Can Bank Tellers Move Up?

Yes, bank tellers can move up in a bank to rewarding positions in managerial and executive roles. If you have a relevant degree and bring qualifications, you can get promotions to move into various positions at the bank.

A typical big bank will have several hundred job positions and titles across a multitude of departments. While working in the branch, a teller will only get exposed to a few bank departments – such as the teams that handle fraud, reconciliation, accounting, general ledger, and wire payment processing.

A large bank employs 100,000 to 200,000 employees across all its branches and divisions, so there are many job options within the banking sector. Bank tellers may be at the bottom of the reporting chart, but many are able to move up into better positions through development, coaching, and career progression goals.

Many of the executives and bankers in most organizations started their careers as bank tellers. Bank tellers are able to move up if they show management they are serious about career progression. Every bank has its own processes for annual performance discussions – and you will be able to discuss with your manager about moving up.

Generally, there are three critical factors that will impact your ability to move up as a bank teller. These three areas include:

  • The importance of talent retention and management
  • Your development relationship with your manager
  • Your dedication to increasing your qualifications and skills

Getting a Job as a Bank Teller

While bank teller positions are available at most banks and credit unions, you may find it difficult to secure a position. A great place to start is either working towards or having a related bachelor’s degree. It will allow you to show the employer that you are keen to be in this field.

A bank teller’s critical asset is their ability to provide extremely good customer service. This role is client-facing, and every action you take can impact the client’s overall satisfaction with you and the bank as a whole.

Bank managers focus heavily on hiring and retaining good talent that takes pride in offering amazing customer-focused results. Today, every bank is keen to offer best-in-class service with an end-to-end solution.

How to Move Up in a Bank

In order to move up in a corporate environment, such as a bank – you need to demonstrate many skills. One of the goals for managers in some banks is to coach and develop their staff. Through effective coaching and development, bank tellers are able to progress in their careers within the bank.

Most banks prefer to promote within the bank, and this internal turnover allows the bank to grow as a team.

As a teller, you need to focus on being exceptional through your training, customer interactions, results, commitment, punctuality, and overall performance. If you are willing to show your manager that you are serious about your performance – they will definitely realize your potential.

Additionally, you need to work on your personal development. This is different from your bank-provided goals. Your annual performance goals are provided by your bank, and you may need to work towards these goals to reach certain monetary milestones.

However, your personal development relates to goals that you have set for yourself in order to grow within the bank. Your personal development goals may consist of the following:

  1. Job shadowing other roles within the bank
  2. Learning about the day-to-day tasks within other roles
  3. Completing additional courses within the bank
  4. Setting up coffee chats and virtual one-on-ones with other employees
  5. Expanding your knowledge through an educational qualification

These are some of the best ways to move up in the bank as a teller. You can gain an insight into other roles in the bank, and identify areas of interest. In your coaching and development sessions with your manager – you can mention the areas that interest you. As the manager, they will connect with other managers/leadership personnel to set up these job shadowing and coffee chat sessions.

According to the Canadian Government Job Board, the median wage for a bank teller is $19.00 CAD/hour. While in the US, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median wage for a bank teller is $17.46 USD/hour ($23.74 CAD when converted today). These may not be enough for some families, but it is a stepping stone for when you want to progress into bigger and better roles.

In your experience as a teller, you will learn to manage many customer expectations and problems. Additionally, you will learn about a range of everyday problems customers face. You’ll be able to identify when payments go into closed accounts, what an originator ID is and even other products such as mortgages.

If you are a former bank teller, there are multiple avenues your career can head in. With teller experience, you can work in many customer-facing roles, including some managerial positions. The bank is a highly respected environment, and future employers understand the level of trust, integrity and respect that former bank employees will bring to a new work environment.

I personally have worked with a Senior Manager at a top-level bank, who has just retired after forty years on the job. He started working as a document officer. This is just a fancy name for someone who picked up the mail and delivered them to different cubicles and offices. Throughout the years, we worked his way up to become one of the most sought-after managers in the bank.