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Finance & accounting

Credit controller

Credit controllers manage the money given to customers and recover debts owed by businesses and individuals.

Annual Salary

£21,000 to £32,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 2.3% fewer Credit controller jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a credit controller, you could:

  • check customer credit ratings and set up credit accounts
  • speak with customers to organise repayments
  • start legal proceedings if debts are not paid within an agreed time
  • process payments and keep customer records up to date
  • produce credit reports for management

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a contact centre, from home or at a client's business.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

You could do a foundation degree or degree in:

  • business
  • finance
  • accounting
  • business and management

Some larger companies offer graduate training schemes, which prepare you for a career in credit control and management.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could do a college course which will give you some of the skills you’ll need to apply for a trainee credit controller position.

Courses include:

  • bookkeeping and accounting
  • computerised accounting for business
  • business and finance
  • a T Level in Finance

You can speak to your college to find the right level course for you. Some colleges also offer distance learning courses.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level
For more information

You could apply for an apprenticeship such as:

  • Credit Controller and Collector Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Credit Controller and Debt Collection Specialist Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These can take between 1 and 2 years to complete.

If you want to train for a manger role, you could take an Account and Finance Manager Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship over 3 years.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could start as a finance assistant in a credit control department. You could then train on the job to become a credit controller or deputy manager.

The Chartered Institute of Credit Management offers courses at different levels tailored to your experience.

Direct application

You can apply directly to be a credit controller, as many companies will train you on the job. The qualifications and experience you'll need will vary.

Most employers will expect you to have:

  • 3 to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths
  • the ability to use spreadsheets and accounting packages
  • experience of office administration or customer service work

You might be able to move into credit control if you have experience in:

  • bookkeeping
  • accounts
  • debt collecting

More information

You can find out more about careers in credit control and management from the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

More information

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With experience and professional qualifications, you could:become a credit manager; work with an accountancy firm; become a self-employed consultant; advise businesses on credit systems

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • administration skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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