Teller Career Description


Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank.

What they do

Tellers typically do the following:

  • Count the cash in their drawer at the start of their shift
  • Accept checks, cash, and other forms of payment from customers
  • Answer questions from customers about their accounts
  • Prepare specialized types of funds, such as traveler’s checks, savings bonds, and money orders
  • Exchange dollars for foreign currency
  • Order bank cards and checks for customers
  • Record all transactions electronically throughout their shift
  • Count the cash in their drawer at the end of their shift and make sure the amounts balance

Tellers are responsible for the safe and accurate handling of the money they process. When cashing a check, they must verify the customer’s identity and make sure that the account has enough money to cover the transaction. When counting cash, tellers must be careful not to make errors. If a customer is interested in financial products or services, such as certificates of deposits (CDs) and loans, tellers explain the products and services offered by the bank and refer the customer to the appropriate personnel.

In most banks, tellers record account changes using computers that give them easy access to the customer’s financial information. Tellers also can use this information when recommending a new product or service.

Head tellers manage teller operations. Besides doing the same tasks as those done by other tellers, they perform some managerial duties, such as setting work schedules or helping less experienced tellers. Because of their experience, head tellers may deal with difficult customer problems, such as errors in customer accounts. Head tellers also go to the vault (where larger amounts of money are kept) and ensure that other tellers have enough cash to cover their shift.


Work Environment

The depository credit intermediation industry includes commercial bank branches, where tellers are primarily employed.

How to become a Teller

Most tellers have a high school diploma and receive about 1 month of on-the-job training. Some banks do background checks before hiring a new teller.

Tellers usually need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some tellers may take some college courses, but a degree is rarely required for a job applicant to be hired.

New tellers usually receive brief on-the-job training, typically lasting about 1 month. Normally, a head teller or another experienced teller trains them. During this training, tellers learn how to balance cash drawers and verify signatures. They also learn the computer software that their bank uses and the financial products and services the bank offers.



The median annual wage for tellers was $31,230 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,330, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $40,230.

Job Outlook

Employment of tellers is projected to decline 15 percent from 2019 to 2029.

Historically, job growth for tellers was driven by the expansion of bank branches, where most tellers work. However, the number of bank branches has been in decline due to technological change. The rise of online and mobile banking allows customers to handle many transactions traditionally performed by tellers, such as depositing checks. As more people use these tools, fewer bank customers will visit the teller window. This will result in decreased demand for tellers.

In addition, automation is expected to lead to fewer tellers per bank branch. Some banks are developing video kiosks that allow customers to interact with tellers through webcams at ATMs. This will allow tellers to service a greater number of customers from one location, reducing the number of tellers needed for each bank.

“Enhanced ATMs” are another emerging form of automation technology. These machines are expected to perform an increasing range of customer service and clerical tasks currently done by tellers, such as issuing debit cards or detecting counterfeit currency. This will allow for far greater productivity for tellers, as they will be left with only the most complex customer service tasks. This also will result in fewer tellers employed per bank branch.


Similar Job Titles

Account Representative, Bank Teller, Branch Operations Specialist, Customer Relationship Specialist, Customer Service Associate (CSA), Financial Services Representative (FSR), Member Services Representative, Personal Banking Representative, Roving Teller, Teller

Related Occupations

Bill and Account Collector; Court, Municipal and License Clerk; Hotel, Motel and Resort Desk Clerk; New Accounts Clerk; Receptionist and Information Clerk


More Information

The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field.  Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas.  As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.

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Video Transcript

Whether customers visit the bank to deposit a paycheck or just check their account balance… the person they stand in line to see is… the teller. Tellers process routine transactions, such as cashing checks, depositing money, and collecting loan payments. They are responsible for the safe and accurate handling of the money they process, and must be extremely careful to avoid errors. Head tellers set tellers’ work schedules and help those with less experience. They may deal with customer problems, such as errors in customer accounts. Head tellers also go to the vault for larger sums, and ensure that other tellers have enough cash to cover their shift. Tellers rely on math skills for much of their work, but their bread and butter is customer service. As the face of the bank, they must be friendly, helpful and able to understand customer inquiries and explain services well. Tellers primarily work in bank branches, keeping full time hours. Part-time work is not uncommon. Most tellers have a high school diploma and receive about 1 month of on-the-job training. Banks may do background checks before hiring. Experienced tellers can advance within their banks to become head tellers, supervisors, or other occupations such as loan officer or sales positions.


Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH,
CareerOneStop, O*Net Online