What Does a Bank Teller Do? (Plus How To Become One)
Updated 22 June 2023
Banks provide an essential service by storing and protecting money for patrons and assisting them in accessing their money and processing transactions. Pursuing a career in banking may provide you with a variety of opportunities. Seeking a position as a bank teller may provide you with beneficial entry-level experience, and you may wonder, "what does a bank teller do?' In this article, we define what a bank teller does, outline the steps for how to become a bank teller, list important skills to develop, discuss the average salary for bank tellers and explain their typical work environment.
What does a bank teller do?
A bank teller, or a bank clerk, is a finance and customer service professional who assists bank patrons in completing a variety of account transactions. These professionals, also known simply as tellers, greet customers, answer questions, help customers manage accounts and process transactions. To understand more about what does a bank teller do, these are some of their duties:
Serving as the first point of contact for the bank, including greeting customers in a friendly and professional manner
Performing administrative duties, such as answering phones, managing emails, keeping a clean lobby and workspace and organising files
Counting their cash drawer at the beginning of their shift
Counting their cash drawer at the end of their shift and reconciling the balance
Processing customer payments, withdrawals, transfers and other transactions
Exchanging foreign currency according to current and consistently updating international rates
Providing customers information on bank services and products, including loans and interest rates, account types and credit options
Helping customers order products, such as checks, credit cards and debit cards
Electronically recording the transactions they perform during their shifts
Verifying the identity of customers to help protect customers
Following regulations and procedures to prevent fraud and errors
Managing operations of other tellers
How to become a bank teller
Here are the steps to follow if you want to become a bank teller:
1. Complete your education
Becoming a bank teller may be possible with a diploma, especially as many positions provide on-the-job training. Some organisations may prefer candidates who have a degree. Consider earning an undergraduate degree related to finance or mathematics. Strive to maintain good credits in English and mathematics.
2. Gain relevant experience
Aim to gain relevant experience to help you apply for jobs. Look for opportunities to complete internships or other training programmes, particularly those related to the finance industries. Similarly, strive to develop your customer service skills and your ability to work well with money.
3. Apply for jobs
Research job openings, and prepare an updated resume and cover letter. As you research jobs, it's important to be flexible about the available openings. A willingness to take on different tasks may provide you with more opportunities.
4. Complete interviews
As you seek bank teller positions, you may complete a series of interviews. These may be in-person or virtual interviews. It's important to prepare for these interviews properly. Reviewing common interview questions may help you develop answers that demonstrate your expertise and highlight how an organisation could benefit from hiring you rather than another candidate.
5. Consider a promotion
Working as a bank teller may provide you with opportunities to advance your career. For example, you may be able to develop your leadership skills and become a bank teller. Similarly, you may consider pursuing another qualification or additional development to seek other banking professions.
Bank teller skills
Bank tellers need a variety of hard and soft skills to work effectively with customers, coworkers and supervisors. Hard skills include the specific technical abilities required to perform the duties of a bank teller. Conversely, soft skills are broad skills related to your personal qualities, habits and work ethic. It's possible to develop most of these skills through education, on-the-job training and job experience.
To be a successful bank teller job candidate, it's important to acquire the following skills:
Math skills include the ability to perform basic mathematic functions and understand financial principles. It's important for bank tellers to have good math skills as they work with money. These skills help them count cash and coins, add and subtract numbers and ensure they determine correct balances.
Customer service skills encompass the skills required to support customers with their needs. A bank teller is often the first person a customer sees inside a bank, so it's important that they're friendly, well-informed and willing to answer customer questions. Excellent customer service can boost a bank's customer retention and sales.
Read more: Top 20 Customer Service Skills
Organisation skills enable bank tellers to create and maintain structure in the workplace. It's important they're able to create a clean, well-organised workspace to help keep large sums of money safe and secure. A neat workspace may also help a bank's professional reputation and make customers feel more comfortable.
Computer literacy relates to the ability to operate computers successfully and troubleshoot various technology concerns when necessary. This is an important skill because bank tellers frequently work on a computer system to handle customer transactions and complete other tasks. The cash drawer usually connects to a computer, and the bank teller uses a computer to run reports and log transactions.
Sales skills support bank tellers in promoting products or services to customers and convincing them to try them. For example, these skills may help them advertise bank products such as credit cards, savings accounts and loans. These are often essential parts of banking businesses, and corporate and local banks may prefer bank tellers with strong sales skills.
Attention to detail
Attention to detail refers to the ability to complete tasks without error and identify potential mistakes. It's essential for bank tellers to have excellent attention to detail to help ensure they complete transactions accurately and follow the required security protocols. This skill helps them avoid potential security breaches, errors in transactions and other concerns that may affect public trust in the bank.
Communication skills, which include both verbal and written communication, enable people to receive, process, share and record information properly. It's important for bank tellers to have good written communication skills, so they're able to maintain accurate records. Verbal communication skills are important for them to be able to explain concepts to customers and answer their questions. Similarly, good verbal communication skills help bank tellers alert coworkers if they have concerns about potential threats.
Read more: Teamwork Skills: Definitions and Examples
Integrity relates to being honest, reliable and trustworthy. It's essential for bank tellers to demonstrate integrity as they handle sensitive private information and help people manage their money. Customers often look for banks where they can trust the tellers to operate honestly and support them in their needs.
Interpersonal skills include the skills required to understand the feelings of others and build relationships with them. Strong interpersonal skills enable bank tellers to provide excellent customer service to their customers and help them build lasting relationships with them. This may help improve the organisation's reputation and maintain good retention rates. Similarly, good interpersonal skills may help create a positive work environment and facilitate good communication between bank tellers and their coworkers.
Ability to work under pressure
The ability to work under pressure relates to the ability to work in stressful situations, remain calm and respond appropriately. It's important for bank tellers to understand how to respond in emergency situations. Similarly, this skill may be helpful when assisting frustrated customers.
Bank teller salary
The national average salary for a bank teller is $2,158 per month. It's important to remember exact salaries may vary. For example, factors like experience and qualifications may affect the exact amount that you earn.
Bank teller work environment
Bank tellers usually work in commercial bank branches or credit union branches. Some work in large buildings, while others work in small banks. Bank tellers can expect to encounter these in their work environment:
Working at a desk facing the lobby or at drive-up windows where they interact with guests through microphones or other audio technology
Sitting or standing for long periods, depending on the set-up of their particular bank
Interacting with the public to assist current patrons or new customers
Sharing workspace with coworkers
Having shifts during standard business hours, often full-time schedules with occasional weekend hours
Having most public holidays off from work
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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