Analyst Accountant
Payroll Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Collections Manager Operations Manager Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Manager Bookkeeper Accounts Receivable Specialist
Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager District Manager Loan Officer
Senior Loan Processor
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Sales Specialist Senior Sales Representative
Senior Representative
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Finance Analyst Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Collections/Accounts Receivable Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • Mandarin

  • Chinese

  • Carrier

  • Hindi

  • Filipino

  • German

  • Urdu

  • Cherokee

  • Romanian

  • Korean

  • Indonesian

  • Hungarian

  • Russian

  • Braille

  • Tagalog

  • Japanese

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Top Skills for A Collections/Accounts Receivable


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Top Collections/Accounts Receivable Skills

  1. Customer Service
  2. Credit Card Payments
  3. Financial Statements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Receive calls different concerns: (Customer Service) Inbound and outbound calls.
  • Process credit card payments for shipping department
  • Analyzed financial statements by using asset management, leverage and profitability ratios to support established credit lines for customers.
  • Advised customers of necessary strategies for debt repayment by establishing repayment schedules.
  • Handled delinquent accounts and determined reason of delinquency.

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