Tellers


Quick Facts: Tellers
2017 Median Pay $28,110 per year 
$13.52 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Short-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2016 502,700
Job Outlook, 2016-26 -8% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2016-26 -41,800

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Tellers Career, Salary, and Education Information

What Tellers Do

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

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Tellers

Duties of tellers

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 for Tellers

Tellers held about 502,700 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of tellers were as follows:

Credit intermediation and related activities: 98%

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, and about 3 in 10 worked part time in 2016.


How to Become a Teller

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.


salaries for Tellers

The median annual wage for tellers was $28,110 in May 2017. 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 $21,360, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $38,330.

 

In May 2017, the median annual wages for tellers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises: $29,350

Credit intermediation and related activities: $28,100

Most tellers work full time, and about 3 in 10 worked part time in 2016.


Job Outlook for Tellers

Employment of tellers is projected to decline 8 percent from 2016 to 2026.

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, 2016-26

Employment, 2016: 502,700

Projected Employment, 2026: 460,900

Change, 2016-2026: -8%, -41,800


Careers Related to Tellers

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.

Cashiers

Cashiers process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

Information Clerks

Information clerks perform routine clerical duties such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.

Loan Officers

Loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses.

Receptionists

Receptionists perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, receiving visitors, and providing general information about their organization to the public and customers.

OccupationENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION2017 MEDIAN PAY
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing ClerksSome college, no degree$39,240
CashiersNo formal educational credential$21,030
Customer Service RepresentativesHigh school diploma or equivalent$32,890
Information Clerks$33,680
Loan OfficersBachelor's degree$64,660
ReceptionistsHigh school diploma or equivalent$28,390

Citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Tellers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/tellers.htm