Training, Certifications, Skills, Advancement: Tellers

Most tellers are required to have at least a high school diploma. Some have some college training or even a bachelorís degree in business, accounting, or liberal arts. Although a degree is rarely required, graduates may accept teller positions to get into a particular company or to enter the banking field with the hope of eventually being promoted to professional or managerial positions.

Experience working in an office environment or in customer service, and particularly cash-handling experience, can be important for tellers. Regardless of experience, employers prefer workers who have good communication skills and who are computer-literate; knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software also is valuable.

Once hired, tellers usually receive on-the-job training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or other senior worker, new employees learn company procedures. Some formal classroom training also may be necessary, such as training in specific computer software.

Tellers should enjoy contact with the public. They must have a strong aptitude for numbers and feel comfortable handling large amounts of money. They should be discreet and trustworthy, because they frequently come in contact with confidential material. Tellers also must be careful, orderly, and detail-oriented in order to avoid making errors and to recognize errors made by others.

Tellers can prepare for better jobs by taking courses offered throughout the country by banking and financial institutes, colleges and universities, and private training institutions.

Tellers usually advance by taking on more duties in the same occupation or by being promoted to head teller or to another supervisory job. Many banks and other employers fill supervisory and managerial positions by promoting individuals from within their organizations, so outstanding tellers who acquire additional skills, experience, and training improve their advancement opportunities.