Starting Your Bank Teller Career

Contrary to popular belief, the ATM and Internet banking have not completely replaced the bank teller, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least a quarter of the staff at any bank are tellers with employment in this career expected to grow, and this article describes bank teller training and the bank teller's job description.

Bank Teller Training

Most bank tellers have received a high school diploma and some have business school training or even an undergraduate degree in business. A significant number of tellers work part-time which means this is a great job for a college student who wants to work in a bank, banking or finance after graduation. The nature of their work will also require that the bank teller will not have any felony convictions, nor have claimed bankruptcy.

As a new bank teller, you will receive on-the-job training, as well as an orientation to the bank and its policies. This usually means that the bank teller will attend one week of specialized training, either on-site or at a special training facility, and then experience several weeks as a teller in training.

The American Bankers' Association also offers a Bank Teller Certificate, a program of nine courses, including regulatory training and ethics. This qualification is not required by most entry-level positions at this time.

Job Description

Bank tellers assist clients with financial transactions such as deposits and withdrawals, monetary exchange services, and answering questions about the bank's products and services. Bank tellers use computers and banking software to keep track of their transactions. They will also deal with clients all day long, sometimes very difficult or impatient people, so experience in a customer service setting is often an asset.

Bank tellers should have good attention to detail, especially in regards to handling and counting cash, and they must be trustworthy. Occasionally, it is the experience and good eye of a bank teller that spies fraudulent transactions.

Bank tellers may also assist clients in learning how to use the ATM and may provide an orientation to basic banking services. If you speak a language other than English, consider this an asset when applying to a bank since many institutions would prefer to offer services to attract new clients or appeal to community groups to handle their business banking, and offering multilingual services is one of these attractors.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage of bank tellers nationwide was $11 an hour.

Opportunities to Advance

Most college students that pursue a position as a bank teller are probably looking for part-time work that will help pay for school and to make possible connections or receive a referral to an internship with the bank upon graduation. Working in a bank as a teller is probably good experience for a student who would like to assist clients with financial planning, to sell additional financial products such as mortgages, and to work as a loan officer.

If you are making a career as a bank teller, front line service staff without a college degree are usually limited to becoming shift supervisor or bank teller supervisor. These positions will have more responsibility and offer larger salaries, as well as full-time employment, but because there are so few positions, competition for these positions may be fierce.