Decent pay, lots of training, aweful schedule, no incentives, terrible management.
Pros: pay, overtime, training, secure work area, advancement, 401k
Cons: awful schedule, long hours, little break, personal sacrifices, no incentive, no sick/personal day, mediocre benefits, expensive insurance, little vacation.
The concepts that you learn are easy to grasp and a lot of what you do will be routine: counting money, cashing check, give loans and sign contracts, pay bills, send/receive Western Union, fax, notary, and other clerical duties. If you have decent math skills, focus on your work and follow compliance policies, you will do well.
Amscot starting pay for Financial Service Associate or FSA is $12-$15, which is pretty good and slightly higher than most banks, especially for needing only a High School diploma and some Customer Service and Cash Handling experience. However, you only get $.50 raise as you move up in each management position in the branch: Assistant Leader, Co Leader, and Branch Leader, respectively. The overtime pay is what allows the Branch Leader to make 50-60K a year.
You get paid 1.5x the rate after your regular 40 hours. You can easily find overtime at Amscot as each branch is staffed just enough to not hire any part-time employee. The first week of the month is the busiest as customers need to borrow money and pay bills; therefore, you will find yourself scheduled for 8-10 extra hours during that week. On average, the associates are scheduled for this amount of hours: FSA - 43, AL - 46, CL - 50, BL - 65. If another branch needs coverage, you may pick up that shift on your day off. You may also pick up an extra shift at your own branch if your co-worker calls out.
SECURE WORK AREA
Amscot bullet proof glass makes it a safe working environment. You are locked behind bullet proof glass with only a small opening to slide – more... documents through. Their security system helps you in getting in and out of the store safely during night times. Once you Clock-In, you are not permitted to leave the secure area until you Clock-Out, unless there’s an emergency. Only authorized personnels are permitted to enter the working area.
There are lot of opportunities for advancement because the company has a high turn-over rate, which is why it’s constantly hiring. Amscot uses the same system at all of its stores so you can apply to move up in any store. There have been associates who moved up as soon as 3 months to an Assistant Leader and within 2 years as a Branch Leader. Unfortunately, advancement opportunities become scarce the higher you move up.
Amscot has a 401K plan that helps you save for retirement. It matches up to a certain percentage of your contribution. Although Amscot’s matching contribution isn’t nearly as much as banks or other financial institutions, it is still a plus to have a 401K.
NO WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Unfortunately, Amscot’s schedule makes it impossible to have a work and life balance. Most stores are open 7AM - 11PM, 365 days a year. 1/4 of its stores are opened 24hours. You are expected to be available from 6:15AM to 1AM. There are NO set schedules and NO two-day weekends. You are given ONE Week day and ONE Weekend day OFF. You CAN and WILL be scheduled for 10 - 16hrs on any day, for many days. You CAN and WILL be scheduled to close and then open back-to-back, leaving the store at 11PM one night, and then coming back at 6:15AM the following morning. If an associate calls out, you may have to work beyond your scheduled shift. Of course, you will be compensated with over-time pay. But for those with families and significant others, this put more stress on them as their family and personal time are shortened.
LONG SHIFT/LITTLE BREAK
Depending on which store you work at, you may or may not get a decent break. If customers enter the store, you are expected to “Beat Them to the Window” and ready to help. The first week of the month is the busiest and often customers trickle through out the day. Often, customers will enter the store during your lunch break, and depending on your staffing that day, you will be expected to stop eating and help them. Many associates have gone through their shift without taking a break because there are too many customers and managers have gone through 10+ hour shifts without eating lunch because they feel the pressure to be on duty at all times. The only upside to this is that you get paid for all the time that you’re there, even when you do take a break.
Without a work/life balance, you will have to make some sacrifices to stay on top of the schedule. There have been managers who missed out on their children growing up because they have to work 60 hours a week, associates who saw their partners only a few hours a day because of their long shift, and managers who lost sleep because one of their associates called out. Amscot does NOT permit you to be in school or have a second job. They are very vocal from the beginning that you must have NO SCHEDULE RESTRICTION as your personal and family life must be scheduled around the company’s.
The company used to have more perks and rewards 10 years ago- which was partly why it was named One of Tampa Bay’s “Best Places to Work”. Employees used to enjoy getting Publix's Gift Cards year round for meeting branch goals and auditing compliance. Unfortunately, those days are over. The only reward program the company has today is the Perfect Performer Program. At the end of every quarter, associates may earn an extra 10% of their last pay and 8 hrs PTO to be used within the next 6 months. If you have no tardy, no customer complaints, no training issues, no infraction of any kind in the previous quarter, you may be eligible for this reward. Often, this program is really “carrot of a stick”, as the company will count everything to disqualify you. Also, if your branch meet collection goals, each associate will receive a $20-$25 restaurant gift card. This goal is achieved once in a blue moon.
NO SICK OR PERSONAL DAY
There are NO Sick or Personal Day at Amscot. You are expected to be at work even if you are slightly sick, as your absence is frowned upon and will result in extra stress being placed on other associates. Besides the Perfect Performer Program, the only true PTO that you have is your Vacation. Entry level associates will earn 1 week vacation ONLY after their 1st full fiscal year (beginning in May). 2 - 4 years associates will earn 2 weeks vacation. Only after 5 years of employment will you earn 3 weeks vacation. Most bank employees enjoy 2 - 3 weeks PTO in the FIRST year.
WORKING ON HOLIDAYS
Amscot has only 6 Paid Holidays. However, it is opened during ALL Holidays, which means you will be scheduled to work on a Holiday and 8 extra hours will be added to your week (without over-time pay). The only Holidays in which most associates get to be off are Christmas and Thanksgiving where only ONE associate will work. If you are an Assistant Leader or a Co-Leader, you will have to work during Christmas or Thanksgiving getting paid 2X your pay rate, plus 8 hours Holiday Pay. Most bank employees enjoy at least 10 Paid Holidays, in which their stores are closed and the employees actually get paid for it.
BENEFIT IS MEDIOCRE
Health insurance is expensive at Amscot, even the lowest premium plan has an expensive copay. Most banks and credit unions offer the same or slightly better benefits. At Amscot, there are No Tuition Reimbursement, No Commuter Benefits, No Scholarship for Family Members. There are some Discounts & Savings perks that rarely anyone use. Overall, the benefits package at Amscot is very basic and limited.
LACK OF TRUST
The company discourages employees from socializing outside of work due to fear of employees planning to plot against it. Employees are threatened with termination if found associating with each other outside of work. Their every move is being monitored by the company. There are no company social, no parties, no company wide celebration, no holiday celebration. The only celebration they do are held at Home Office for promotions of Co-Leaders, Branch Leaders, and other Corporate Office employees. You get to read about it later in the newsletter.
MANAGEMENT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU
The bottom line is management doesn’t care about you. Most of the benefits you get of working at Amscot what you can do for the company while going above and beyond. When it come to your personal life, it matters little. The company expect you to be available when it needs you and compensate you with a slightly higher starting pay. But in the long run, you will make lots of sacrifices for this company. You are not a human being with needs and priorities beyond work. You are a replaceable worker, who’s given an extra dollar to be put on a leash. – less