Scheduling, accounting for drawer losses and assisting with complex transaction are just a few of the responsibilities of a head teller. And when an employer doesn't staff a supervisor, head tellers may also manage and train other tellers. Experience in the industry is really the only prerequisite for the position, since head tellers often come from the teller pool within the bank or credit union. But the added responsibility doesn't bring a huge bump in pay.
In 2012, tellers earned an average of $25,790 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners made around $34,320, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $19,630 annually. But none of these figures account for position -- a factor that has some bearing on earnings.
A survey by the Credit Union National Association found that head tellers can earn anywhere from $23,103 to $33,718 a year, but the average was closer to $27,666 in 2011. Teller managers, on the other hand, earned an average of $32,213 a year. Senior tellers averaged $25,311, while those in entry-level positions made an average of $22,193 annually.
It should come as no surprise that the size of the financial institution affects wages. Generally, the larger the assets, the higher the salaries tend to be. For example, head tellers at credit union with assets of $1 million to $2 million averaged $21,788 a year, according to CUNA. Those at credit unions with assets of $5 million to $7.5 million earned $23,439, while those at credit unions with assets of $10 million to $15 million earned $28,308. The highest wages paid were at institutions with assets of over $30 million, with an average salary of $29,626 annually.
The BLS expects employment for tellers to grow by just 1 percent through 2020. This is much slower than the national average for all U.S. occupations, a projected 14 percent. As an increasing number of people use online banking to manage transactions, financial institutions no longer need as many tellers to service their patrons, constraining growth for the occupation. Though a relatively large field, the 1 percent equates to the creation of 7,300 new jobs. However, job prospects should be excellent, largely due to the high turnover rate.
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