How to become a bank teller (with salary expectations)
Updated 21 February 2023
Bank tellers are the first point of contact for most bank customers. Financial institutions perform a valuable service for the surrounding community, and bank tellers connect banks and customers in the local area. If a career in financial services appeals to you, learning more about the role of a bank teller can help you decide if the position suits your skill set. In this article, we discuss how to become a bank teller, review their general responsibilities and skills and provide salary information for this role.
How to become a bank teller
Working as a bank teller can be rewarding for those who enjoy interacting with their local community. Bank teller positions are available for candidates after finishing secondary school, and gaining relevant work experience can help prepare you. Here are general steps you can follow to learn how to become a bank teller:
1. Complete secondary school education
Most retail banks require their employees to have at least four GCSE qualifications with 9-4 or A*-C grades, and passing grades in English and maths is usually an essential prerequisite. Entry requirements may vary depending on the bank you would like to work for, so take the time to review what qualifications your local banks require. Some retail banks offer secondary school students work experience positions to help them gain insight into what it's like to work in banking. Gaining work experience during your studies is beneficial if you decide to pursue a bank teller position after completing your education.
Related: GCSE equivalent qualifications
2. Develop transferable skills
Bank tellers typically have a balance of both customer service skills and competency working with numbers. Any work experience you have that involves working with customers and cash handling can be beneficial when you apply for bank teller positions, as the skills may support your work as a bank teller. To prepare to become a bank teller, develop your organisation and customer service skills. Any previous accounting experience or qualifications may support your application, as strong accounting skills are helpful for a bank teller's daily duties.
3. Review local job listings and update your CV
Searching your local job listings for bank teller positions can help you prepare an application to apply. Review the entry requirements for jobs in your area to find out what the role requires, like what candidate qualifications, skills and previous work experience that may be necessary. Once you identify what the hiring managers are looking for, you can tailor your application for each role.
Your CV can highlight the skills you have that can help you excel as a bank teller, so be sure to include skills the hiring manager mentions in the job description. Hiring managers often review many job applications, so if you can tell them clearly in your CV that you have the skills, experience and qualifications they're looking for, it makes their recruitment efforts easier.
4. Prepare for an interview
If you interview for a bank teller position, take time to prepare by reviewing common interview questions. Taking the time to prepare answers to the questions you expect can help you to feel more confident ahead of your interview. Preparing examples of times you have demonstrated the skills needed for the role is also beneficial, as hiring managers often ask candidates to answer questions relating to their experience.
Read more: How to prepare for an interview
5. Complete pre-employment checks
Those hired to work within a bank have to complete background checks. Like many other positions, this includes a reference check where the bank contacts previous employers or personal references provided on your CV. In addition to reference checks, banks complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on employees to verify their suitability for positions within a bank. DBS checks focus on criminal records and highlight any unspent convictions. Due to the large sums of money that bank tellers work with, banks also complete credit checks.
Bank teller responsibilities
Typically, bank tellers perform customer-facing duties and assist customers with basic banking transactions, including making deposits, withdrawals and transfers. Some banks call their tellers, customer service representatives or cashiers, as they provide information about financial products and services offered by the bank. Bank tellers are responsible for maintaining positive relationships with their clients and resolving complaints. Alongside their customer-facing duties, bank tellers also perform back-office accounting and administrative work. Some of their typical duties include:
opening and closing customer accounts
counting the cash drawer at the beginning and end of their shift
advising customers about financial products such as credit cards, prepaid cards, mortgages and insurance policies
verifying customers' identification
issuing money orders, cheques and other alternate forms of payment
recording transactions in customers' accounts
placing orders for cheques and bank cards
resolving disputed transactions
Bank tellers typically report to the branch manager of their bank and receive on-the-job training in the bank's procedures and computer systems. They also learn the best practices for handling cash and other financial regulations.
The average salary for a bank teller
The average salary for a bank teller is £19,282 per year. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Bank tellers with extensive experience typically see their salary increase over time and can be suitable for senior positions or promotion to branch manager roles that offer a higher salary.
Key skills for bank tellers
Bank tellers interact with customers daily, so strong interpersonal skills are helpful. Bank tellers work with numbers and often large amounts of money, so numeracy skills are essential. Other skills required to become a bank teller include:
Customer service: Bank tellers work directly with a bank's customers, so demonstrating excellent customer service skills helps ensure customers remain satisfied with their bank and continue to do business there. Having a friendly demeanour, being attentive to customers' needs and providing efficient service are some of the ways bank tellers can deliver customer service.
Computer literacy: Bank tellers perform monetary transactions primarily on computers. They rely on banking software to open, close and manage customer accounts, although, banks typically provide training on how to operate banking software.
Basic maths skills: Tellers typically add, subtract, multiply and divide large sums to assist customers with deposits, withdrawals and payments. As the calculations bank tellers complete relate to monetary transactions, they're confident and accurate in their maths skills.
Attention to detail: Paying close attention to detail is beneficial to the position. Bank tellers verify customers' identity, complete financial documents and make changes to customers' accounts.
Strong written and verbal communication: Bank tellers communicate with customers frequently, whether they're speaking with customers in-person or sending written correspondence via email, maintaining a professional tone is essential. Bank tellers often liaise with other bank employees, and strong communication skills can help them build a rapport with colleagues and foster a positive working environment.
Sense of ethics and integrity: Having a strong sense of integrity is essential, as bank tellers handle large sums of money frequently. They also have access to private customer data and treat this information confidentially and with discretion.
Ability to multitask: Working in a bank can be fast-paced and busy at times. Being able to multitask and perform duties efficiently help bank tellers to complete all their work, even when this increases during busy periods.
Frequently asked questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about becoming a bank teller:
What hours do bank tellers work?
Work hours vary depending on the bank they work for and their branch's opening hours. Typically opening hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, but many banks now open with reduced hours on a Saturday and some offer one late night per week. Banks observe most public holidays and close on Sundays. While many bank tellers work full time, there are also part-time opportunities available.
Do bank tellers have good credit scores?
Banks complete credit checks on employees to assess the risk of letting individuals manage money. As bank tellers work with large sums of money, banks expect them to have a good track record of managing finances to know an employee's financial situation won't affect their work performance. Before applying for bank teller positions, you may wish to complete a credit check on yourself to understand your current financial record.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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