Bank Teller Exam Information, Resources and Exam Preparation Tips

Those interested in becoming bank tellers can do so with a high school diploma. The certification exam that tellers take after gaining experience can earn them more prestige and an easier pathway toward a supervisory position. Read more about bank teller certification, including requirements, exam contents and career information.

Certified Bank Teller Exam Overview

The American Bankers Association offers the Certified Bank Teller exam through its website ( Candidates must have worked as a bank teller for at least six months and have completed the American Institute of Banking Bank Teller Certificate, which involves taking a series of courses either in person or online in a self-paced format. To qualify to take the exam, the bank teller must also include one professional reference highlighting experience, sign an ethics statement and complete an application. After getting certified, individuals must pay an annual fee and complete continuing education every three years to maintain their certification. Continuing education may be self-paced or led by an instructor.

Certificate Program Requirements

The American Bank Association Bank Teller Certificate requires the completion of nine courses in person or online. While all courses are available online, two of them are not available to take in person. Individuals learn about the banking industry, including ethics, relationship selling and regulatory compliance. Coursework also focuses on customer service, co-worker relationship, etiquette and client referrals.

Exam Outline

According to the American Bankers Association, the exam has a fee and primarily covers teller operations, sales and service, banking basics, ethics and specific business competencies.

Teller Operations

This topic makes up 65% of the exam. It covers the teller's role, responsibilities, handling cash, transactions, balancing, services and security.

Sales and Service

This topic makes up 10% of the exam. It covers effective referrals, customer service and relationship selling.

Banking Basics

This topic makes up 10% of the exam, as well. It covers the banking system today. There's an emphasis on privacy, security, deposits and equal treatment. Some regulations covered include the USA Patriot Act, the Bank Secrecy Act and other governmental laws related to banking and deposits.

Specific Business Competencies

This section makes up 10% of the exam. It deals with business etiquette, communication, listening skills and dealing with co-workers.


This subject makes up just 5% of the exam. It covers ethical issues for bankers pertaining to dealing with others' money.

Format, Length and Other Considerations

The test consists of 75 multiple-choice questions and must be completed in an hour-and-a-half without calculators and other equipment. Once completed, scores are processed within 4-6 weeks of the exam date and recorded on a pass or fail system. In order to retake the test, individuals will need to pay an additional fee, which must be submitted 45 days before the exam date.

Resources & Exam Preparation

The American Institute of Banking has organized a number of textbooks, in-bank training materials and reference materials for those looking to take the bank teller exam. Some subject matter they can choose from includes analyzing financial statements, financial accounting, performance management and economics, among other subjects found on the exam.

Test-takers may purchase material through the American Institute of Banking via the American Bankers Association website. These textbooks and materials often come with online supplements and a DVD that provides the test-taker with a self-paced interactive learning tool.

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bank teller employment won't experience much growth between 2012 and 2022, with just a 1% increase expected ( Despite this lack of growth, the BLS expects excellent job prospects for tellers due to employee turnover. As of May 2013, the average annual wage of a teller was $26,260, which works out to $12.62 an hour, according to the BLS. The bottom-paid 10% of tellers made $19,870 a year or less, while the top-paid 10% made $35,270 or more.

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