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

Elgin, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for accounts receivable specialists. 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 nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for accounts receivable specialists are expected to grow by about 19.3%. Accounts receivable specialists generally locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment.

Accounts receivable specialists earn approximately $15 hourly or $32,010 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $14 per hour or $30,630 yearly. 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.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including two within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as an accounts receivable specialist. The most common level of education for accounts receivable specialists is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Elgin 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.



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


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


Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.