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Details for Bill and Account Collectors


Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.


  • Receive payments and post amounts paid to customer accounts.
  • Locate and monitor overdue accounts, using computers and a variety of automated systems.
  • Record information about financial status of customers and status of collection efforts.
  • Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visits to solicit payment.
  • Confer with customers by telephone or in person to determine reasons for overdue payments and to review the terms of sales, service, or credit contracts.
  • Advise customers of necessary actions and strategies for debt repayment.
  • Persuade customers to pay amounts due on credit accounts, damage claims, or nonpayable checks, or to return merchandise.
  • Sort and file correspondence, and perform miscellaneous clerical duties such as answering correspondence and writing reports.
  • Perform various administrative functions for assigned accounts, such as recording address changes and purging the records of deceased customers.
  • Arrange for debt repayment or establish repayment schedules, based on customers' financial situations.
  • Negotiate credit extensions when necessary.
  • Trace delinquent customers to new addresses by inquiring at post offices, telephone companies, credit bureaus, or through the questioning of neighbors.
  • Notify credit departments, order merchandise repossession or service disconnection, and turn over account records to attorneys when customers fail to respond to collection attempts.
  • Drive vehicles to visit customers, return merchandise to creditors, or deliver bills.


  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Related Careers

  • Credit Checkers
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs
  • Insurance Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators
  • Licensing Examiners and Inspectors
  • Order Clerks
  • Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
Wages for this career
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