Bureau of Labor Statistics

Tellers

tellers image
Tellers process transactions such as cashing checks, depositing money, and collecting loan payments.
Quick Facts: Tellers
2018 Median Pay $29,450 per year
$14.16 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Short-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2016 502,700
Job Outlook, 2016-26 -8% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2016-26 -41,800

Summary

What Tellers Do

Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank. These transactions include cashing checks, depositing money, and collecting loan payments.

Work Environment

Most tellers work in bank branches.

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.

Pay

The median annual wage for tellers was $29,450 in May 2018.

Job Outlook

Employment of tellers is projected to decline 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. Online banking and automation technology are expected to continue replacing more job duties that tellers traditionally performed.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for tellers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of tellers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about tellers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Tellers Do

Tellers
Tellers verify a customer’s identity and financial information before processing a transaction.

Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank. These transactions include cashing checks, depositing money, and collecting loan payments.

Duties

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

Tellers
Most tellers work in bank branches.

Tellers held about 502,700 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of tellers were as follows:

Credit intermediation and related activities 98%
Management of companies and enterprises 1

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

Work Schedules

Most tellers work full time.

How to Become a Teller

Tellers
Tellers must be friendly, helpful, and patient when interacting with bank customers.

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.

Education

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.

Training

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.

Advancement

Experienced tellers can advance within their bank. They can become head tellers or move to other supervisory positions. Some tellers can advance to other occupations, such as loan officer. They can also move to sales positions.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Tellers spend their day interacting with bank customers. They must be friendly, helpful, and patient. They must be able to understand customer needs and explain service options to their customers.

Detail oriented. Tellers must be sure not to make errors when dealing with customers’ money.

Math skills. Because they count and handle large amounts of money, tellers must be good at arithmetic.

Pay

Tellers

Median annual wages, May 2018

Total, all occupations

$38,640

Financial clerks

$37,480

Tellers

$29,450

 

The median annual wage for tellers was $29,450 in May 2018. 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 $22,250, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $39,110.

In May 2018, the median annual wages for tellers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises $31,100
Credit intermediation and related activities 29,420

Most tellers work full time.

Job Outlook

Tellers

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Total, all occupations

7%

Financial clerks

0%

Tellers

-8%

 

Employment of tellers is projected to decline 8 percent from 2016 to 2026.

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.

Job Prospects

Despite the projected employment decline, tellers will still find some job openings due to the need to replace workers who leave this large occupation.

Employment projections data for tellers, 2016-26

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Occupational Title

Tellers

SOC Code43-3071
Employment, 2016502,700
Projected Employment, 2026460,900
Percent Change, 2016-26-8
Numeric Change, 2016-26-41,800
Employment by Industryxlsx

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of tellers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2018 MEDIAN PAY
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.

Some college, no degree $40,240
Cashiers

Cashiers

Cashiers process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.

No formal educational credential $22,430
Customer service representatives

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives work with customers to resolve complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

High school diploma or equivalent $33,750
Information clerks

Information Clerks

Information clerks do routine clerical tasks such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.

See How to Become One $34,520
Loan officers

Loan Officers

Loan officers evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses.

Bachelor's degree $63,040
Receptionists

Receptionists

Receptionists do administrative tasks, such as answering phones, greeting visitors, and providing general information about their organization.

High school diploma or equivalent $29,140

Contacts for More Info

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Tellers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/tellers.htm (visited June 20, 2019).

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