What Is the Difference Between a Cashier & a Teller?

Jun 13, 2018

Do you enjoy handling money and working with customers? If so, you could be perfect for the role of a cashier or a teller. Consider the differences and similarities of each position.

Comparing Cashiers and Tellers

If you are looking for a rewarding job that requires either a high school diploma or no formal education, working as a cashier or a teller might be the right option for you. Both positions offer the opportunity to work with a high volume of customers, while ensuring that financial transactions are completed quickly and accurately. Read on to learn more about what it takes to work as a cashier and as a teller.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Cashiers No formal educational credential $21,030 -1%
Tellers High school diploma or equivalent $28,110 -8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Cashiers vs. Tellers

Cashiers and tellers alike have the responsibility of processing customer payments and transactions. While cashiers most frequently work in retail or food and beverage establishments, the majority of tellers are employed by banks. Individuals in both positions must have exceptional customer service skills, as well as the ability to pay attention to detail. To work as a cashier, no formal educational credentials are required, whereas a high school diploma is needed to work as a bank teller. Each role involves on-the-job training in order to learn the systems and processes specific to the business.


Whether you prefer to work at your favorite food establishment, a boutique, or a grocery store, cashiering positions are needed in almost every retail and food and beverage setting. Because cashiers physically handle all food and merchandise items offered at a business, it is essential for them to have a comprehensive understanding of all products being sold. This is essential when helping customers locate various products, and when answering customer questions. The core job duty of a cashier is to ring up customer purchases, and process cash, check, or credit card payments for every transaction. In most cases, people working in this role must also wrap up fragile purchases, and bag items as needed.

Check out additional responsibilities of cashiers:

  • Welcome customers as they enter the store, and as they approach the checkout aisle.
  • Handle product returns and exchanges.
  • Calculate the funds in their cash drawer at the beginning and the end of their shift.
  • Ensure those who are buying alcohol and tobacco products are of legal age.


Tellers are the primary individuals in charge of handling daily customer bank transactions. From cashing checks to exchanging currency, they serve as money experts for the banks that employ them. To ensure that each transaction is secure, they must take special measures to provide customer safety. This can include verification of personal information, as well as requiring customers to present a valid photo ID. With the high volume of transactions handled on a daily basis, it is also necessary for tellers to count their drawers, and make accurate records of each deposit and withdrawal.

Tellers are also required to do the following:

  • Process orders for new and replacement debit cards.
  • Handle requests for money orders, checks, and traveler's checks.
  • Answer all customer questions.
  • Inform customers of special promotions.

Related Careers

If you are looking for other positions that involve a high volume of customer interaction, be sure to consider working as a customer service agent. However, if you would prefer working in the financial industry, the role of a loan officer could be a right fit for you.

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