How to Become a Bank Teller

Interested in what it takes to become a bank teller? Do you pride yourself in accuracy and paying attention to detail, having a friendly smile, and a genuine interest in helping others with their banking needs? You may enjoy a career as a bank teller!

Each banking institution may vary slightly in their qualifications and requirements, depending upon whether they are a national bank (like JP Morgan Chase), a regional bank (who has several locations in only a few states), or a small local bank or credit union. Follow the roadmap below to determine the right path for you.

Bank Teller Roadmap

VIDEO: Teller Careers Overview

This video shares a little bit of what it's like in the day in the life of a bank teller.

Bank Teller Job Description

As a bank teller, you will be responsible for receiving and dispersing money accurately and efficiently, assisting customers with their banking needs, and offering them services when needed. You will be expected to be dressed "to the nines" (one a scale of 1 to 10, and 10 being perfection that can never be attained) meaning dressed to your absolute best. If you are a woman, you will be expected to wear light make up, have your hair done or pulled up neatly, wearing panty hose and a nice business skirt or suit with jacket and dress shoes. If you are a man, you will need to be well groomed, clean shaven, and wearing a business suit complete with tie and dress shoes.

Banks want their employees to look the part; appearances mean a great deal to banking customers. They want to feel their money is in good hands, and seeing a clean, well groomed, stellar employee with an uplifting attitude who cares about their job and your satisfaction builds confidence and a relationship between the customer and the bank.

Requirements For Becoming a Bank Teller

Education Requirements

The minimum education requirement for most banking institutions is a high school diploma or GED equivalent, although having a degree in accounting or finance is definitely a plus.

If you pursue bank teller training prior to applying for a position as a bank teller, you greatly place yourself ahead of many other applicants. In this training, you will also be trained to deal with emergency situations, should the unlikely event of a robbery take place. Once you've gained employment with a bank, they will also go over their own emergency protocols so you feel confident in handling yourself and staying calm during the unlikely event of an emergency or robbery.

Work Experience

Some smaller banks may require you to have one to two years experience prior to applying, however most major branches will interview and hire outstanding individuals who meet or exceed their requirements with little or no experience as a bank teller. Customer service and cash handling experience are a must.

Sales Experience

Sales experience will be a plus, but is not mandatory in most cases. Often banks will have their own in house training that will last a week or two in order to prepare you for your duties at your new position. If you were particularly ambitious or wanted to make yourself stand out among a sea of other applicants, you could consider taking a course toward the American Institute of Banking (AIB) Bank Teller Certificate, or seek a course at a local community college or an online course for bank tellers.

Computer Literacy

Being computer literate is a must. An uplifting team building attitude will help you move up on the banking career ladder.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the above requirements, you must also be computer literate, have 6 months or more of customer services experience, and have 6 or more months of cash handling experience. In addition, you must be able to pass a drug test, a criminal background and finger print check, and a credit check, as each of these tests are a reflection of your moral character, your reliability, accountability, and honesty while in the work place. Banks want to refrain from hiring those who may be tempted to embezzle money.

Preparing Your Application

Since many applications are online today, have your resume stand out. Place emphasis on your customer service abilities. If you have ways to demonstrate or model your trustworthiness such as volunteer positions that you hold or awards or recognitions you have received, use those to help set you apart. Make tangible why they should hire you over anyone else.

The Interview

If you are granted an interview, be sure to look the part and be exceptionally well groomed and dressed. These little details can go a long way in helping you look the part and stand out from other applicants.

Bank Teller Jobs

There are some great places to work as a bank teller. Business insider published its list of 25 best banks to work for in 2013. Number one on the list was the Blackstone Group. Some of the larger and well-known companies you may consider working for include:


In addition to these major banks, you could consider employment at your local bank or credit union through local searches on the web (like or or in classified ads.

Bank teller jobs are considered entry level positions and may also be listed in job posts as a service representative. In addition to your training as a teller, you may also receive clerical and administrative training.

After several years of experience, you may expect a promotion to head teller, customer service representative, or new accounts clerk. Additionally, if you hold an advanced degree, you may be promoted to a managerial position, which of course means more responsibility and a higher salary.

Bank Teller Salary

According to the United States Department of Labor, the median annual salary for tellers was $24,940 per year in 2012. That's $11.99 per hour.

Also, employment prospects as a bank teller are expected to grow 1% over the next 10 years. This is a low growth rate, mainly because people are using online banking more, and the growth of bank branches is expected to slow. However, because the turn-over rate is high, you shouldn't be too worried about getting a position as a bank teller.

If you get your bachelors degree, the next step after teller could be to become a loan officer, financial manager, or bank manager. Loan officers made an average median salary of $59,820 per year in 2012, with salaries ranging from $32,600 to $119,710 according to the BLS.