Bank of America Hikes Wages to $20, Hires Thousands From Low-Income Areas

People walk past a Bank of America in Times Square in New York City. Wilson Valentin/Getty Images

Bank of America is making promises. Big ones.

The second largest U.S. banking conglomerate announced a plan to raise its minimum wage to $20 an hour. The minimum wage will immediately spike to $17 and creep its way to $20 by 2021. In a press release, the banking giant also doubled down on a promise to hire 10,000 workers from low-to-moderate income communities by 2023. So far, it has hired 4,700.

“We are raising our minimum wage because we believe that to best serve our customers and clients, we need the best teams,” said Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources officer at Bank of America, in the release.

And to build those teams, Bank of America is partnering with nonprofits like Year Up and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to find and foster talent from all backgrounds. Once hired, these workers from lower-income areas are given more career-training opportunities through an internal program called The Academy.

“The Academy is like a university within the company,” said John Jordan, the head of Bank of America’s Academy and Advisor Development, in the announcement.

According to Bank of America, all new hires have gone through 80-plus hours of Academy training.

But is the banking industry a good, long-term career option? We dug into the latest employment data and found that, while some jobs are on their way out, others look promising.

Bank of America Jobs: Career Kickstarters or Doomed by Automation?

When thinking of bank jobs, you may first think of bank tellers, the frontline workers at brick-and-mortar banks who help with simple banking services. Then, you might think of ATMs replacing those tellers. It’s even in the name — Automated Teller Machine.

So, who would want these Bank of America jobs if they’re going to be replaced by machines?

According to the latest stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bank teller jobs are indeed on the decline.  

By 2026, bank teller jobs are expected to shrink by 8.3%, or 41,800 jobs total.

But banks comprise a lot more positions. At Bank of America, there are more than 80 different classes of jobs — including some not-so-obvious ones like marketing, clerical and customer service. And as of May 1, each one will pay a guaranteed $17 an hour.

Overall, the financial services industry is set to grow 9.6% by 2026, according to the BLS. On closer look, a few financial jobs in particular have promising prospects:

  • Financial managers are slated to balloon 18.7%, or by 108,600 jobs, and have a median pay of $127,990.
  • Personal financial advisers will increase 14.9%, or by 40,400 jobs. Median pay is $88,890.
  • Financial analysts are expected to grow 10.9%, or by 32,300 jobs, with a median pay of $85,660.

With $20 minimum wage, high growth potential in several sectors and on-the-job training from The Academy, it doesn’t sound exactly sound like these jobs are on a fast track to becoming obsolete any time soon. 

Bank of America Hiring Events

If you want in on Bank of America’s recent workforce changes, we found several ways to help your job hunt, including online and in-person career events and its online jobs portal with more than 7,000 open positions.

Virtual Job Fair for Financial Advisers

On May 14, Bank of America is hosting an online event led by some of its Hispanic financial advisers of the Merrill Lynch branch. The hour-long event starts at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, and registration is free.

And we got you covered, if you don’t know how to prepare for a virtual job fair.

Pro Tip

Treat a virtual job fair just as you would an in-person one. Come prepared with questions and be interview-ready in case things go well.

In-Person Career Events

For residents of California (Los Angeles and San Francisco), Georgia, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, Bank of America is holding career events and open houses for numerous job categories throughout May and June. Click your area for more details on each event.

Veterans, newcomers to the banking industry and people looking re-entering the workforce are encouraged to attend.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

Data Journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed reporting for this story.

This article originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder