Bank Teller Job Description
What is a Bank Teller and what do they do?
Bank teller is an entry-level position within a bank that involves dealing heavily with customers and assisting them in various transactions. This job carries responsibilities that require mathematical skills, customer service skills, basic computer skills, and strong attention to detail.
Bank tellers have several responsibilities, first and foremost being assisting customers. It may not always mean helping them directly. Instead, they often help customers make various simple transactions and can help them with other situations, usually by giving them information and telling them what information they'll need, before referring them to another, a more qualified position that can handle the customer's needs.
Some of their responsibilities include helping customers:
- Cash checks
- Cancel checks
- Send wire transfers
- Make loan payments
- Request loans,
They also record these transactions and keep track of the bank's money while following specific bank procedures for organization and security.
Tellers are an entry-level position, and as such, they do not require very much experience or qualifications. The only thing a teller needs to have is a high school diploma and usually some experience, specifically in jobs handling cash. Customer service jobs are also valuable to candidates applying to this position.
This position also gives way to many opportunities for promotion. More senior roles that are available to tellers given they can show diligence and competence include head teller, personal banker, loan officer, and sometimes bank manager.
Despite these opportunities, being promoted to these positions requires greater qualifications such as a bachelor's degree in finance, business, or related fields.
Bank tellers typically work around 40 hours per week, and the median teller makes just under $16 per hour. However, in many large banks, pay is set to increase in the coming years. While this rising pay is promising, it seems to coincide with a decline in the number of bank teller jobs available amidst the automation of teller roles at most banks.
What is a bank teller?
Bank teller is an entry-level position offered at banks. They are the face of the bank and are often the first person a customer sees when they walk into the branch. A teller is responsible for managing customer relations and assisting customers with their banking experience in any bank.
Bank tellers deal with many customers throughout the day. Their job contains many different responsibilities, most of which are related to fulfilling customer needs. They greet customers as they come to the bank and assist them with any questions or any processes they may need to go through.
They may assist customers with savings account transactions, wire transfers, managing bonds, processing loan payments and applications, and many other duties. Often a teller is there to greet customers, understand what services they require, and help simple process transactions. However, for more complicated situations, they may refer customers to other bank employees.
Bank tellers are also expected to advertise the bank's various products and services. In this sense, they are responsible for being like a salesperson and should be knowledgeable about the different offerings of the bank they work at.
A large part of the job is understanding what customers need and recommending various products or services offered by the bank, and describing the details and benefits of these products and services.
Bank tellers have relatively regular working hours, averaging around 40 hours per week, but the workload may also vary depending on the position.
Bank tellers make decent money, with the median pay in 2020 being just under $16 per hour. Bank of America has raised its minimum wage to $20 per hour and plans to bring that to $25 per hour by 2025. Some other larger bank chains are following suit.
While greater pay may be forecasted for tellers, this may also result in fewer available jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the number of tellers in the country will fall by 17% in the next decade.
How to Become a Bank Teller?
There are very few requirements for becoming a bank teller. Candidates must have completed high school education and earned their diplomas. Very few teller positions require the applicant to have a bachelor's degree.
If the candidate does have a bachelor's degree, especially within accounting, finance, or a related field, they are likely to be able to climb the ranks at the bank very quickly and will not stay teller for long.
Many employers expect to see some experience in positions with similar duties. Many teller positions require some experience handling cash. As the position consists of many customer service work, employers may look for prior customer service experience and sales jobs.
While little job experience is required, it may help applicants' chances of being hired to have some job experience, especially within sales and customer service.
While there aren't any certification requirements for this position, the American Bankers Association offers an ABA Bank Teller certification that consists of 35 courses and takes about 13 hours to complete. ABA also offers some other banking-related certifications and training courses.
Beyond education requirements and job experience, employers prefer many skills in a candidate for this role. This includes customer service skills, including being friendly, being eager to assist customers, and having good communication skills so they can calmly and clearly explain what options customers have and what the bank can do.
In addition, mathematical skills are helpful in this position because they must be able to record transactions and do some accounting work for the bank. They should also have some basic computer skills. Finally, they should have attention to detail so that they can carefully make and record transactions without mistakes, fill out other paperwork, and take into consideration security concerns.
While some experience is preferred, most of the knowledge used in the job is learned through on-the-job training. For about a month, the bank will train bank tellers and teach them how to perform certain tasks, bank-specific procedures, and details on various bank products and services they should be familiar with.
What do bank tellers do?
Bank tellers have a number of different responsibilities dealing with customers, maintaining security for the bank, and keeping track of banking transactions. These responsibilities require attention to detail, mathematical skills, basic computer skills, and friendly customer skills.
In many cases, tellers act as greeters and may receive help from a number of other more qualified positions within the bank that directly assist customers with more of the bank's services.
Tellers usually assist customers in navigating many of these issues and can deliver some help, and will help direct them to other employees that can deliver further expertise.
They assist customers with various transactions or other problems such as exchanging dollars for foreign currencies or vice versa. They also help customers manage their bank loans, both helping customers receive loans and make loan payments, although more experienced bank employees do the actual issuance of loans.
Bank tellers help customers open and close bank accounts, sign up for debit and credit cards, and assist customers with their safe deposit boxes. They also help with cashing traveler's checks, redeeming bonds, wire transfers, and other simple transactions. However, bank tellers may also need to be wary of counterfeit currency and fraud.
Beyond customer service, tellers are expected to help record transactions and follow a number of banking procedures and regulations for security measures. This includes creating a number of reports, keeping track of banking transactions, counting money in the ATM and the bank, and handling discrepancies.
The day of a bank teller is not particularly exciting, but they are the face of the bank as they deal with most customers and assist them in many different transactions throughout the day. Below is a description of what one of those days may look like:
7:30 AM - Arrive at the bank. At this time, a bank teller should count the money in the drawer and make sure the transactions are organized, and there are no discrepancies. In addition, they should make sure that all securities and bank procedures are in place and do any accounting before preparing for customers to begin coming.
8:00 AM - The bank opens. A father and some come in hoping to open an account. The teller gives the father and son information about the different types of accounts offered at the bank and directs them to an account clerk that can help them fill out the correct information and officially open an account.
8:30 AM - The second customer comes in, hoping to make a large wire transfer. The teller helps them complete this transaction. After that, customers come in one after another, all requesting various services.
9:00 AM - One customer would like to take out a loan at the bank. First, a teller should help give the customer some information about standard interest rates and loan terms, advising that it depends on credit and a number of factors. Next, the teller directs the customer to a loan officer that can help them fill out an application that will be reviewed further before issuing a loan.
10:00 AM - Another customer comes in and would like to cash a check. Help them cash the check and show them how they can now do this through the bank's mobile app and not need to come to the bank.
11:00 AM - A customer comes in and wants to withdraw more money than they can withdraw from the atm. Help them withdraw the money and ask them if they'd like any specific denomination of bills.
12:00 PM - Take a lunch break and rest your bones.
12:30 PM - A customer comes in wishing to deposit some money. Direct them over to the ATM and offer to help if they need it.
1:30 PM - A customer comes in hoping to re-amortize their loan. Tell them that there is a minimum payment they must be able to make to deduct this from their principal and direct them over to a loan officer to assist them.
WSO is a leading provider of financial modeling courses for finance professionals. To help you advance your career, check out the additional resources below: