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Bank Teller Career Guide

What is a bank teller?

Bank tellers are the friendly faces you see at the front of a bank who help you with all your money matters. They help people make deposits into their accounts, withdraw cash, cash checks, and more. They’re like the gatekeepers of the bank’s cash flow, making sure all the money stuff is handled right, keeping everything secure and flowing properly.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Handling money: Tellers manage all sorts of money transactions, like cashing checks and processing deposits and withdrawals.
  • Balancing books: They make sure their cash drawer adds up at the end of the day and sort out any mix-ups.
  • Selling stuff: Tellers also help sell things like traveler’s checks or savings bonds.
  • Helping customers: They answer questions about the bank’s services and point customers to the right person for more complex issues. They’re really good at spotting opportunities to help the bank grow through excellent service.

Work environment

Bank tellers usually work in the comfy and clean environment of bank branches. They work closely with other bank staff, such as personal bankers and managers. It’s a team effort, and everyone helps each other out.

Typical work hours

Tellers work the hours that banks are open, which usually includes weekdays and sometimes Saturdays. Full-timers work about 40 hours a week, and part-timers work less. They sometimes start early or stay a bit late to get everything ready for the day or wrap things up.

How to become a bank teller

Want to be a bank teller? Here’s how you can get started and work your way into this important job.

Step 1: Finish high school

First things first, you need a high school diploma or a GED. While you’re at school, focus on classes that boost your math and people skills since you’ll be using those daily as a teller.

Step 2: Work with people

Get some experience where you can talk and work with different people. Jobs in stores, cafes, or any place with customer service can teach you a lot about how to handle money and meet customer needs.

Step 3: Know your banking stuff

Learn about different banking products like accounts, loans, and credit cards. You can check out websites, read books, or even attend some workshops to get savvy about all things banking.

Step 4: Build your skills

You’ll need to be good at paying attention to details because messing up money counts can be a big deal. Improve your organizing, problem-solving, and computer skills too. There are lots of online courses that can help you get ready, like:

Step 5: Make a killer resume

Put together a sharp resume and cover letter that show off your schooling, any work experience, and what makes you great at customer service. Make sure to highlight how good you are with people and numbers.

Step 6: Get the job

Look for job openings for tellers and send out your resume. Practice answering interview questions so you can impress potential bosses with your knowledge and skills.

Step 7: Keep getting better

Once you land the job, don’t stop learning. Some banks might even help you get more training or certifications to be even better at your job and maybe get promoted.

How much do bank tellers make?

The salary of a bank teller is influenced by several factors, including their level of experience, location, and size and profitability of the bank. Some banks also offer bonuses based on the overall performance of the branch, which can augment a teller’s earnings.

Highest paying industries

  • Financial Investments: $40,250
  • Local Government: $39,970
  • Computer Systems Design: $39,610
  • Computer Infrastructure: $38,180
  • Colleges: $37,810

Highest paying states

  • Massachusetts: $44,505
  • Rhode Island: $43,452
  • New Hampshire: $42,919
  • Maine: $42,789
  • New Jersey: $42,695

Browse bank teller salary data by market

Types of bank tellers

  • Retail bank teller: These tellers work right where you see them in the bank branches. They help regular people like you and me with everyday banking—like depositing cash, withdrawing money, cashing checks, and answering all sorts of questions about the bank’s services.
  • Commercial bank teller: Commercial bank tellers deal with businesses instead of just people. They handle big money transactions like helping companies with their payroll deposits or assisting with business loans. 
  • Drive-through bank teller: Ever gone to a bank without leaving your car? That’s where drive-through tellers come in. They do all the usual teller tasks through a window.
  • Vault teller: Vault tellers have a super important job managing the bank’s main stash of money. They keep track of all the cash going in and out of the bank’s vault and supply cash to other tellers.
  • Head teller: Head tellers are the bosses of the teller world. They make sure everything runs smoothly, managing other tellers, organizing schedules, training new staff, and stepping in to solve tougher problems. 

Top skills for bank tellers

  • Good with numbers: Bank tellers handle money all day, so it’s super important they’re great at math. Being strong in math helps keep everything accurate and builds trust with customers.
  • Attention to detail: Paying close attention to the little things is a must for tellers. A small mistake can lead to big problems in banking, so being careful and precise helps keep everything running smoothly and keeps customers happy.
  • Customer service champs: Tellers are the face of the bank, so they need to be good at talking to people. This means being friendly, patient, and helpful. 
  • Know the rules: They should understand how banking works, like how to process different transactions and follow security rules to protect customers’ information. Staying up-to-date with the latest banking procedures and technologies is also important, so they can offer the best and safest service possible.

Bank teller career path

Starting out as a teller

Most bank tellers begin at the entry-level, learning the ropes by handling everyday cash transactions and getting to know the ins and outs of banking procedures and customer service. This foundational role is a great way to dive into the world of banking.

Moving up to head teller or supervisor

After gaining some experience and proving their skills, tellers can move up to become a head teller or teller supervisor. In these positions, they manage other tellers, handle bigger and more complex transactions, and take care of the cash drawers.

Stepping into customer service

With solid experience and a good understanding of bank products, former tellers often advance to customer service roles, like customer service or personal banking representative. These jobs involve more interaction with customers, offering advice on banking services, and helping with things like loan applications.

Becoming a branch manager

Those who continue to excel might become branch managers or assistant branch managers, where they run a whole bank branch. This includes overseeing all staff, ensuring excellent customer service, and hitting sales targets.

Reaching the top

The most ambitious professionals might aim for high-level roles like regional manager or director of retail banking. These positions involve overseeing multiple branches and are vital to achieving broad organizational goals.

  • Changing roles due to technology: As more people use online banking and mobile apps for everyday transactions, the job of a teller is changing. They are becoming more like tech helpers and advisors. 
  • Focus on security: With more money moving digitally, there’s a bigger focus on keeping everyone’s financial info safe. Bank tellers are important in spotting any weird or suspicious transactions that could be fraud.

Employment projections

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of bank teller jobs is expected to go down by 12% through 2031. This is mainly because machines and technology are taking over some of the traditional teller tasks. However, those who are great at customer service and can handle technology well are still going to be in demand, especially in places like community banks and smaller branches where a personal touch is still important.

Bank teller career tips

Learn the basics

Knowing all about banking procedures, from handling cash to processing checks, is super important. This ensures you can help customers accurately and keep everything running smoothly.

Customer service is key

Being a bank teller is all about helping people. Make sure to greet customers warmly, help them efficiently, and deal with any issues they might have professionally. Great customer service makes customers happy and loyal.

Be precise

When you’re dealing with money, even a small mistake can be a big deal. Work on being super careful and accurate with every transaction to avoid problems.

Know your products

It’s really helpful to understand all the different things your bank offers, like savings accounts, checking accounts, and loans. This way, you can help customers figure out what they need and make the best choices.

Keep learning

Banking keeps changing, especially with new technology coming in all the time. Stay sharp by:

  • Attending training programs your bank offers
  • Reading up on the latest in banking tech and trends
  • Maybe even getting a certification, like the Certified Teller from the American Bankers Association

Connect with others

Building a network can help you learn from others and find new opportunities. You might join groups like the American Bankers Association or local finance meetups to meet people in the industry.

Get tech-savvy

As banks offer more online services, being good with digital tools is a must. This might mean helping customers use online banking or knowing about cybersecurity to keep everyone’s money safe.

Stay confidential and ethical

Bank tellers handle a lot of private information, so it’s crucial to keep things confidential and stick to high ethical standards. This builds trust and keeps everything legal.

Where the bank teller jobs are

Top companies

  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Wells Fargo
  • Bank of America
  • Citigroup
  • U.S. Bancorp

Top states

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Illinois

Top job sites

  • zengig
  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • Monster
  • CareerBuilder


What skills are necessary for a successful bank teller?

Critical skills include excellent customer service skills and strong numerical skills. They must also have strong attention to detail to avoid mistakes and ensure compliance with banking policies and regulations. They should have good communication and problem-solving skills as well.

What is the level of physical activity required in the bank teller role?

A bank teller role is not physically demanding, as it is primarily a desk job. However, it requires prolonged sitting periods and some manual dexterity to handle cash, cheques, and banking documents. It’s also important to note that they may spend a lot of time on computers, which can be physically taxing regarding eye strain.

What are some of the common challenges that bank tellers face?

Bank tellers often deal with high-pressure situations due to the volume of transactions and the necessity for precision and speed. They also deal with challenging customer service situations, as customers may become frustrated or upset about banking issues. Lastly, banking policy and regulation adherence can be complex and demanding, and any mistakes can lead to severe consequences.

What does a typical day look like for a bank teller?

A typical day for a bank teller involves processing various financial transactions like cash deposits, withdrawals, check cashing, and issuing money orders. They also interact with customers to answer queries, provide information about bank products and services, and assist with account issues. Part of the day may also be dedicated to administrative tasks such as record-keeping and reporting.

Do bank tellers need specific qualifications or education?

Most bank teller positions require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some banks may prefer candidates with a degree in finance, business, or a related field, but it is not usually required. Experience in customer service or cash handling can be advantageous.

What opportunities for advancement exist for bank tellers?

Bank tellers often have the opportunity to advance within the banking sector. With experience and further training or education, they can move into roles such as personal banker, loan officer, or branch manager. Some banks provide training programs to help tellers advance their careers.

How important are IT skills for a bank teller?

Bank tellers need basic IT skills because most of banking operations are computerized. They must be comfortable using banking software to manage accounts, process transactions, and generate reports. Additionally, knowledge of digital banking trends and security protocols can be advantageous, considering the rise in online and mobile banking.

How can I prepare for a bank teller interview?

To prepare for a bank teller interview, research the financial institution and be familiar with its products and services. Be ready to discuss your relevant experience, especially in customer service and cash handling. Practice answering common interview questions related to your skills, problem-solving abilities, and handling challenging situations. Emphasize your attention to detail, accuracy, and commitment to excellent customer service.

Do bank tellers need to be bonded?

Yes, bank tellers are typically required to be bonded as a condition of employment. A fidelity bond is a type of insurance that protects the bank against potential losses due to employee dishonesty or theft. This bonding process usually involves a background check and credit report review to ensure that they are trustworthy and have a history of financial responsibility.

Is a bank teller job suitable for someone seeking part-time work?

Yes, many banks offer part-time positions for bank tellers, making it a suitable option for individuals seeking flexible work schedules. Part-time tellers may work 20 to 30 hours per week and are typically responsible for the same duties as full-time tellers. This can be attractive for students, parents, or individuals with other commitments.