Tellers

Summary

tellers image
Tellers process transactions such as cashing checks, depositing money, and collecting loan payments.
Quick Facts: Tellers
2012 Median Pay $24,940 per year
$11.99 per hour
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, 2012 545,300
Job Outlook, 2012-22 1% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2012-22 5,600

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.

Work Environment

Most tellers work in bank branches. About 1 in 3 worked part time in 2012.

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.

Pay

The median annual wage for tellers was $24,940 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of tellers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. However, job prospects are expected to be excellent because many workers leave this occupation.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of tellers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about tellers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Tellers Do

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

Tellers
Most tellers work in bank branches.

Tellers held about 545,300 jobs in 2012. About 91 percent worked in the depository credit intermediation industry, which includes commercial bank branches.

Work Schedules

Although most tellers worked full time, about 1 in 3 worked part time in 2012.

How to Become a Teller

Tellers
A teller needs to have basic math skills.

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

Tellers

Median annual wages, May 2012

Total, all occupations

$34,750

Office and administrative support occupations

$31,510

Tellers

$24,940

 

The median annual wage for tellers was $24,940 in May 2012. 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 $19,630, and the top 10 percent earned more than $34,320.

Although most tellers worked full time, about 1 in 3 worked part time in 2012.

Job Outlook

Tellers

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Total, all occupations

11%

Office and administrative support occupations

7%

Tellers

1%

 

Employment of tellers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022.

Past job growth for tellers was driven by a rapid expansion of bank branches, where most tellers work. However, the growth of bank branches is expected to slow because of both changes to the industry and the abundance of banks in certain areas.

In addition, online and mobile banking allows customers to handle many transactions traditionally handled by tellers. As more people use online banking, fewer bank customers will visit the teller window. This will result in decreased demand for tellers. Some banks also are developing systems that allow customers to interact with tellers through webcams at ATMs. This technology will allow tellers to service a greater number of customers from one location, reducing the number of tellers needed for each bank.  

Job Prospects

Job prospects for tellers should be excellent because many workers leave this occupation.

Employment projections data for Tellers, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Tellers

43-3071 545,300 551,000 1 5,600 [XLS]

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of tellers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2012 MEDIAN PAY
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

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.

High school diploma or equivalent $35,170
Cashiers

Cashiers

Cashiers handle payments from customers purchasing goods and services.

Less than high school $18,970
Customer service representatives

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives handle customer complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

High school diploma or equivalent $30,580
Information clerks

Information Clerks

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

High school diploma or equivalent $30,650
Loan officers

Loan Officers

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

Bachelor’s degree $59,820
Receptionists

Receptionists

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

High school diploma or equivalent $25,990
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Tellers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/tellers.htm (visited November 26, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014