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Career and Education Opportunities for Accounts Receivable Specialists in Charleston, West Virginia

Accounts receivable specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Charleston, West Virginia. There are currently 2,230 working accounts receivable specialists in West Virginia; this should grow by 24% to about 2,760 working accounts receivable specialists in the state 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.

A person working as an accounts receivable specialist can expect to earn about $11 per hour or $24,700 annually on average in West Virginia and about $14 hourly or $30,630 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Billing and Bookkeeping, people working as accounts receivable specialists in West Virginia earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Billing and Bookkeeping nationally.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston 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 studying 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 Charleston 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

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has a one to two year program in Banking and Financial Support Services.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.