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.

Also known as: Mercantile Agent, or Debt Recovery Officer.

Specialisations: Collection Agent, Collection Officer, Repossession Agent.

You can work as a Debt Collector without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in mercantile agents or financial services (or a traineeship in mercantile agents or credit management) might be helpful.

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

All Debt Collectors

  • $1,231 Weekly Pay
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 9,400 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 73% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 40 hours Average full-time
  • 38 years Average age
  • 62% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Debt Collectors (in their main job) grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to stay about the same over the next 5 years:
from 9,400 in 2018 to 9,600 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 8,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,600 a year).

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: Debt Collectors work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Administrative and Support Services; Financial and Insurance Services; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,231 per week (below the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (73%, higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 40 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 62% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200811000
200914300
201012700
201111000
201210800
20138500
20149300
20159000
201610800
20178200
20189400
20239600

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings12311460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Administrative and Support Services31.9
Financial and Insurance Services24.1
Public Administration and Safety22.0
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services3.4
Other Industries18.6

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDebt CollectorsAll Jobs Average
NSW33.731.6
VIC26.625.6
QLD21.920.0
SA7.67.0
WA7.510.8
TAS1.32.0
NT0.51.0
ACT0.81.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDebt CollectorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.9-5.05.0
20-2412.4-9.39.3
25-3427.5-22.922.9
35-4421.8-22.022.0
45-5419.4-21.621.6
55-597.9-9.09.0
60-645.2-6.06.0
65 and Over3.9-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationDebt CollectorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate6.7-10.110.1
Bachelor degree16.3-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma12.4-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV17.5-21.121.1
Year 1230.5-18.118.1
Year 116.3-4.84.8
Year 10 and below10.4-12.512.5

You can work as a Debt Collector without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in mercantile agents or financial services (or a traineeship in mercantile agents or credit management) might be helpful.

Registration with the relevant state or territory board may be needed to work as a Debt Collector.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • meet minimum age requirements

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    67% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Clerical

    65% Skill level

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

  3. Computers and Electronics

    51% Skill level

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

  4. Mathematics

    45% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. English Language

    42% Skill level

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

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-3011.00 - Bill and Account Collectors.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Telephone

    100% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  2. Contact With Others

    98% Important

    How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

  3. Spend Time Sitting

    95% Important

    How much time do you spend sitting?

  4. Indoors, Heat Controlled

    88% Important

    How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

  5. Letters and Memos

    87% Important

    How often do you write letters and memos?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-3011.00 - Bill and Account Collectors.

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