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Bank Teller


Description

A teller is the first employee most people associate with a bank. Tellers process deposits, withdrawals, transfers, and bill payments. They also promote their financial institution's products and services and sell money orders, certified checks, traveler's checks and foreign currencies, working according to established bank practices.

When customers enter a bank to deposit or withdraw money, tellers enter deposit information on computer terminals, which automatically confirm transactions and make the necessary entries in the customer's account record. They usually ask customers for identification, especially when ensuring the authenticity of checks to be cashed. Many tellers now sell savings bonds and help customers pay phone, electical and credit card bills. These increased services almost make tellers customer service representatives for certain tellers are trained to process loans or investments. Furthermore, when they are counting out money for a client, they need to be accurate and make sure they do not make mistakes. Being short of cash at the end of a work day could land a teller in trouble and depending on company policy, some may have to pay back the cash they are short. Therefore, if debits and credits do not balance, tellers must search through the day's transactions to find their mistakes, instead of face the consequences. This searching may require some longer working hours.

In most banks, the head teller, or the teller manager is responsible for the teller line. They set the work schedules for all tellers, ensure that company procedures are adhered to and sometimes act as a mentor to less experienced tellers. Head tellers may also perform the typical duties of a teller but they usually deal with the more difficult customer problems. They have the keys to access the vault, count the cash balance in the vault and oversee larger cash transactions.

With the explosion of (automatic teller machines) ATMs or ABMs (automatic bank machines) in recent years, it seems that many tellers are being replaced with these machines. Nevertheless, there is still a great demand for good, old-fashioned human service when you want to cash a check, make a deposit or use a teller-specific service.
 
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  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
n/a
 
Median Salary:
$20,404
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
n/a

  Interests and Skills  
Tellers are generally friendly and approachable as they spend their days communicating with customers and helping them with their banking problems. They must be patient, honest and work with high ethical standards as they are dealing with confidential financial material. They must have eagle eyes, paying the strictest attention to detail. For example, when cashing a check, a teller must verify important information and check the legality of it. Also, when counting cash, they must be very careful not to make any errors. Finally, tellers must be prepared to actively market the bank's financial services.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Ensure there is the correct amount of cash for the day's transactions
  • Ensure forms and checks are filled in correctly
  • Check customers' identification
  • Handle savings accounts, personal checking accounts and current accounts
  • Count and exchange money
  • Balance daily banking records
  • Supply services such as account balances, automatic payments and checkbook updates
  • Respond to customer questions and requests for information
  • Promote and sell the institution's products and services at every possible opportunity
  • Sell foreign currency, traveler's checks and drafts
  • Process term deposits, retirement savings plan contributions, automated teller transactions, night deposits and mail deposits
  • May help to train new tellers
  • Bank tellers usually work in shifts during regular work hours. However, branches that are open during the evenings and on Saturdays require tellers to work those hours. They spend the majority of their day on their feet and often completing tedious tasks, like stamping checks and using the computer. Some days can be hectic and stressful, while other times are slower. There are also peak hours in each day, such as lunchtime.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Tellers are employed by chartered banks, financial institutions, credit unions and trust companies.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Since tellers perform so many different tasks, there are many jobs a teller can do. With some experience, tellers can move into sales positions or become head tellers in their department. Some banks provide funds to help their employees further their education on a part-time basis, therefore, in due time, they could become marketing professionals, financial advisors or even accountants. Some tellers get transferred from one branch to another to broaden their background knowledge and advance to more senior positions. Also, tellers can work in any customer service related position.
 

  Educational Paths  
The absolute minimum requirement for tellers is a high school diploma or related experience in banking, retail sales or positions with a high degree of customer contact. Those with college diplomas or university degrees in business, banking or economics will have better chances of getting a job. Once hired, tellers must take place in a three- to six-month on-the-job and in-class training period. Trainees must meet specific standards of performance to become permanent employees.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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