What does a bank teller do? (With salary and skills)

Updated 21 February 2023

Bank tellers are professionals who assist their customers in accomplishing their transactions in banks and credit unions. They are usually the first employees the clients interact with when they visit the bank. Understanding what a bank teller does and how to become one might help you decide whether to pursue this career. In this article, we explain what a bank teller does, highlight requirements and steps to become one, discuss their skills and highlight their work environment and average salary.

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What does a bank teller do?

To best understand 'what does a bank teller do', consider the following duties:

  • welcoming and greeting customers in a friendly and professional way

  • carrying out administrative tasks, including answering phone calls, filing data, handling emails and keeping the workplace clean

  • counting cash at the beginning and end of their shift and reconciling the balance

  • processing customer transactions like payments, deposits, withdrawals and money transfers

  • exchanging national and foreign currencies and updating the exchange rates accordingly

  • enlightening customers on and bank services and products such as loan products, interest rates, types of accounts and advising them appropriately

  • guiding customers who are applying for bank products like checks, credit cards, debit cards or safe custody services

  • electronically recording each transaction they have made

  • ensuring cash, customer records and other bank documents remain safe

  • confirming the identity of customers before processing any transactions to avoid making fraudulent payments

  • ensuring compliance with bank procedures and guidelines

Related: Top tips for successful career progression

4 requirements of a bank teller

To become a bank teller, you require the following four requirements:

1. Education

Employers accept high school diplomas for cashier positions. Most employers prefer candidates with at least four GCSEs (A-C) comprising English and math. You can also consider pursuing a Professional Diploma in Financial Services Management (DFSM) or a degree in numerical fields such as finance or mathematics to help you progress in your career.

2. Training

New bank clerks usually train on the job with the guidance of experienced tellers or the bank manager. They train on bank procedures and duties, which include operating the banking software, record keeping and cash management. It is also essential to complete on-the-job training in NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3 in Customer Service and NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3 in Providing Financial Services.

3. Certification

It is essential to enrol for a bank teller certification program to help you gain comprehensive knowledge of your roles as a bank cashier. The certification also equips you with the necessary skills and confidence, which prepares you for higher responsibilities and thus career growth. It also enables you to perform at the same level as other certified bank tellers, which makes you competitive even at the global level.

4. Background check

Employers might conduct a background check on potential employees to ensure they are suitable to work as bank tellers. These checks include criminal history and place of residence in the last few years. They can also check on bankruptcies and credit scores to determine if you can do the duties of a cashier without the pressure of financial distress.

Related: A complete guide to understanding background checks

Bank teller salaries

The national average salary of a bank teller is £20,258 per year. The salaries vary according to the geographical location, the type of employer and your level of experience. Consider the skills and knowledge necessary when pursuing this role.

Related: 15 of the highest paid jobs in banking (with salaries)

Skills of a bank teller

Technical and soft skills are necessary for bank tellers to enable them to work effectively with their clients, fellow employees and managers. You can gain these skills through education, on-the-job training or certification programs. To perform efficiently as a teller, gain the following skills:

  • Numerical skills: Bank cashiers handle money, which entails counting, adding or subtracting large numbers and cash balancing. You can enhance your numerical skills by achieving a good math grade in high school or pursuing a degree in a numerical field.

  • Computer skills: Tellers perform most of their duties using a computer. They use the bank software to perform transactions on customer accounts, generate reports and complete other tasks.

  • Customer service skills: Excellent customer service is a necessity for a bank cashier, and it entails being friendly, approachable and having the willingness to assist customers. This helps to increase customer retention and to boost bank customer acquisition.

  • Sales skills: Bank cashiers interact with many patrons daily, so having strong sales skills enables them to sell bank's products such as credit cards, loans and savings accounts. Increasing the sales of these products is essential for increasing bank revenues.

  • Knowledge of bank products: Tellers are the first employees to meet the clients, answer their questions and sell bank products to them. A proper understanding of the products offered by the bank is essential so that tellers can answer their customers correctly and also sell the right products to clients.

  • Organisational skills: Excellent organisation skills help a bank teller to maintain the cleanliness and proper arrangement of their workspace. A neat and clean workplace enhances the bank's reputation and makes clients comfortable.

  • Attention to detail: Excellent attention to detail helps tellers to finish transactions accurately. It also enables them to identify mistakes and prevent fraud, therefore enhancing the reputation of the bank.

  • Communication skills: Bank tellers communicate with their customers, fellow employees and supervisors regularly. Excellent oral skills enable them to answer enquiries from their clients and also to sell bank products and services to them.

  • Interpersonal skills: Outstanding interpersonal skills allow cashiers to understand the feeling of customers and address their needs appropriately and also to build a long-term business relationship with them. It also helps them to relate well with other employees and creates a conducive work environment.

  • Ability to work under pressure: Bank cashiers handle different customers, including those who are not happy about the bank's services. This skill enables tellers to remain calm and respond properly in such stressful situations.

Related: Bank teller CV skills: examples, and how to improve them

How to become a bank teller

Follow these six steps to learn how to become a teller:

1. Complete your education

The first step to becoming a teller is to earn your high school diploma. You can also consider earning a bachelor's degree in numerical fields like math and finance. A bachelor's degree helps you get job opportunities with employers who prefer candidates with higher education. It can also increase your chances of career growth and higher salaries.

2. Get relevant experience

Most employers prefer applicants with experience in customer service, cash handling and those comfortable working with computers. Consider an internship in financial institutions or a similar environment where you can get hands-on experience in handling clients or cash. You can also do voluntary work which helps refine some skills like interpersonal skills, organisational skills and time management.

Related: How To Write a Work Experience Cover Letter (With Example)

3. Get certification

Look for courses in which you can train in banking operations, compliance and customer service in the banking field. A bank teller certification authenticates your skills in banking, customer service and integrity. It can also increase your chances of employment and promotion to higher positions.

4. Write your CV

Build a clear and complete CV that includes your education, relevant work experience and certifications. You can use listed bank teller jobs to identify keywords to include in the experience part of your CV, which are appealing to prospective employers. Prepare different CVs tailored according to the job you are pursuing.

Related: Guide for how to write a banker CV (with template)

5. Research jobs and apply

After drafting your CV, research jobs for which you qualify and apply for them. Start by visiting local banks and request to speak to the manager regarding availability of teller vacancies. Search the Internet for teller positions or find them in your local newspaper. You can also check for job listings on job search engine sites like Indeed.com.

Related: Guide: Using Indeed Job Search

6. Prepare for the interview

When you secure a job interview, make sure you prepare well. Search for the company and understand the services and products they offer. Consider also searching for common teller interview questions and how to answer them.

Related: 40 Banking Interview Questions (With Answers)

Bank teller work environment

Bank cashiers work in branch outlets of commercial banks and credit unions, so they can expect to come across the following in their work environment:

  • interacting with the public as they attend to current or new customers

  • working on a desk facing the hall where they can interact with customers using drive-up windows or using microphones

  • sitting or standing for long hours depending on the set-up of the specific bank

  • sharing workspace with fellow employees

  • working on a full-time schedule during normal business days, for a few hours on weekends and off duty during public holiday

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.‌ This article is based on information available at the time of writing, which may change at any time. Indeed does not guarantee that this information is always up-to-date. Please seek out a local resource for the latest on this topic.

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