Bill Collector Job Description

Bill collectors work for organizations who are trying to collect payments on overdue bills.

Most bill collectors contact debtors over the phone, and use computer software to keep track of all communications. On the phone, bill collectors normally explain the debt and present debtors with multiple repayment plans that will make it easier for them to repay the money that they owe.

Once they agree to a plan, the collector will arrange for payments. If a debtor doesn't pay as they agreed to, then the bill collector will either need to follow up with them at a later date or inform the creditor that the payment hasn't been received. At that point, creditors sometimes take legal action.

Because bill collectors talk about sensitive financial matters with strangers over the phone, they need to have excellent customer service skills.

Work Environment and Schedule

Most bill collectors work for collection agencies that are hired by the original creditor to recover money owed.

Bill collectors spend most of their time on the phone talking with debtors to try and reconcile debts. This can be very stressful at times, because people often react in a confrontational way when they're confronted about a poor financial situation.

There is often little (if any) break between calls, so bill collectors have to learn to brush off a negative conversation and start a new one with a positive attitude. The range of emotions that people in this occupation have to go through can be exhausting.

Additionally, bill collectors are normally held to very tight performance standards. They are expected to complete a certain number of calls each day, and collect a certain amount of money. Trying to meet these standards can be very stressful.

Most bill collectors work full time, but there are many part time positions available as well. Because the best time to reach people is sometimes during the evenings and weekends, shifts are normally available during those times. This can be great for people who need to work an alternative schedule.

How to Become a Bill Collector

A minimum of a high school diploma is required for most bill collector positions, though some employers prefer candidates who have completed some college coursework. Having an associate's degree can be very beneficial, particularly if you take courses in accounting or other subjects related to finance.

Once hired, bill collectors go through a training period that lasts anywhere between one and three months. During the training period, bill collectors learn negotiation skills, company policies, and laws that regulate the debt collection process.

If you're interested in working as a bill collector, having previous experience in a customer service or call center environment can help you get the job. Since you will directly communicate with customers (often during very stressful circumstances), being able to work well with people is incredibly important.

Related Occupations

Employment Outlook

There are currently 401,700 bill collectors in the United States, with 13,550 new bill collector job openings created each year.

Bill Collector jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Bill Collector Salaries

Salaries by State

Hover over your state to get an idea of what Bill Collectors make in your area.

How to use this salary data.

Job seekers can use it while negotiating a salary.

Employers can use it to help set appropriate wage levels while writing job descriptions.

Overall Salaries

Bill Collector salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most bill collectors make between $26,100 - $38,800 per year, or $12.54 - $18.66 per hour.

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Salary and statistical data provided by the BLS.