Employment of bill and account collectors is projected to grow 14 percent from 2010 to 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations.
The increasing efficiency of collectors is expected to slow employment growth for this occupation. New software and automated calling systems should increase productivity and allow collectors to handle more accounts.
In addition, some collection jobs will likely be sent to other countries where wages are lower. Nevertheless, creditors will continue to hire collectors in the United States because workers in this country tend to have greater success in negotiating with debtors.
Collectors in medical industries should see more job growth. As the cost of health care increases, the amount of medical debt that people incur is likely to rise as well. In addition, credit card companies are more commonly selling their debts to third-party agencies, likely also increasing job growth in the collections industry.
The following table shows the projected growth rates for bill and account collectors in the industries they are most commonly employed in:
|Offices of physicians||44%|
|Business support services||30|
|Credit intermediation and related activities||1|
Job prospects should be excellent for this occupation. Workers frequently leave the occupation, which leads to numerous job openings. Prospects should be best for applicants who have worked in a call center before because some companies prefer to hire collectors with this kind of experience.
Unlike many other occupations, collections jobs usually remain stable during economic downturns. When the economy weakens, many consumers and businesses fall behind on their financial obligations, increasing the amount of debt to be collected. However, the success rate of collectors decreases because fewer people can afford to pay their debts.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition