According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of all bank tellers earned less than $24,590 a year in 2011. As you might expect, the fairly low pay has forced many seasoned professionals to seek out other opportunities. But working as a teller can be a stepping stone into the banking industry. In fact, many tellers become loan officers, sales staff and even managers after a few years of service. Although there’s no guarantee that a professional certificate can make your path to advancement easier, it should improve your employability. A certificate demonstrates your practical skills and knowledge in banking.
Prior to certification, the American Institute of Banking requires all prospective tellers to complete a series of courses. They include industry overview, basic banking skills, customer service, regulatory compliance, relationship selling and professional development. Coursework can be completed at your own pace, but it usually takes less than a year to earn certification.
Besides the $50 application fee for the exam, there’s an initial expense to take the required courses. For members of the American Institute of Banking, the cost was $575 as of 2012. Non-members must pay $795. There’s also an annual membership fee of $25 to keep your certification in good status.
As with many professional certifications, it isn’t always enough to take the required courses and then sit for the exam. All applicants must have at least six months of experience as a bank teller. You also need a letter of recommendation from a senior manager and to sign a professional code of ethics statement issued by the Institute of Certified Bankers.
Every three years, you must complete six credits of continuing education courses to keep your certification current. One credit is equal to a 50-minute class. All classes must be approved by the American Institute of Banking to fulfill the requirement.