Teller Job Description
Employed by banks, Tellers assist customers in completing transactions, such as withdrawals, deposits and transfers of funds. Often one of the first employees a customer interacts with upon entering a bank, Tellers also serve an important customer service role. They ensure their customers’ needs are met while also safeguarding the banks’ interests by preventing fraudulent transactions from being completed.
Tellers work under the supervision of a Teller Manager or Branch Manager. They generally perform their duties independently, although authorization or permission for certain transactions may be required. Due to the rise of online and mobile banking, Teller positions are expected to decline, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Through 2024, it is predicted to decline by 8 percent, a loss of nearly 40,000 jobs.
Teller Duties and Responsibilities
The specific duties of a Teller are dependent on the bank they work for and their position in the bank. There are, however, several core responsibilities Tellers perform. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.
A Teller’s main responsibility is to process customer transactions. Generally this means working face-to-face with bank clients, but may also entail assisting customers in the drive-up windows or over the telephone. Tellers are required to perform a host of different actions for each transaction ranging from simple deposits and cashiers checks to more complicated tasks such as exchanging foreign currency.
Balance Teller Drawer and Submit Paperwork
At the end of a shift, Tellers are required to count all the money in their Teller drawer. It must add up to the exact amount generated by their daily transactions. If there are any discrepancies, Tellers are often required to stay late until they can get the drawer balanced. They must also turn over any documents or paperwork they collected throughout the shift. This may include deposit slips, receipts or money order paperwork.
Promote Bank Products
Suggesting bank products, such as loans, insurance, credit cards and investments, to customers is an important part of the Teller’s job. They also inform customers of promotions the bank is running. Most banks have quarterly sales goals that Tellers are encouraged to meet or exceed.
Tellers must be detailed-oriented individuals with a passion for customer service. They must work well under pressure and have excellent communication skills. Employers look for candidates with all of these traits as well as the traits listed here.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Tellers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Teller, focus on the following.
- Mastering relevant mathematic processes
- Proficiency with computers,
- Using office equipment, such as printers, copiers and fax machines
- Knowing consumer sales practices
- Handling large amounts of cash
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Broaden your career options by adding these to your skillset.
- Experience with banking software, like FISERV, PremierITI or Horizon
- Previous experience in a bank or financial institution setting
Teller Q & A
The job of a Bank Teller involves more than just counting money. “We are brand ambassadors,” says Stella Bailey, an assistant Branch Manager for New Jersey-based First Bank. “We need to be able to answer all the customers’ questions in a professional, kind and patient manner because we understand that everyone does not comprehend finances the way we do and it can be frustrating for the customer at times.”
And it’s a job that can lead to bigger roles in the banking industry, says First Bank Branch Manager Katherine Rowley.
“I have taken the skills I learned as a Teller to the next level and assist customers with their banking needs, such as opening accounts, explaining different ways of managing their money and problem-solving while enhancing our business relationships.”
We talked to Bailey and Rowley, both former Tellers, along with current First Bank Tellers Cheryl Raynor and Daniel Somme to find out what being a Teller is all about. Here’s what they told us.
What’s the most rewarding part about being a Teller?
Being able to help people with their banking needs in a knowledgeable, professional manner and growing banking relationships. I love helping customers with their questions and concerns and it is rewarding to see them leave happy.
What is the biggest challenge faced by Tellers?
Being able to thoroughly and accurately help customers with their banking needs while protecting the bank from any fraudulent losses.
What skills do you use every day?
Math skills, interpersonal skills, customer service, problem solving and organizational skills.
Who succeeds in this job?
People who excel in the bank are people who enjoy working with the public and are organized and detailed oriented.
How should someone prepare for a career as a Teller?
One can prepare for a Teller position by having knowledge in managing money, computer knowledge and good communication skills.
Are there any misconceptions people have about being a Teller?
The most common misconception about being a Bank Teller is that Tellers only count money. We also help customers with account inquires, assist with safe deposit boxes, and we must know and understand all bank products and policies as we serve as the front line of customer service for the bank. Customer service skills are critically important because we are the first people most customers talk to when they walk into one of our branches.
The Internet is a great source for more useful information on becoming a Teller. We compiled a list of sites that will inspire, inform and entertain you on your path to a career as a Teller.
On the Web
ABA Banking Journal – The American Bankers Association offers a free online subscription to their industry journal packed full of current news and trends in the world of banking.
Bank Teller Boot Camp – This site offers lots of advice and resources for those hoping to become a Teller. From useful articles to resume examples, it is a site worth checking out for more information about the duties and responsibilities of a Teller.
@TellerStruggle – This anonymous bank teller tweets humorous rants about her experiences with difficult customers.
@GetBanTelleJobs – This feed is maintained by getbanktellerjobs.net and is an excellent resource for current jobs available nationwide.
@BankTellerProbz – This feed is contributed to by multiple bank tellers, sharing funny anecdotes and commiserating on the difficulties of the job.
The Teller’s Handbook – This industry standard guide has been a bestseller for nearly 30 years and covers all aspects of being a Teller. From customer service skills to processing transactions, this book covers the ins and outs of the Teller’s world.
Dictionary of Banking Terms – This pocket-sized resource is full of industry terms and practices making it a useful tool for anyone working in a bank.
American Bankers Association – Established in 1875, ABA offers its members a wealth of resources and tools for job training, policy education and compliance guidelines. Their site also provides many resources free to non-members as well.
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