Bill and account collectors
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Overview
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Bill and account collectors try to recover payment on overdue bills.
Titles for this career often contain these words
CollectorSpecialistCollectionsRepresentativeAccountCreditCollectionAgentClerkPatientReceivableAssociateServiceAccountsRepossessorManagerMedicalARBadCarChaserClaimsOfficerCoordinatorCustomerDataDebtDunnerFieldReimbursementInstallmentInsuranceAccessFinancialPaymentRentTelephone
Education
Only 18% of bill and account collectors have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by bill and account collectors
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Employment
Workforce size
Bill and account collectors, with 258,000 workers, form a larger workforce than 82% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for bill and account collectors are expected to shrink by 8%, and should have about 27,700 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Bill and account collectors are more likely to be automated than 86% of other careers.
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Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 73% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for bill and account collectors. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most bill and account collectors.
This job's median $36KAll jobs' median $39K$36K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 70% of bill and account collectors -- that's a larger percentage than 83% of other jobs.
Gender of bill and account collectors
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For bill and account collectors, the median men's salary was 9% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 30% of bill and account collectors are minority, and 8% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of bill and account collectors
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (8%)
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Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Bill and Account Collectors per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 54% of bill and account collectors, and 62% have company-sponsored health insurance (16% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for bill and account collectors
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
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Injury and Illness
About 19 bill and account collectors become injured or ill for every 10,000 workers, which reflects fewer events than in 75% of other careers. The most common specific illnesses or injuries are detailed following.
Fractures
Sprains, strains, tears
Bruises and contusions
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of bill and account collectors who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (93%)
  • Time Pressure (61%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (52%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do bill and account collectors earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for bill and account collectors, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for bill and account collectors compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for bill and account collectors (BLS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all bill and account collectors, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for bill and account collectors compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for bill and account collectors (ACS Salary Data)
$35K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$35K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where bill and account collectors work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Bill and account collectors (ACS)
Private for-profit (86.5%)
Private not-for-profit (5.5%)
Local government (2.7%)
State government (2.2%)
Federal government (1.4%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.6%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.1%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of bill and account collectors by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$35K$34K$39K$48K$39K$38K$45K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Self-employed not incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of bill and account collectors by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$36K$40K$36K$43K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000State governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for bill and account collectors

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? This first chart suggests how much this job rewards experience with increased salaries.

Now let's dive a little deeper. Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$40K$33K$31K$39K$38K$37K$37K$25K$39K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15K20K25KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Bill and account collectors and gender

With 70% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 83% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
70%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Bill and account collectors
Men (30%)
Women (70%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 21%. The situation is a little better for bill and account collectors, with the median salary for men 9% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$34K$37K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Bill and account collectors have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 75% of other jobs.

9%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of bill and account collectors

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a higher percentage of minority bill and account collectors than for 88% of other careers. While this career employs many minorities, it employs a relatively small number of foreign-born people.

Race/origin of bill and account collectors
White (65% )
Black (24% )
Other (5% )
Multiracial (3% )
Asian (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
30%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
8%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for bill and account collectors by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$30K$31K$32K$34K$35K$39K$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KMultiracialHispanicOtherBlackWhiteAsianAmerican Indian
Distribution: Salaries for bill and account collectors by nativity
$34K$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Part-time/Full-time
Bill and account collectors and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 8% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 61% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
8%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time bill and account collectors is shown following.

$13K$35K$0$20K$40K$60KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by bill and account collectors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bill and account collectors typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as bill and account collectors as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for bill and account collectors.

Education attained by bill and account collectors
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for bill and account collectors

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

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for bill and account collectors? Below we see the distribution of bill and account collectors salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as bill and account collectors, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$30K$33K$34K$35K$40K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KNone (3%)High School (30%)Some College (37%)Associate's Degree (13%)Bachelor's Degree (15%)Master's Degree (2%)
Certificate/Associate's degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Banking and Financial Support Services
1,011
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for bill and account collectors

What jobs will most bill and account collectors hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of bill and account collectors reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Bill and account collectorsBilling and posting clerksCustomer service representativesBookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerksAccountants and auditorsManagers (specialized areas)Credit counselors and loan officersSecretaries and administrative assistantsFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersGeneral office clerksLoan interviewers and clerksNursing, psychiatric, and home health aidesFinancial clerks
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for bill and account collectors

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as bill and account collectors as well as 1% of respondents after working as bill and account collectors. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for bill and account collectors
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Customer service representatives
387,600
$0$200K$32K
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
188,500
$0$200K$39K
Accountants and auditors
146,000
$0$200K$61K
Managers (specialized areas)
93,700
$0$200K$73K
Billing and posting clerks
60,500
$0$200K$35K
Credit counselors and loan officers
33,700
$0$200K$55K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for bill and account collectors: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as bill and account collectors? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of bill and account collectors surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for bill and account collectors
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Cashiers
665,600
$0$200K$20K
1.7%
Retail salespersons
641,300
$0$200K$31K
1.8%
Customer service representatives
387,600
$0$200K$32K
4.6%
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
188,500
$0$200K$39K
1.7%
Receptionists and information clerks
157,900
$0$200K$27K
3.2%
Accountants and auditors
146,000
$0$200K$61K
2.0%
Managers (specialized areas)
93,700
$0$200K$73K
2.3%
Financial managers
64,900
$0$200K$70K
2.0%
Billing and posting clerks
60,500
$0$200K$35K
3.6%
Tellers
47,600
$0$200K$26K
1.4%
Credit counselors and loan officers
33,700
$0$200K$55K
1.4%
Bill and account collectors
27,700
$0$200K$35K
36.6%
Telemarketers
21,400
$0$200K$22K
1.3%
Legal support workers (specialized areas)
11,500
$0$200K$50K
1.8%
Private detectives and investigators
3,300
$0$200K$54K
1.2%
No occupation
11.1%
Read about bill and account collectors
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

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 regularly 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.

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

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of bill and account collectors? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

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 options and ensure that they fully understand what is being said.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for bill and account collectors
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 73% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for bill and account collectors. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $36KAll jobs' median $39K$36K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for bill and account collectors are anticipated to shrink by 8%. over the next decade; 88% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for bill and account collectors is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300200,000400,000600,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most bill and account collectors? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as bill and account collectors. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Bill and Account Collectors per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.02.04.06.08.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where bill and account collectors earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for bill and account collectors compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for bill and account collectors.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Bill and Account Collectors (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which bill and account collectors earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Bill and account collectors (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests and Salary (All education levels)
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