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Difference Between a Banker & a Teller

Interested in a career in finance that involves working with the public? Bankers and tellers both fit that description, though their daily roles differ greatly. Learn more about these two options ahead.

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Comparing Bankers to Tellers

While bankers and tellers both work in the banking industry, their daily responsibilities are quite different. Tellers handle routine procedures for customers, while bankers work one-on-one with clients and offer more complex services, such as bonds and loans. Other similarities and differences are explored below.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
Banker Bachelor's Degree; licensure/registration $36,961 (for all personal bankers) 30% (for all personal financial advisors)
Teller High School Diploma $26,044 -8%

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Bankers vs. Tellers

Bankers and tellers both must be comfortable and confident working with numbers and have excellent customer services skills. The main differences in the two lie in their daily responsibilities. Bankers work with clients to manage their money while overseeing accounts and services. Tellers are the face of the bank, as they are generally the first to greet you upon arrival. In addition to a customer service role, tellers handle most basic transactions.

Bankers

Bankers are in charge of assisting clients with various bank services, such as opening new accounts, selling financial products like stocks and bonds, and answering questions about loans. They must be able to communicate these processes clearly and properly advise clients on the best ways to manage their money. Bankers generally work in the offices of banks during normal business hours. It is common for bankers to have a bachelor's degree in economics or finance, along with experience in calculus and statistics. In some cases bankers may need to be licensed or registered by the financial industry regulatory authority.

Job responsibilities of a banker include:

  • Maintain and build a roster of clients
  • Enter and update client account information
  • Consult with clients about their financial goals
  • Recommend and sell financial services and products
  • Oversee the loan application and review process

Tellers

Tellers handle routine customer procedures, such as depositing money, collecting loan payments, and cashing checks. The preparation of money orders and traveler's checks may also be a duty of a bank teller. They may also answer questions about basic account information or explain certain bank products like certificates of deposit. It is vital that tellers are safe when handling money and do not make any counting errors. As they spend the day interacting with customers, tellers must have excellent communication skills. To become a teller you must have a high school diploma and undergo on-the-job training.

Job responsibilities of a teller include:

  • Help customers with common requests, such as ordering checks or bank cards
  • Use computer systems to record all transactions
  • Exchange foreign currency
  • Count cash in drawer at the beginning and end of each shift

Related Careers

If you enjoy the one-on-one customer interaction that a banker has, a career as a banking manager may be a suitable next step. While additional education is needed, a career as a banking compliance officer shares some of the same tasks that a bank teller performs such as completing daily balance sheets and working with loan details.

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