How to Become a Bank Teller in 5 Steps

Research what it takes to become a bank teller. Learn about the job duties, education requirements, and salary information, to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Accounting & Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

As a bank teller you will assist customers with their basic financial needs. The following table provides a basic overview for this career:

Education Required High school diploma or GED
Training Required Teller certificate program (recommended)
Key Responsibilities Verify transaction information, file financial documents
Certification Voluntary certification: Certified Bank Teller (CBT)
Job Growth (2012-22) 1%*
Average Salary (2014) $26,650*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is a Bank Teller?

A bank teller is an entry-level clerk who conducts routine cash transactions face-to-face with a bank's depositors and customers. The transactions you handle include deposits, withdrawals, loan payments and check cashing.

Your specific duties include verifying signatures, dates and numerical amounts on checks, as well as account solvency before processing withdrawals. Other duties generally include entering transaction information, filing checks and deposit slips, balancing cash deposits and sorting disbursements.

Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma

A high school diploma or GED is typically enough education for you to become a teller. O*Net OnLine reported in 2010 that around 83% of tellers had a diploma or the equivalent (www.onetonline.org). Math courses can develop your numeracy skills, which are relevant for tellers. Classes in accounting can also help you if your school offers them.

Step 2: Consider Formal Training

Completing a teller certificate program could potentially improve your job prospects. About 17% of tellers have at least some college education, according to O*Net. Program courses prepare for your duties by covering topics such as business math, banking fundamentals, money handling procedures and customer interaction.

Step 3: Obtain a Job

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that tellers would see an employment growth rate of only one percent between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). The BLS noted that factors for this limited growth include online and mobile banking, which limit the need for traditional tellers. The average annual salary for tellers was $26,650 in May 2014, according to the BLS.

Step 4: Consider Certification

Although certification is voluntary, by obtaining the Certified Bank Teller (CBT) credential from the American Bankers Association (ABA) you can demonstrate your competence to your current employer or future employers (www.aba.com). Consisting of 75 multiple-choice questions, the CBT exam tests your knowledge of banking fundamentals, teller duties and customer service. To be eligible you need six months of experience and a letter of recommendation from a senior manager.

Step 5: Advance Your Career

You could try to advance by rising through the ranks with your present employer or by pursuing higher positions with other banks. With enough experience you could become the head teller. Completing an in-house training program could open the way to a position as a loan processing clerk or bill and accounts collector. Finally, you could become a manager or supervisor of administrative support workers.

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