Career Guide: What Can I Do With An Accounting Degree?


Job Description:

Bank tellers process the basic transactions of customers, including cashing checks, taking loan payments, and helping customers deposit and withdraw money from their accounts. They’re responsible for verifying endorsements, identifying counterfeit currency, cross-selling other services and products offered by the bank, and answering customer questions about interest rates and service charges. Most tellers work full-time Monday through Friday schedules at bank branches.

A high school diploma and about one month of on-the-job training are needed to work as a bank teller, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although some college experience is helpful a degree is rarely needed for this type of job. However, a degree may help a candidate qualify for an advanced position within a bank. Over time some tellers can advance to other positions, such as in sales or as loan officers.
Median Salary:
The lowest 10% of tellers earned $19,630 while the highest-paid 10% earned more than $34,320 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Head tellers, who perform managerial tasks, typically make more money than other tellers. Bank tellers in Connecticut, Alaska, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, and Massachussetts had the highest annual average salary, according to the BLS. However, these statistics are no guarantee of salary, which is determined by an employee's credentials and experience, employer, location, and state of the economy.
Job Outlook:

Projected to grow 1% between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS.

Job growth for tellers is expected to increase by only one percent over the next seven years. A massive expansion of bank branch locations in recent years drove the demand for qualified tellers, however the market for tellers has stabilized now that this hiring boom has died down. Additional changes to the banking industry, including the increase of automated and online services, have also slowed the demand for traditional tellers. Naturally, most tellers work in bank branch locations, and with the addition of after-hours service at some banks, many tellers were required to work on Saturdays instead of a traditional weekday schedule, according to the BLS. Tellers may have the benefit of little competition in this field, since this occupation typically has a high turnover rate.

Continuing Education:

Continuing education for tellers may provide valuable professional training, as well as demonstrate to potential employers that candidates have above-average qualifications. Official certification and licensure are not required in this position, however many tellers opt for a bank teller certificate, available through the American Bankers Association (ABA). While tellers are not required to participate in continuing education to maintain their skills, there are many courses designed especially for professionals working in this specialty area of finance. Through curriculum including cashing checks, deposits and withdrawals, approving loans, accepting utility payments, and facilitating bank window transactions, tellers should be exposed to a wide range of job possibilities. With fewer formal education and certification mandates, tellers with an advanced education, enhanced professional training, and on-the-job experience may have a distinct advantage when setting their sights on top positions in this field.