Collections SpecialistJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Collections Specialists are a crucial part of their organizations, and essential in ensuring their company’s bottom line. Working with customers and their accounts is at the heart of the Collections Specialist role. Whether the task is to arrange for debt repayment, advise customers, or answer their questions, Collections Specialists need to be excellent communicators with strong negotiation skills. They need the ability to work through obstacles to get results.

Collections Specialists should also know how to manage many important tasks in an often-busy work environment, as well as working with other team members to help find ways to bring in payments and revenue. In this role, communication is essential, and motivated candidates who work well with people and can see ways to solve problems and break through barriers can thrive.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visits to solicit payment
  • Arrange for debt repayment or establish repayment schedules, based on customers’ financial situations
  • Answer customer questions regarding problems with their accounts
  • Develop collections methods that consistently lead to achieving or exceeding company financial goals
  • Work closely with team members to create ways to bring in revenue and find success as a group
  • Solve problems quickly and create resolutions that bring in revenue on a regular basis

Education and Background

This position requires a high school diploma or GED; a bachelor’s degree is preferred.

Skills and Proficiencies

  • Proficient with database software and Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability to overcome obstacles and get results
  • Strong communication and negotiation skills
  • Previous customer service experience preferred


According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Collections Specialist with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $35,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $36,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $33,000
  • Miami, Florida: $36,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $38,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $38,000
  • Houston, Texas: $35,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $43,000
  • New York City, New York: $44,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $46,000
  • Overall: $38,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $41,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $38,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $36,000
  • Miami, Florida: $39,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $40,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $42,000
  • Houston, Texas: $42,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $50,000
  • New York City, New York: $49,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $48,000
  • Overall: $42,000

Similar Job Titles

Career Path

The career path for a Collections Representative entails first earning a high school diploma or GED, with a bachelor’s degree preferred.

There are opportunities for advancement based on experience and performance. Also, a career in this industry can be bolstered through earning special professional designations from The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals.

There is currently an ongoing need for collections departments, including talented and motivated Collections Specialists and other associated support staff.

With healthy growth projected in the collections industry, whether it is in finance, accounting, or beyond, the right candidates can thrive.

Job Outlook

Sales and related roles, such as positions in collections, are anticipated to remain steady for the near term. The collections industry is what’s known as a responsive industry, meaning it reacts to changes in credit, debt, and the credit cycle, and is usually one of the last to feel the impact of any negative trends in the economy. That said, taking more short-term ups and downs into account, the market forecast for Collections Specialists over the next five years is one of overall growth.

Typical Hours

The typical work hours for a Collections Specialist can be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours can be necessary, depending on the needs and hours of the individual company.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster
  • Zip Recruiter

Are You Interested in Becoming a Collections Specialist?

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