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bank teller job

A Glamorous Career: How Much Money Does a Bank Teller Make?


Think about the last time you drove through a teller’s window or got out of the car and walked inside the bank to make a transaction. Have you ever thought about starting a career in the banking industry? Many people who go on to become managers and bankers begin their career as a teller, handling cash and documentation for the daily flow of customers. We’ll be talking about the average bank teller salary here, and how much you can expect to make as a bank teller in various parts of the United States.

Bank Teller Career and Education Preparation

Bank tellers are responsible for the number one thing associated with banks: money.

Tellers will count the cash given to customers throughout the day and keep track of the flow of money in and out of their personal drawers, not unlike a cashier in other places of business. In the case of a bank, however, the amount of money kept in a drawer is significantly larger than that of a cash register in a gas station, department store, or supermarket.

Aside from cash, bank tellers will prepare other types of documentation for their customers, which could include savings bonds, money orders, and traveler’s checks. If a customer plans to travel, foreign currency can be ordered through a bank, and tellers must ensure that the correct conversation rate applies to each order.

Tellers must ensure that all bank policies and procedures are strictly followed throughout the business day. If a customer presents a check, identification should be verified, as well as the status of the account with the bank.

As tellers gain experience, they may be eligible for a promotion, and take on some management tasks, such as error correction or solving customer complaints in the event of a dispute.

A college degree is almost never required for a career as a bank teller. You might take a few college courses upon graduating high school, but in general, the most preparation is done on the job.

Training for bank tellers takes several weeks. Usually, other tellers with more experience will train new employees on the job, giving them a chance to understand how to perform their duties while receiving instructions and a helping hand in case of questions. Banks may have their own computer systems for performing transactions, which will also fall under the training tellers receive when starting the job.

Bank Teller Salary Information

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Let’s get to the meat of why you’re here: you want to know the average bank teller salary. As of May 2017, the average annual salary for bank tellers was $28,110, which converts to an hourly wage of $13.89. The lowest ten percent of bank teller salaries was reported as being $21,360, while the highest ten percent came in at $38,330.

Increases in salary likely come from years of experience and promotions to head teller positions within a given branch of a bank.

Salary by Industry

Although tellers operate exclusively in banks, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of different industries that operate banks. Check out the top five highest paying banking industry branches listed below:

bank teller

Bank teller salary for stage governments: $44,230

Bank teller salary for local governments: $36,500

Bank teller salary for insurance carriers: $34,300

Bank teller salary for colleges, universities, and professional schools: $32,550

Bank teller salary for business support services: $32,410

As you can see, any bank that operates under the authority of a government typically pays more than a private sector. The amount may vary depending on a state or municipality’s given budget for a year, and the same budget may also affect the number of available jobs. Colleges and universities may be affiliated with credit unions, which can offer special rates to students and employees of a school or its organization.

Salary by State

How does a bank teller salary differ when moving across different parts of the country? Find out by looking at the top five highest paying states for bank tellers here:

salary by state

Average bank teller salary in Connecticut: $34,150

Average bank teller salary in District of Columbia: $33,400

Average bank teller salary in Washington: $32,060

Average bank teller salary in Massachusetts: $32,850

Average bank teller salary in Maryland: $31,690

With the exception of Washington state, the highest paid bank tellers all work primarily in the Northeastern United States. If you’re planning a career as a bank teller, you might want to consider setting up shop on the eastern side of the country!

Bank Teller Employment Statistics

Now that you have a fair idea of what to expect from a bank teller salary, you’ll be interested in knowing where the best possibility of securing a job is. Whether you are looking for somewhere close to home or considering a move to somewhere else in the country, there are still possibilities to begin your new career in banking!

Employment Numbers by State

Where do you see yourself working as a teller? If it’s in any of the states below, you’re in luck, because they are the top five employers of bank tellers in the United States:

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Number of bank tellers employed in Texas: 53,370 (average salary of $27,500)

Number of bank tellers employed in California: 43,660 (average salary of $30,840)

Number of bank tellers employed in Florida: 30,270 (average salary of $30,530)

Number of bank tellers employed in New York: 25,300 (average salary of $30,200)

Number of bank tellers employed in Pennsylvania: 21,780 (average salary of $28,050)

The overall prediction for bank teller jobs in the United States is predicted as an eight percent drop through 2026. Because of the increasingly digital nature of banking, as well as the prominent use of online apps that allow for scanning and mobile deposits, the need for tellers decreases as advancement in technology increases.

With that said, large amounts of cash and currency will always require human interaction, and the role of a bank teller will remain relevant in some capacity even as most people gravitate toward the use of apps and electronic payment devices.

How to Succeed as a Bank Teller

succesful bank teller

With the information you need about a bank teller salary, as well as the number of potential job openings, you might be left wondering what makes an excellent bank teller. What should you study, and what skills might be necessary to keep yourself relevant and ahead of the pace in the world of banking?

For starters, you’ll need basic math skills. While calculators are readily available, your hand-eye coordination is an asset, and excellent eyesight to distinguish each type of bill. Counting cash is a part of your daily routine, and you may see different types of currency you don’t normally encounter during your other errands.

Customer service is an absolute must among your skill set. Most people are in a hurry when stopping at a bank, whether they enter in person or use one of the drive-up windows. Showing understanding and patience for any concerns they tell you will help customers through their experience and keep you in a positive light in the minds of customers and your fellow employees.

You should also familiarize yourself with your branch’s policies and procedures in the event of suspicious activity. If a customer presents a counterfeit bill or a fraudulent check, each financial institution has its own rules on how to proceed. Typically, a manager is required to take action, and reports may have to be written and filed after the event occurs. Your ability to recall specific actions and how the situation was resolved is just as crucial as being able to count the money in a drawer at the end of the night.

While it isn’t required, you can find certification programs for bank tellers at certain online schools. Such programs allow you to hone your skills and become an expert on all aspects of a career as a bank teller. As part of a certificate program, you will learn about building relationships with customers, international banking services, and how banks operate as a place of business. Upon completion of the certificate program, you become more desirable as an employee and might be in a position to command a higher salary or advance to a head teller position.

Career Paths for Bank Tellers

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If you look at a bank teller salary and decide that you have another amount in mind, you might consider other career options related to the financial field. Clerks in bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing also don’t require any formal degree from a college or university, but there are some postsecondary classes you’ll need to take before considering such a career.

If you decide to advance your career even further, you could become a loan officer after earning a bachelor’s degree in a financial or business-related field. You might even consider attending an online school for one of these fields while staying employed as a bank teller and furthering your education.

Many possibilities await those who start as a bank teller, and with the right combination of education and experience, you can make an excellent living on a bank teller salary!