Debt Collectors collect consumer, commercial, insurance and other forms of debt for clients, make arrangements to settle overdue accounts, formalise payment arrangements and follow up until accounts are fully paid.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Around two in five workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • liaising with clients, credit staff, accounts receivable departments, process servers, Private Investigators, Barristers and Solicitors to find solutions to payment problems
  • identifying, locating and notifying debtors of overdue accounts in writing, by telephoning and in person, and arranging for payments to be made
  • tracing addresses of debtors who have moved
  • arranging new repayment plans for debtors having difficulties making existing repayments
  • referring debtors' disputes to creditors
  • issuing instructions for the commencement of legal action and enforcement to recover money
  • arranging for money and goods collected to be transferred to creditors' possession, and preparing statements of account for creditors
  • recording amounts collected and noting any further action required
  • complying with debt collection guidelines and relevant legislation

Job Titles

  • Debt Collector, or Mercantile Agent
  • Debt Collector, or Mercantile Agent (also called Debt Recovery Officer)

    Specialisations: Collection Agent, Collection Officer, Repossession Agent

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,020 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    9300
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    37.4%
  • Female Share

    62.6%
  • Full-Time Share

    77.0%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 9300 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Queensland has a large share of Debt Collectors.
  • They mainly work in: Public Administration and Safety; Administrative and Support Services; and Financial and Insurance Services.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 34.7 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,020 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 38 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 6 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200511000
200611400
200711100
200811800
200914300
201012200
20119900
20129200
201310300
20148500
20159300
20208000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsDebt CollectorsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10201230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryDebt CollectorsAll Jobs Average
Full-time7768.4
Part-time2331.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)34.740

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety31.2
Administrative and Support Services27
Financial and Insurance Services7.9
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services5.2
Other Industries28.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDebt CollectorsAll Jobs Average
NSW30.431.8
VIC19.425.5
QLD32.819.8
SA7.36.8
WA5.311.2
TAS1.72
NT0.91.1
ACT2.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDebt CollectorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-2410.5-9.99.9
25-3430-23.423.4
35-4420.4-21.721.7
45-5425.9-21.121.1
55-597.1-8.78.7
60-646.1-5.95.9
65 and Over0-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryDebt CollectorsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males37.4Males53.6
Females62.6Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job.
Around two in five workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary. Registration or licensing may be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Debt Collectors who have a high attention to detail, are professional, courteous and responsible.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    83% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Clerical

    73% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  3. English Language

    68% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Mathematics

    67% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Computers and Electronics

    64% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    90% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Interacting With Computers

    88% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  3. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    81% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  4. Documenting/Recording Information

    78% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  5. Communicating with Persons Outside Organization

    77% Important

    Communicating with customers, the public, government, and others in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Occupational Information Network Bill and Account Collectors Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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