California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Tellers in California

May also be called: Bank Tellers; Member Services Representatives; Account Representatives; Customer Service Associates (CSA); Personal Banking Representatives; Roving Tellers; and Teller Coordinators

What Would I Do?

Tellers receive and pay out money and keep the records necessary in various banking and other financial transactions. They work in banks, savings and loan associations, personal finance companies, credit unions, check cashing businesses, and large businesses that operate credit offices.

In addition to routine duties, Tellers help build good public relations by providing prompt, efficient, courteous, and personalized service to customers. They help increase business by suggesting and describing additional products and services. Since financial institutions now offer more complex financial services, customer service and sales duties are important aspects of the job.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Receive checks and cash for deposit, verify amounts, and check accuracy of deposit slips.Oral Comprehension
Cash checks and pay out money after verifying that signatures are correct, that written and numerical amounts agree, and that accounts have sufficient funds.English Language
Count currency, coins, and checks received, by hand or using currency-counting machine, to prepare them for deposit or shipment to branch banks or the Federal Reserve Bank.Number Facility
Resolve problems or discrepancies concerning customers' accounts.Active Listening
Enter customers' transactions into computers to record transactions and issue computer-generated receipts.Perceptual Speed
Balance currency, coin, and checks in cash drawers at ends of shifts, and calculate daily transactions using computers, calculators, or adding machines.Mathematics
Prepare and verify cashier's checks.Near Vision
Explain, promote, or sell products or services such as travelers' checks, savings bonds, money orders, and cashier's checks, using computerized information about customers to tailor recommendations.Speaking
Identify transaction mistakes when debits and credits do not balance.Social Perceptiveness
Process transactions such as term deposits, retirement savings plan contributions, automated teller transactions, night deposits, and mail deposits.Customer and Personal Service
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Tellers work in an office environment. They may experience eye and muscle strain, backaches, headaches, and repetitive motion injuries, because they sit for extended periods while reviewing data and using computers. Many Tellers work regular business hours and a standard 40-hour week. Some evening and weekend work is required, as banks expand their hours for the convenience of customers. Nationally, almost one-third of all Tellers work part time.

Tellers occasionally must deal with difficult customers, which can be stressful, but they can get a supervisor or manager involved if they cannot resolve the problem by themselves. Tellers are typically not unionized.

Will This Job Fit Me?

This job would appeal to those who enjoy public contact, feel comfortable handling large amounts of money, and who are discreet and trustworthy. People who prefer defined procedures and who like practical, hands-on problems and solutions might like this kind of work. This type of work appeals to those with conventional interests, who enjoy set procedures and routines, and who like working with data and details more than with ideas.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?


The median wage in 2021 for Tellers in California was $36,378 annually, or $17.49 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2021Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2021 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas


Banks and credit unions generally offer full-time and part-time Tellers medical and dental insurance, life insurance, paid holidays, as well as vacation and sick leave.

What is the Job Outlook?

Most job opportunities expected for Tellers will be to replace those who leave for other kinds of work or retirement. Banks are looking at their branch offices as places to attract customers for the increasing number and variety of financial products that the banks sell. As recently as a few years ago, banks were closing branch offices and discouraging the use of Tellers in an effort to cut costs, but in a turnaround, banks are now opening branch offices in more locations.

Banks are now locating branch offices in grocery and other retail stores, which may have a positive impact on the need for more Tellers in the coming years.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Tellers is expected to decline between 2018 and 2028.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Total Job
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

Most Tellers are required to have at least a high school diploma. Some have college training 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. Formal classroom training also may be necessary in subjects such as a specific computer software. Organizations including the California Bankers Association offer or sponsor online courses on subject matters related to the Teller job.

Early Career Planning

High school students interested in this type of work should take business or accounting classes, if offered, in addition to the required mathematics coursework needed to graduate. After-school jobs that require face-to-face customer contact will build social skills. Jobs that require handling money can also be helpful.

Apprenticeship and Work Study Programs

 To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.


Certification is available but not required for Tellers. Programs leading to a certificate in subjects such as 10-key, business math, keyboarding, and other classes can be helpful for those interested in becoming Tellers. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

Nearly all Tellers work in banks or credit unions, with the remainder in related institutions such as mortgage brokerages or other financial-related businesses. Some work for temporary agencies. The largest industries employing Tellers are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Credit Intermediation & Related Activity97.3%
Employment Services1.3%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

 Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Tellers.

  • Banks
  • Credit Unions
  • Mortgage
  • Temporary Agencies

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

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. Outstanding Tellers who acquire additional skills, experience, and training improve their advancement opportunities either at the branch level or at the corporate office.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Tellers with links to more information.

Billing and Posting ClerksProfile
Insurance Claims and Policy Processing ClerksProfile
Loan Interviewers and ClerksProfile
New Accounts ClerksProfile
Office Clerks, GeneralGuide
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and ExecutiveGuide

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SOC - Standard Occupational Classification43-3071
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)CER
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Banking and Financial Support Services 520803
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Banking and Finance050400