Debt Collectors

ANZSCO ID 5993

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
6,300
Future Growth
0%
Weekly Earnings
$1,331
Full-Time Share
73%
Female Share
62%
Average age
38

Summary

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.

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Debt Collector. Although some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or university degree in accounting, business, management, banking and finance.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Clerical And Administrative Workers
Skill Level
Lower skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Above average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Administrative
  • Enterprising
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
0%
(or 0 jobs)
From
4,100
in 2021
To
4,100
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 10,200
2012 9,700
2013 11,200
2014 8,200
2015 9,900
2016 4,200
2017 11,000
2018 9,600
2019 8,200
2020 4,200
2021 4,100
2026 4,100

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 73% of people employed as Debt Collectors work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 7 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 40 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,331 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,100
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,435

    Median hourly earnings are $35, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Earnings Debt Collectors All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,331 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Public Administration and Safety
41.7%
2
Administrative and Support Services
27.1%
3
Financial and Insurance Services
10.4%
4
Wholesale Trade
6.3%
5
Other industries
18.8%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

33.7% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

26.6% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

21.9% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.6% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

7.5% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.3% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.5% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.8% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Debt Collectors All Jobs Average
NSW 33.7 31.6
VIC 26.6 25.6
QLD 21.9 20.0
SA 7.6 7.0
WA 7.5 10.8
TAS 1.3 2.0
NT 0.5 1.0
ACT 0.8 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
38
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
62%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Debt Collectors is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 62% of the workforce. This is 14 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Debt Collectors All Jobs Average
15-19 1.9 5.0
20-24 12.4 9.3
25-34 27.5 22.9
35-44 21.8 22.0
45-54 19.4 21.6
55-59 7.9 9.0
60-64 5.2 6.0
65 and Over 3.9 4.2
Median Age 38 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Debt Collector. Although some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or university degree in accounting, business, management, banking and finance.

Registration or licencing may be required.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: 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 Qualification Debt Collectors All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 6.7 10.1
Bachelor degree 16.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 12.4 11.6
Certificate III/IV 17.5 21.1
Year 12 30.5 18.1
Year 11 6.3 4.8
Year 10 and below 10.4 12.5

Source: 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.


Skills and Knowledge

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

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 55%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 55%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 52%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 52%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 50%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 48%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 48%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 48%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 45%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 45%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 43%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 43%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 41%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 39%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 39%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 39%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 32%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 32%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 32%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 29%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 67%

    Customer and personal service

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

  • 65%

    Clerical

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

  • 51%

    Computers and electronics

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

  • 45%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 42%

    English language

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

  • 39%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 39%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 35%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 32%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 32%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 31%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 24%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 23%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 18%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

  • 17%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 15%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 14%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 11%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 9%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 7%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 59%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 59%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 57%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 54%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 52%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 50%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 48%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 48%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 48%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 46%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 45%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 43%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 43%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 39%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 39%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 39%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 39%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 37%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 36%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 36%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 60%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 60%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 59%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 58%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 57%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 57%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 55%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 55%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 54%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 52%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 49%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 48%

    Documenting or recording information

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

  • 46%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 44%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 39%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 39%

    Providing office support

    Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

  • 38%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 37%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 35%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 33%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 95%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 81%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 33%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 29%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 19%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 62%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 57%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 48%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 43%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 43%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 33%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 98%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 95%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 88%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 87%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 86%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 86%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 85%

    Angry or unpleasant people

    Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.

  • 85%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 85%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 83%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 83%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 80%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 80%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 79%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 78%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 74%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 72%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 71%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 67%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

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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