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Career and Education Opportunities for Accounts Receivable Specialists in Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for accounts receivable specialists. There are currently 8,580 jobs for accounts receivable specialists in Maryland and this is projected to grow 22% to 10,500 jobs 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. Accounts receivable specialists generally locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment.

A person working as an accounts receivable specialist can expect to earn about $16 per hour or $34,560 per year on average in Maryland and about $14 per hour or $30,630 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for accounts receivable specialists are better than earnings in the general category of Billing and Bookkeeping in Maryland and better than general Billing and Bookkeeping category earnings nationally.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia 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. 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 Columbia 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.
  • 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

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year program in Banking and Financial Support Services which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.