Bank Teller: Career Education Overview

Sep 15, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a bank teller. Get an overview of the requirements, job duties and career programs to find out if this is the career for you.

Bank tellers need a high school diploma or the equivalent, and receive in-house training after they are hired. They need experience with handling money, along with strong math skills. Some bank tellers take college courses in order to distinguish themselves from their peers to potential employers.

Essential Information

Bank tellers interact with customers while performing routine transactions and providing quality service. These entry-level positions require on-the-job training, but college courses and programs are available. Read on to learn more about the education needed for a career as a bank teller.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) -12%*
Average Annual Salary (2018) $30,140*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information

Bank tellers handle routine deposits, withdrawals, savings bonds, loan payments and other transactions at a bank. They are typically the first workers to interact with customers. Tellers also answer basic questions about different types of accounts and services offered and assist customers with others issues. Individuals interested in a career as a bank teller need to have strong math skills and possess good attention to detail when reviewing currency, checks, identification and other materials for authenticity and accuracy.

Career and Salary Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that teller jobs were expected to decrease by eight percent between 2014 and 2024. Slower employment growth could be due to the increasing use of automated technology by banks to cut costs. Despite this fact, employment for bank tellers, especially individuals who seek part-time employment, was expected to be favorable due to tellers being promoted or leaving for other employment.

The mean annual wage for tellers was $30,140 in May 2018, according to the BLS. Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, and Washington were the top-paying states for tellers, the BLS reported.

Education Requirements

A high school diploma is needed to work as a bank teller. While a formal education is not required, some colleges and technical schools offer bank teller training programs and courses. Many banks prefer to provide on-the-job training so they can teach the exact skills and procedures needed to perform this work. Employers usually prefer to hire individuals who have had experience handling money. Applicants with strong accounting and math skills might want to consider a job as a teller. Applicants might be required to pass a reading and math competency test.

Formal Training Programs

Bank teller training is offered as programs and individual courses. These programs, which can be completed in a few months, teach students the skills needed to work as a teller at a bank or credit union. Students learn to count and handle money and discover the various financial tools used in personal and business banking, including checking accounts, traveler's checks and cashier's checks.

Other topics include identification of genuine and counterfeit currency, security procedures and cross-selling. Government regulations involving banks also are discussed.

Other Training

The federal government regulates banks; bank employees, including tellers, must comply with certain laws and regulations. Tellers must learn about the U.S. Patriot Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Truth in Savings Act, among others. Also, they must follow internal bank security procedures for processing new bank customers and know how to identify fraud, elderly abuse and other unlawful activities.

While formal training programs exist for bank tellers, a majority of their training comes on the job. Tellers need to learn about government regulations for banking, as well as how to handle money, serve customers and adhere to the bank's business practices.

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