Thousands of Americans visit banks on a daily basis to seek various banking services. Banks employ tellers to accurately record and process routine transactions initiated by these customers. If you can work with a high level of accuracy, and you have an aptitude for numbers, then you could become a bank teller.
1. What Do Bank Tellers Do?
Their duties include:
- Receiving and counting money in the cash drawer at the beginning of each shift
- Receiving cash from customers and depositing it to their accounts
- Validating deposit slips by stamping
- Processing over-the-counter cash withdrawals for customers
- Ordering bank debit or credit cards for customers
- Informing clients about the bank’s products and services
- Ensuring compliance to banking policies and relevant laws and regulations
- Completing special customer requests such as closing bank accounts
- Exchanging foreign currencies
- Balancing or settling the cash drawer at the end of the shift.
2. Work Environment
Although many banks operate between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, bank tellers often leave later than 5 o’clock as they have to balance the day’s transactions.
While at work, tellers spend their time at designated counters serving customers. The job may involve a lot of sitting.
According to PayScale, bank tellers earn between $17,825 and $29,485 annually.
4. Entry Requirements
You need an associate degree in banking, business, economics, accounting, mathematics or finance to enhance your chances of getting hired as a bank teller. Of these disciplines, it is advisable to pursue banking, as it is tailored for the banking industry. You will learn about basic bank operations, including cash processing, customer service, and accounting.
Some of the colleges offering banking programs include:
- New England College of Business, Massachusetts
- Three Rivers Community College, Connecticut
- Northwest Arkansas Community College, Arkansas.
Alternatively, you can get started by pursuing the ABA Bank Teller Certificate program with the American Bankers Association.
5. Career Development
Once you are hired, you will undergo extensive on-the-job training to gain familiarity with the bank’s policies and banking systems.
As you gain more experience, secure membership in the ABA to demonstrate your professionalism. You should also strive to pursue a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance to heighten your career advancement prospects.
6. Important Qualities
To be a competent bank teller, you need:
- A high level of accuracy and a keen attention to details
- Excellent math skills
- Strong customer service skills
- Strong communication skills
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Strong computer skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Teamwork skills
- Honesty and integrity
- An understanding of banking laws and regulations.
7. Job Opportunities
Besides commercial banks, tellers can also find jobs in:
- Microfinance institutions
- State banks
- Federal and state reserve banks
- Credit unions
As an experienced teller, you can advance to become a teller supervisor. With advanced banking qualifications, you can move to middle-level management positions such as corporate bank account manager, where you will be in charge of handling the banking needs of corporate customers.
Finally, the employment of bank tellers will experience little growth through the coming years, since many banks are actively adopting online banking systems. However, as banks expand into new markets and practicing tellers move into other professions offering better compensation, there should be a good number of job opportunities.
So, if you desire to work in the banking industry, then you can start out as a bank teller.