Bank Teller Exam Information, Resources and Exam Preparation Tips

Aug 04, 2018

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.

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Certified Bank Teller Exam Overview

Bank tellers who are considering voluntary certification may want to find out about the preparation requirements for the Certified Bank Teller exam as well as the content of the exam, continuing education options, and general career information. The American Bankers Association offers the Certified Bank Teller exam through its website. This voluntary certification provides bank tellers with an opportunity to improve and demonstrate their professional skills.

To qualify for the exam, the bank teller must meet the following prerequisites:

  • At least six months of previous work experience in the field
  • Submitting one professional reference highlighting experience
  • Signing an ethics statement
  • Completing an application
  • Paying a fee
  • Completing the American Institute of Banking Bank Teller Certificate program, which involves taking a series of courses, either in person or online in a self-paced format.

Certificate Program Requirements

The American Bank Association Bank Teller Certificate requires the completion of eight courses in person or online. These programs usually take about 21 hours to complete, and bank tellers have one year after enrolling to complete them. The eight courses cover:

  • Banking today
  • Dealing effectively with co-workers
  • Making client referrals
  • Workplace conduct
  • Ethics in banking
  • Relationship selling
  • Customer service
  • Teller basics

Continuing Education Requirements

After getting certified, individuals must pay an annual fee and complete six credits of continuing education every three years to maintain their certification. Continuing education may be self-paced or led by an instructor, and they may be available on site or online. Possible continuing education course topics can include:

  • Tax return analysis
  • Subordinate debt
  • Opening personal accounts
  • Home refinancing

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. 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.

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 preparation materials through the American Institute of Banking via the American Bankers Association website. These textbooks and preparation 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 will shrink by 8% between 2014 and 2024. However, it also reports favorable prospects in the field, primarily due to employee turnover. As of May 2016, the median annual wage of a teller was $27,260, which works out to $13.11 an hour, according to the BLS. The bottom-paid 10% of tellers made $20,810 a year or less, while the top-paid 10% made $37,760 or more.

Bank tellers who want to demonstrate their skills can earn a voluntary certification, which requires completion of a certificate program and passing an exam.

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