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Bank Teller

Job Outlook: -12% (Decline)

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What Tellers Do About this section

Tellers
Tellers verify a customer’s identity and financial information before processing a transaction.

Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank. These transactions include cashing checks, depositing money, and collecting loan payments.

Duties

Tellers typically do the following:

  • Count the cash in their drawer at the start of their shift
  • Accept checks, cash, and other forms of payment from customers
  • Answer questions from customers about their accounts
  • Prepare specialized types of funds, such as traveler’s checks, savings bonds, and money orders
  • Exchange dollars for foreign currency
  • Order bank cards and checks for customers
  • Record all transactions electronically throughout their shift
  • Count the cash in their drawer at the end of their shift and make sure the amounts balance

Tellers are responsible for the safe and accurate handling of the money they process. When cashing a check, they must verify the customer’s identity and make sure that the account has enough money to cover the transaction. When counting cash, tellers must be careful not to make errors. If a customer is interested in financial products or services, such as certificates of deposits (CDs) and loans, tellers explain the products and services offered by the bank and refer the customer to the appropriate personnel.

In most banks, tellers record account changes using computers that give them easy access to the customer’s financial information. Tellers also can use this information when recommending a new product or service.

Head tellers manage teller operations. Besides doing the same tasks as those done by other tellers, they perform some managerial duties, such as setting work schedules or helping less experienced tellers. Because of their experience, head tellers may deal with difficult customer problems, such as errors in customer accounts. Head tellers also go to the vault (where larger amounts of money are kept) and ensure that other tellers have enough cash to cover their shift.

Work Environment About this section

Tellers
Most tellers work in bank branches.

Tellers held about 449,000 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of tellers were as follows:

Credit intermediation and related activities 97%
Management of companies and enterprises 1

The depository credit intermediation industry includes commercial bank branches, where tellers are primarily employed.

Work Schedules

Most tellers work full time.

How to Become a Teller About this section

Tellers
Tellers must be friendly, helpful, and patient when interacting with bank customers.

Most tellers have a high school diploma and receive about 1 month of on-the-job training. Some banks do background checks before hiring a new teller.

Education

Tellers usually need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some tellers may take some college courses, but a degree is rarely required for a job applicant to be hired.

Training

New tellers usually receive brief on-the-job training, typically lasting about 1 month. Normally, a head teller or another experienced teller trains them. During this training, tellers learn how to balance cash drawers and verify signatures. They also learn the computer software that their bank uses and the financial products and services the bank offers.

Advancement

Experienced tellers can advance within their bank. They can become head tellers or move to other supervisory positions. Some tellers can advance to other occupations, such as loan officer. They can also move to sales positions.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Tellers spend their day interacting with bank customers. They must be friendly, helpful, and patient. They must be able to understand customer needs and explain service options to their customers.

Detail oriented. Tellers must be sure not to make errors when dealing with customers’ money.

Math skills. Because they count and handle large amounts of money, tellers must be good at arithmetic.

Pay About this section

Tellers

Median annual wages, May 2019

Total, all occupations

$39,810

Financial clerks

$38,510

Tellers

$31,230

 

The median annual wage for tellers was $31,230 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,330, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $40,230.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for tellers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises $32,280
Credit intermediation and related activities 31,190

Most tellers work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Tellers

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Total, all occupations

4%

Financial clerks

-6%

Tellers

-15%

 

Employment of tellers is projected to decline 15 percent from 2019 to 2029.

Historically, job growth for tellers was driven by the expansion of bank branches, where most tellers work. However, the number of bank branches has been in decline due to technological change. The rise of online and mobile banking allows customers to handle many transactions traditionally performed by tellers, such as depositing checks. As more people use these tools, fewer bank customers will visit the teller window. This will result in decreased demand for tellers.

In addition, automation is expected to lead to fewer tellers per bank branch. Some banks are developing video kiosks that allow customers to interact with tellers through webcams at ATMs. This will allow tellers to service a greater number of customers from one location, reducing the number of tellers needed for each bank.

“Enhanced ATMs” are another emerging form of automation technology. These machines are expected to perform an increasing range of customer service and clerical tasks currently done by tellers, such as issuing debit cards or detecting counterfeit currency. This will allow for far greater productivity for tellers, as they will be left with only the most complex customer service tasks. This also will result in fewer tellers employed per bank branch.

Job Prospects

Despite the projected employment decline, tellers will still find some job openings due to the need to replace workers who leave this large occupation.

Employment projections data for tellers, 2019-29
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Tellers

43-3071 449,000 380,400 -15 -68,600 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For general information about the banking industry, visit

American Bankers Association

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Tellers

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