California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Bill and Account Collectors in California

May also be called: Payment Collectors; Collection Clerks; and Installment Agents

What Would I Do?

Bill and Account Collectors locate and contact debtors to recover money owed on past due accounts. They contact the debtor by telephone or mail. If the search is successful, they attempt to collect the amounts overdue, make arrangements for repayment, update payment records, and advise the customer of what actions to take. If the debtor fails to respond to repayment requests, Bill and Account Collectors may initiate repossession actions or take action to stop service.

In-house Bill and Account Collectors usually work in an office or call center environment. Most Bill and Account Collectors work 40 hours a week. However, they are regularly required to work evenings and weekends, when it is usually easier to reach people. As a result, it is common for workers to work part time or flexible work schedules.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of a Bill and Account Collector may appeal to those who enjoy activities that involve following set procedures and routines. They need to be persistent, patient, and have good negotiation skills because they frequently deal with upset clients.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

In addition to the base wages, some companies offer bonus payments on the total dollar amount of debt recovered.

The median wage in 2017 for Bill and Account Collectors in California was $40,864 annually, or $19.65 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2017Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2017 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Most Bill and Account Collectors may expect to receive benefits that include health insurance, vacation, and holidays.

What is the Job Outlook?

Collectors play a vital role as cash flow is becoming increasingly important to companies, which are now placing greater emphasis on collecting unpaid debts sooner. Therefore, the workload for Collectors is expected to continue to increase as they seek to collect not only old debts but ones that are more recent. As opposed to other occupations, the demand for Collectors remains high during economic downturns.

How Do I Qualify?

There are a number of ways to become a Bill and Account Collector due to the range of training options available. Most employers prefer to hire candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent. Courses offered though community colleges and adult education in accounting, bookkeeping, computers, and word processing provide helpful background preparation for entry into Bill and Account Collecting occupations.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Many schools operate placement centers for their students. Jobs may also be found through registration with temporary employment agencies and through classified advertisements in newspapers, trade publications, and Internet job listings. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Bill and Account Collectors