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Working As A Collector

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

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Collector 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  • Track down consumers who have an out-of-date address by using the Internet, post office, credit bureaus, or neighbors—a process called “skip tracing”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 Collector

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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Collector Career Paths

Collector
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Executive Branch Manager
Manager, Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Collections Representative Account Representative Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Tax Preparer Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Project Manager
Portfolio Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Representative Account Executive Customer Service Manager
Call Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Collections Specialist Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Executive Assistant Property Manager
Asset Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Executive Assistant Customer Service Manager
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Medical Coder Billing Manager
Revenue Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Human Resources Coordinator Customer Service Supervisor
Collection Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Collections/Accounts Receivable Credit And Collections Analyst
Senior Collection Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Collections/Accounts Receivable Credit And Collections Analyst
Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Resident General Dentist
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Field Collector 4.1 years
Senior Collector 3.9 years
Collector Lead 3.3 years
Recovery Collector 3.0 years
Bill Collector 2.7 years
Customs Collector 2.7 years
Medical Collector 2.4 years
Debt Collector 2.1 years
Collector 2.0 years
Mortgage Collector 2.0 years
Payment Collector 2.0 years
Collection Agent 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Collector
Cashier 15.8%
Manager 3.5%
Teller 2.6%
Server 2.6%
Supervisor 2.4%
Top Careers After Collector
Cashier 10.7%
Manager 3.6%
Specialist 3.0%
Supervisor 2.6%

Do you work as a Collector?

Average Yearly Salary
$31,000
Show Salaries
$25,000
Min 10%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CAMC Health System
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
Delaware
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Collector make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Collector in the United States is $31,662 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $38,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Collector Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Sport Drug Testing Collector The National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc. Sep 24, 2011 $35,547
Collector Santos Rubbish Removal Inc. Jun 01, 2011 $35,416
Sport Drug Testing Collector The National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc. Jun 01, 2010 $32,822
Sport Drug Testing Collector The National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc. Jun 10, 2010 $32,822

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Top Skills for A Collector

  1. Payment Arrangements
  2. Customer Service
  3. Debt Repayment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Collected and resolved outstanding deficiencies for clients; included skip-tracing, payment arrangements, and settlement negotiation of outstanding personal accounts.
  • Provided customer service via telephone and correspondence for patients and authorized representatives regarding outstanding patient accounts in accordance with facility protocol.
  • Arranged for debt repayment schedules based on individual financial situation.
  • Provided exceptional collection support includes, counseling customers on delinquent accounts to bring resolution to unpaid accounts following company policies.
  • Updated gathered information in computer database regarding customer accounts along with educating customers on account terms and conditions with provided resolution.

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Top 10 Best States for Collectors

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Delaware
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Kentucky
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Utah
  7. Nevada
  8. District of Columbia
  9. West Virginia
  10. Vermont
  • (25 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (113 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)

Collector 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 47,914 Collector 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 Collector Resume

View Resume Examples

Collector Demographics

Gender

Female

62.2%

Male

33.1%

Unknown

4.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.7%

Hispanic or Latino

18.2%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

74.5%

French

4.4%

Arabic

3.1%

German

2.4%

Portuguese

2.1%

Russian

2.0%

Chinese

1.8%

Mandarin

1.7%

Korean

1.3%

Italian

1.1%

Japanese

1.0%

Persian

0.9%

Croatian

0.6%

Carrier

0.6%

Hindi

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Navajo

0.4%

Swedish

0.3%
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Collector Education

Schools

Cochise College

11.1%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

8.2%

Kaplan University

7.9%

Remington College

5.6%

Strayer University

5.5%

Erie Community College

5.5%

Ashford University

5.0%

Bryant and Stratton College

5.0%

Columbus State Community College

4.9%

Houston Community College

4.7%

Des Moines Area Community College

4.7%

Everest Institute

3.7%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

3.7%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.7%

American InterContinental University

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.6%

Tidewater Community College

3.6%

Texas Southern University

3.5%

Cuyahoga Community College

3.3%

Liberty University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

28.8%

Health Care Administration

8.3%

Criminal Justice

8.1%

Accounting

7.4%

Medical Assisting Services

6.7%

General Studies

5.7%

Psychology

4.8%

Nursing

4.7%

Communication

2.8%

Management

2.7%

Computer Science

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Legal Support Services

2.3%

Finance

2.2%

Education

2.1%

Cosmetology

2.0%

Intelligence Operations

1.6%

Marketing

1.6%

Political Science

1.5%

Pharmacy

1.5%
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Degrees

High School Diploma

35.7%

Bachelors

23.8%

Associate

20.3%

Certificate

7.8%

Diploma

7.8%

Masters

3.7%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Updated May 18, 2020