A bank teller is a member of the staff of a bank who deals directly with the public and handles routine banking transactions like deposits, withdrawals, and so forth. For many people, bank tellers are iconic figures, since they represent the face of the bank to the public. Employment in this profession is actually shrinking, because some people have turned to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and online banking since they find these services more convenient.
The job requirements for becoming a bank teller are fairly minimal. He or she must have a high school diploma and exhibit an ability to perform basic math functions. Bank tellers must also be comfortable with members of the public and with handling large amounts of money. They are also expected to be extremely attentive and discreet, and in some regions a bank teller may need to pass a law enforcement background check before he or she can be hired.
In a workday, a bank teller might accept cash or checks for deposit, cash checks drawn on his or her bank, issue funds like money orders and traveler's checks, and handle transactions related to savings accounts. A bank teller also usually promotes services offered by the bank, such as loans, retirement accounts, and insurance; if a customer expresses interest in these services, the teller refers him or her to another bank employee who specializes in these offerings. A bank teller might also provide access to safe deposit boxes, if a bank offers this service.
Classically, the tellers at a bank are managed by a single head teller who usually walks the bank floor to ensure that customer transactions are running smoothly. Each teller has a window or booth, and typically tellers are assigned their own cash drawers which no other teller handles. This ensures that each teller can manage his or her transactions for the day, and at the end of the day, each teller counts out the drawer to ensure that it matches the transaction records.
This position usually does not offer very many opportunities for advancement within the bank. In order to become a banker, loan officer, or other higher ranking member of the staff, a bank teller would need to receive additional training. Some tellers choose to pursue careers with their banks of choice, while others view the position as temporary. According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, turnover in this field is relatively high in comparison with other fields in the banking sector.