Tellers are the bank employees who typically have the most one-on-one contact with account holders. However, people in the banking industry commonly refer to all employees other than the tellers as bankers. Teller jobs differ from other banking roles because tellers are primarily concerned with servicing customers while other bank employees are primarily concerned with sales or management.
Teller positions are normally entry-level jobs, and most banks require applicants to have some cash-handling experience as well as a high school diploma. Some banks also have entry-level sales positions, but many banks require anyone involved in sales to have a degree in business or a related field. Additionally, bankers who sell insurance or securities have to pass licensing exams. Due to the bankers' educational and licensing requirements, their wages are typically higher than wages for tellers.
Tellers process customer deposits and give cash to account holders who are making withdrawals. Tellers also prepare change orders for commercial customers and sell cashier's checks, travelers checks and money orders. People who want access to their safe deposit box room are normally escorted to the room by a teller. Issues related to overdrawn accounts, the addition or removal of account signers and other types of more complicated service issues are normally handled by bankers rather than tellers.
Referrals Vs. Sales
Most banks require tellers to proactively market bank products and services to existing customers as well as people who do not currently have accounts. However, tellers cannot actually open accounts and are therefore just responsible for sales referrals. Financial sales specialists are the bankers who open new deposit accounts and submit applications for loans and credit cards. Financial specialists in turn can refer customer who need other types of products to other specialized bankers who handle mortgages or investments.
People employed as tellers can attempt to move into higher-paying positions. Above the teller position, the various banker roles are divided between sales and service positions. Service positions include auditors and branch managers. People in service roles are responsible for the day-to-day running of the bank and compliance issues. Financial sales representatives are the first level in sales, and those who perform well in that position can move into investment sales or become mortgage officers. Successful loan officers can eventually become commercial lenders, while investment representatives often move into financial analyst roles and other senior positions in the company.