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Career and Education Opportunities for Accounts Receivable Specialists in Chicago, Illinois

Accounts receivable specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Chicago, Illinois. Currently, 21,270 people work as accounts receivable specialists in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 23% to 26,170 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for accounts receivable specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.3% over the next eight years. In general, accounts receivable specialists locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment.

Accounts receivable specialists earn approximately $15 per hour or $32,010 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $14 per hour or $30,630 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Billing and Bookkeeping, people working as accounts receivable specialists in Illinois earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Billing and Bookkeeping nationally.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as an accounts receivable specialist. Accounts receivable specialists usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become an accounts receivable specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Accounts Receivable Specialist

Accounts Receivable Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, accounts receivable specialists locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. They also 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.

Accounts receivable specialists answer customer questions regarding problems with their accounts. They also advise customers of needed actions and strategies for debt repayment. Equally important, accounts receivable specialists have to locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail or personal visits to solicit payment. They are often called upon to talk with customers by telephone or in person to establish reasons for overdue payments and to review the terms of sales or credit contracts. They are expected to manage debt repayment or establish repayment schedules, on the basis of customers' financial situations. Finally, accounts receivable specialists perform various administrative functions for assigned accounts.

Every day, accounts receivable specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for accounts receivable specialists to trace delinquent customers to new addresses by inquiring at post offices or through the questioning of neighbors. They are often called upon to sort and file correspondence, and perform miscellaneous clerical duties such as answering correspondence and writing reports. They also notify credit departments, order products repossession or service disconnection, and turn over account archives to attorneys when customers fail to respond to collection attempts. They are sometimes expected to receive payments and post amounts paid to customer accounts. Somewhat less frequently, accounts receivable specialists are also expected to persuade customers to pay amounts due on credit accounts or nonpayable checks, or to return products.

They also have to be able to contact insurance companies to check on status of claims payments and write appeal letters for denial on claims And finally, they sometimes have to locate and monitor overdue accounts, using computers and a variety of automated systems.

Like many other jobs, accounts receivable specialists must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Bank Teller. Receive and pay out money. Keep records of money and negotiable instruments involved in a financial institution's various transactions.
  • Bookkeeper. Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.
  • Clerk. Compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
  • Credit Investigator. Investigate history and credit standing of individuals or business establishments applying for credit. Telephone or write to credit departments of business and service establishments to obtain information about applicant's credit standing.
  • Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer. Determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and public housing.
  • Gaming Cashier. Conduct financial transactions for patrons in gaming establishments. May reconcile daily summaries of transactions to balance books. Accept patron's credit application and verify credit references to provide check-cashing authorization or to establish house credit accounts. May sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons, or to other workers for resale to patrons. May convert gaming chips, tokens, or tickets to currency upon patron's request. May use a cash register or computer to record transaction.
  • Order Clerk. Receive and process incoming orders for materials, merchandise, or services such as repairs, installations, or rental of facilities. Duties include informing customers of receipt, prices, and delays; preparing contracts; and handling complaints.
  • Payroll Machine Operator. Operate machines that automatically perform mathematical processes, such as addition, subtraction, and division, to calculate and record billing, accounting, and other numerical data. Duties include operating special billing machines to prepare statements, bills, and invoices, and operating bookkeeping machines to copy and post data, make computations, and compile records of transactions.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Accounts Receivable Specialist Training

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Banking and Financial Support Services which graduated two and two students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Banking and Financial Support Services which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.

LICENSES

CREDIT/COLLECTIONS CLERK

Licensing agency: Illinois Gaming Board
Address: Willard Ice Building, P.O. Box 19474, Springfield, IL 62794-9474

Phone: (312) 814-4700
Website: Illinois Gaming Board

THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATOR

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: Division of Insurance, 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786

Phone: (217) 782-6366
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Insurance

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.