Bank clerks, including bank tellers, are the bank employees that customers deal with most frequently. Besides tellers, there are new accounts clerks, credit clerks and loan clerks. Clerks are the administrative foot soldiers of the banking industry. They do a host of small, but important tasks, from data entry to all aspects of customer service, and it is no exaggeration to say that 21st century banks literally could not operate without clerks.
Bank clerks are generally only required to have a high school diploma. Some specialized clerks may be expected to have some college or an associate's degree. Most clerk positions require from a few weeks to a few months of on-the-job training, and often spending a good bit of time "shadowing" an experienced bank clerk.
Tellers are the bank clerks that assist customers with their day-to-day transactions such as deposits, withdrawals and loan payments. Teller duties include helping customers with deposits or withdrawals, answering questions, preparing traveler’s checks, savings bonds, and money orders for customers. They also handle foreign currency transactions, ordering checks, and assisting customers in applying for bank or credit cards. Tellers are also responsible for maintaining a correct cash balance in their drawers during each shift.
Loan clerks are another common type of bank clerk. Loan clerks interview customers interested in getting a loan, and verify the required personal and financial information on the loan application. New account clerks help customers to set up new or additional accounts. Credit clerks, or credit authorizers, examine the credit history and other information of individuals and businesses to determine their creditworthiness. They sometimes have to contact other financial institutions or government agencies to verify facts.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tellers earned the least among bank clerks, taking home a median salary of $24,100 in 2010. New account clerks did a little better, earning a median salary of $30,440, credit clerks still better at $32,490, and loan clerks earned the most, with a median annual salary of $33,970. Employment prospects for bank tellers are relatively poor, with just 1 percent job growth projected from 2010 to 2020. Job prospects are significantly better for financial clerks in general, with 11 percent job growth expected through 2020. The expected average job growth for all U.S. occupations over that period is 14 percent.
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