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By Edited Sep 5, 2014 2 3

Would you like to work indoors in a quiet, pleasant environment, and have numerous opportunities for future promotions? Are you good at keeping records and handling money? Do you have a friendly, pleasant manner when dealing with the public? Are you well-groomed? Do you have a high school diploma? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be the perfect person to work as a bank teller.

Bank Teller


One of the advantages of working as a bank teller is that these financial institutions are located nearly everywhere. Beginning a career in the financial industry may be as close as your local neighborhood bank, savings and loan, or credit union. At the same time, since these businesses operate in foreign countries, too, you may have the opportunity with some institutions to find jobs overseas, if you are interested.

Teller Job Description

Bank tellers need to be able to count money, use a calculator, assist customers in opening new accounts, deposit or cash checks for customers, make withdrawals for customers, answer questions, balance their cash drawers, provide excellent customer service, handle paperwork and do all this with a friendly smile! Tellers may also exchange foreign money, receive loan payments, and issue traveler's checks. They must have a basic amount of computer knowledge, and be comfortable dealing with the public.

Teller Education and Training

Banks usually require that their tellers be at least high school graduates. They also prefer employees who have had prior job experience, either doing clerical work in an office, or in a job dealing with money, such as working as a cashier or sales person. Students can prepare themselves to work in a bank by taking business math classes, or computer classes. Some community colleges also offer classes and sponsor banking and financial services internships. In these college classes, students learn the necessary skills required to begin employment in this industry. These programs emphasize money handling, customer service, computer training, record keeping and other aspects of becoming a bank teller.

You might also find it help to use this direct Amazon link to pick up a copy of: "The Teller's Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed."

In addition, most financial institutions offer their own classroom training for new tellers. These classes are followed by on-the-job training, observing an experienced teller. Gradually, the trainee will learn the bank's methods and record keeping techniques, as well as how to use their machines.

Who is the Typical Teller?

According to employee statistics cited by payscale.com, about 76% of bank tellers are female, and 24% are male. About 1 in 5 tellers have worked in that position for less than a year. An additional 62% have worked as tellers for 1 to 4 years. The remainder of the tellers surveyed had worked at their jobs for 5 years or more. One reason that over 80% of the bank tellers that were interviewed had been in their jobs for less than 5 years, is because so many of their coworkers had been promoted to other positions within the bank.

Working Conditions for Tellers

Banks tend to be quiet, pleasant places to work. The typical full-time employee works between 35 to 40 hours a week, with occasional overtime. Many tellers work part-time. The major disadvantage to the job is that most employees spend the day on their feet, and the work is very repetitive. Tellers must also be well-groomed and have a friendly, courteous personality, while being accurate and efficient at the same time.

Employment Outlook for Tellers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 558,000 bank tellers were employed in 2004, and about one-third of them were part-time employees. The number of bank tellers has grown steadily since that time. The demand for bank employees is expected to grow more slowly in the future because of the use of automatic teller machines, internet banking and phone banking services. However, since many tellers are promoted to other positions within the bank, there continues to be a steady demand for new tellers.

Teller Salaries and Benefits

According to payscale.com, the average full-time bank teller salary in the United States is about $20,000 to $25,000 a year, or slightly more, depending on the part of the country where they live. It can also make a difference whether you work for a large, urban bank or a small, rural savings and loan. The website also listed the hourly wages for some of the most popular bank employers. For example, Bank of America teller jobs payed between $10.25 and $11.82 an hour in 2012. At Wells Fargo Bank, bank tellers earned from about $9.90 to $11.38 an hour in 2012.

In addition, approximately 64% of tellers work full time and receive medical benefits. Many banks offer other benefits, as well. For example, 55% of tellers get dental coverage, and 40% receive vision insurance. Full time bank employees also can expect to get paid vacation, and as many as twelve paid banking holidays per year.

nfortunately, many bank tellers work part-time and, therefore, do not always receive the same insurance and vacation benefits as the full-time employees.

Opportunities for Advancement

Many tellers who have worked at a financial institution for a long time are offered promotions to other jobs within the bank. Some common bank jobs are loan officers, customer service representatives, and assistant managers. While the typical teller salary range is $20,000 to $25,000 a year, if you become a teller supervisor, you could earn between $25,000 and $32,000 a year. Personal bankers earn an average of $29,000 to $42,000 a year. Assistant Branch Managers currently earn around $32,000 to $45,000 annually.

As you can see, working as a bank teller offers many opportunities for friendly, conscientious people who want a good future in a reliable industry, even if they do not have a four-year college degree.

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Preparing for Job Interviews

Photo courtesy of photoxpress.com

A Handbook with All the Information You Will Need

The Teller's Handbook: Everything a Teller Needs to Know to Succeed
Amazon Price: $26.95 $22.32 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 5, 2014)
This handbook will make it easier for you to remember everything you need to know to get started in your job as a bank teller.


Nov 20, 2010 7:13pm
Good article, and true! I worked as a bank teller and moved up to commercial lending assistant, and would have stayed there forever if life hadn't gotten in the way :)
Nov 21, 2010 3:35am
Good article, the trouble is that banks are going less and less staff and more self serve machines. Creating more unemployment for people wanting jobs. Yet they keep on making billions of dollars and do not care about people trying to work and feed their families.
Nov 21, 2010 1:57pm
These are interesting facts about bank tellers. If you can get a full time job with all the benefits, it sounds pretty good. Though the pay is not that great if it is just part time since you won't get the other perks. I guess that is true in all jobs though.
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