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The Teller: A Job Profile

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Being a teller involves being around people on a regular basis. Working with the public, fielding questions, communicating information, and following instructions and requests are very common practices for teller jobs. While the working conditions for teller jobs are generally pleasant because they work indoors, it can be stressful to be a teller.

The Job of the Teller

Tellers have to do a number of different things in order to keep their banks running smoothly. Some of the tasks they are called upon to complete include interacting with customers by taking money, filing paperwork, and answering questions. These activities take up the majority of the teller’s time, though they may be called upon to engage in other activities as well.



Someone who pursues a teller career should enjoy working and talking with customers, as these interactions will take up the majority of the teller’s workday. Tellers are also responsible for handling large sums of money. Since tellers are called upon to work with money, they must be trustworthy individuals.

Many tellers work part time, and a shift usually starts with receiving and counting an amount of working cash for use that day. The supervisor, who is usually the head teller, verifies the amount the teller starts his or her workday with, and the teller is then responsible for that amount as well as for any incoming cash throughout his or her shift.

At the end of the shift, tellers must count their day’s cash and record all amounts, as well as sort checks and deposit slips. In addition, tellers may be responsible for receiving mail transactions, selling savings bonds, accepting payments, processing paperwork, and selling traveler’s checks.

Being able to pay close attention to monetary details is also a must for tellers as mistakes can be costly in terms of time wasted. The main elements of being a successful teller, however, are being able to relate to and work with customers and process transactions in a timely manner.

Becoming a Teller

Most tellers have at least a high school diploma, but college training or even a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, or other fields is not uncommon for tellers. A college degree is not required for the job, but having a degree can be helpful when it comes to getting recognition during the hiring process. A teller position can also be a good stepping-stone to getting into higher positions at a bank or at a company.

Tellers receive most of their training on the job, and are often trained by a supervisor or senior teller. Learning and quickly understanding procedures is a desirable trait, and employers often seek employees who are very people-friendly and communicate well.

An aptitude for math, money handling, and using computers is also highly desirable. Advancement is often achieved by taking on more tasks, and the most common promotion is to becoming head teller. Banks in particular hire from within, so tellers are often promoted over time as they gain additional training and skills and show they have advanced. Taking college courses on banking and finance can help advancement in a teller career
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