Bank Teller Job Description, Salary, and Skills

Woman writing check at bank counter
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Do you want to work as a bank teller? Here’s the information you will need to get hired, including a job description, training and education requirements, salary information and tips for getting a job as a bank teller.

Bank Teller Job Description and Salary Information

Bank Tellers are typically the first point of interaction for customers as they enter the bank.  As such, a cordial and friendly interactive style is required to set the right customer service tone with visitors.

Tellers verify the identity of customers and process requests for deposits to and withdrawals from patron accounts.

They generate certified checks and money orders according to the specifications of customers.   Some tellers exchange dollars for other currencies. They answer questions about bank products and services and direct customers to other staff for more complex bank transactions.

Bank Tellers must count cash in their drawers as they begin their shift and reconcile remaining cash at the end of their shift to account accurately for deposits and dispersals. 

Most tellers work in the branches of community and commercial banks.  Some tellers work for credit unions.

Education and Training

The minimum requirement for tellers is a high school degree.  However, tellers with an associate's or bachelor's degree can advance more readily to assistant manager, personal banking, loan officer and bank manager jobs.

 Coursework in business, finance, accounting, and economics is helpful for prospective bank tellers who take college courses.  Most training for tellers is done on the job by managers and more experienced tellers.

Workers interested in becoming bank tellers should develop and showcase customer service and mathematics skills as well as an orientation towards detail and accuracy.

Bank Teller Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bank tellers earned an average of $26,419 in 2015.  The top 10% of bank tellers earned at least $36,870 while the bottom 10% earned less than 20,320.

How to Find a Bank Teller Job

A good way to find teller jobs is to visit local banks during times when they aren't busy and ask to speak with the manager. Start with a bank where you or your family has an account. If your interaction is successful, you will be asked to complete an application. Follow through with the application process right away. Often this will involve completing an online application.

Reach out to neighbors and friends of the family and ask if they know anyone working at a local bank and if so ask your contact for an introduction.

Search Google using the name of the town where you want to work and "bank" or "banks" - for example, "Huntington, NY banks." Check the bank's website to see if you can apply online for a teller position.

Check job listings. You will find advertised teller vacancies in the local newspaper classifieds, which are usually available online, and on job search engine sites like Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com.

What to Wear to a Banking Job Interview

Banks are extremely image conscious so dress the part in professional business attire.

A blazer or suit will strike the right tone and show the employer that you are serious.

Greet managers with a firm handshake and a warm smile. Be ready to share your strong interest in banking. Detail some of your strengths which meet the job requirements.

Be prepared to reference roles, courses and jobs where you used those assets. For example, you might say - "I have always liked math and received good grades in the subject. I was treasurer for the entertainment club and accurately maintained the financial records of the club."

Practice your presentation with a friend or family member. Review these tips for how to ace an interview.

Examples of Banking Skills

Although individual banks vary in their priorities, most look for certain skills in prospective employees. These are the skills you must have (or develop) if you wish to get a job as a bank teller, and they are also the skills you should emphasize in both your application materials and your interview.

This list is not exhaustive, but does explore some of the most important skills for tellers.

Basic Accounting
Bank tellers handle money and therefore must be able to keep track of numbers. Although most transactions are guided and tracked by computers, tellers still need to know what the figures should be so that they can recognize and respond to a problem if one occurs. Review this list of accounting skills that will help you get hired.

Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is a big part of a bank teller’s job, from handling money properly to keeping accurate records of transactions to following proper security protocols. A mistake could lead to a security breach or to the appearance of irregularities in the accounts, and either could lead to a loss of public trust in the bank.

Knowledge of Financial Software
Bank tellers must be able to use specialized financial software. Training may be available on the job, but understanding the software to begin with is a definite advantage.

Written and Verbal Communication
Bank tellers handle money, but they also handle people. Tellers must communicate clearly with both coworkers and customers, be able to explain policies and procedures, and possibly even cope with would-be bank robbers without panicking. Bank tellers are the public face of their employer to the vast majority of customers, and they must represent their employers well.

Banking Skills List

A - G

  • Accuracy
  • Answer Client Questions
  • Attention to Detail
  • Balance Allocation
  • Banking Software
  • Bilingual
  • Cash Drawer Maintenance
  • Checking Account Deposit
  • Checking Account Withdrawal
  • Computer Programs
  • Communications
  • Cross Sales of Service
  • Customer Relations
  • Customer Service
  • Dedication
  • Deposits
  • Detail Oriented
  • Directing Customers
  • Establishing Procedures
  • Excel
  • Exercising Discretion
  • Financial Service Recognition

 H - M

  • High Level of Accuracy
  • Judgment Calls
  • Maintenance
  • Maintenance of Petty Cash
  • Major Attention to Detail
  • Making Change
  • Math
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word
  • Money Handling
  • Monetary

 N - S

  • Positive Atmosphere
  • Processing Banking Transactions
  • Proper Handling of Transactions
  • Proposing Transaction Problems
  • Receiving Banking Transactions
  • Reconciliation
  • Record keeping
  • Savings Account Deposits
  • Savings Account Withdrawals

 T - Z

  • Transaction Inquiries
  • Trial Balancing
  • Verbal Communication
  • Verifications
  • Verifying Transactions
  • Withdrawals
  • Written Communication

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