The salary of a bank teller will differ with the region of the country, size and type of the establishment, size of city, as well as their experience. In May 2004 the median annual earning of tellers were $21,120. The middle 50 percent made between $18,320 and $23,900 a year. The lowest 10 percent made less than $15,850, and the highest 10 percent made more than $28,100 a year.*
Wages are also dependent on the size of the city. The starting salaries of large city bank tellers can be $10 to $12 an hour while salaries in smaller cities may start at $8 to $10 an hour. The highest earnings are in cities on the West and East coasts. Large bank branches like Wells Fargo and Bank of America pay tellers anywhere from $9.80 to $11.85 an hour.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
A career as a bank teller is a job that doesn’t require experience and tellers usually move on to multiple jobs in financial service.
Bank tellers have a number of financial services that they carry out and for that reason they have to possess strong customer service skills. Tellers have to maintain impeccable accuracy and security especially when the job at hand is repetitive and routine.
As an entry level position, a career as a teller can “open the door” to a better paying and higher level banking position. With more education and training, bank tellers can move up to become personal bankers, lending officers, and credit analysts. Tellers may also go into similar fields like investment banking, mortgage banking, or accounting.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prediction for bank tellers is positive as banks open more branches and current tellers move to other positions. Tellers make up the greatest number among about 2 million employees in the banking industry, but the amount of teller jobs is projected to grow slower than other occupations. There were 600,500 bank tellers in the U.S. in 2008 and the number is predicted to rise to 638,000 by 2018.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
A great deal of tellers have to at least have a high school diploma. A few are required to have some college training or maybe even a bachelors degree in accounting, liberal arts, or business. Even though a degree isn’t always required, graduates may choose to take a position as a teller in order to get into a certain company or to get into the banking field with the aspirations of eventually moving up to managerial or professional positions.
Knowledge of working in customer service or an office environment, and particularly cash-handling knowledge, can be vital for bank tellers. Employers would much rather have employees who have good communication skills and who are computer-savvy, regardless of experience.
In most cases bank tellers receive hands-on training. Under the tutelage of a senior worker or supervisor, new employees learn the procedures of the company. A level of formal classroom training might also be called for, such as training in specific computer software.
Tellers must enjoy contact with the public. They have to have a strong ability for numbers and feel comfortable handling large amounts of money. They have to be trustworthy and discreet because they frequently have to handle confidential material. Tellers also must be careful, orderly, and detail-oriented in order to avoid making errors and to recognize errors made by others.
Bank tellers that have obtained at least six months of work experience are able to take an examination to become certified by the Institute of Certified Bankers, which is associated with the American Bankers Association. The exam tests knowledge of operations, procedures, ethics, service and sales. The cost of certification is $50 and requires that tellers sign a code of ethics.
To keep their certification, bank tellers have to finish six hours of education every three years and must also pay a yearly fee of $25.
Certification that meets the requirements of the institute is offered by taking classes through the American Institute of Banking, which also is associated with the American Bankers Association. Tellers who complete the courses are awarded with the AIB Bank Teller Certificate.
The American Bankers Association was organized in 1875, is based in Washington, D.C. and is the chief official professional association for bankers. The association’s members are made up of banks of all sizes and lobbying is one of the association’s primary activities.
The American Institute of Banking offers educational programs to over 150,000 bank employees each year, including teller certification.
Other banking associations include the Mortgage Bankers Association, which offers advocacy and education for the real estate finance industry, and the Bank Administration Institute, an 80-year-old organization that administers education and research.
Local and State bankers associations also offer educational programs, lobbying and social activities.
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