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Career and Education Opportunities for Bank Tellers in Chicago, Illinois

Bank teller career and educational opportunities abound in Chicago, Illinois. There are currently 29,270 working bank tellers in Illinois; this should grow by 16% to about 34,020 working bank tellers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for bank tellers, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.2% over the next eight years. Bank tellers generally receive and pay out money.

Income for bank tellers is about $11 hourly or $23,550 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $11 per hour or $23,610 per year. Bank tellers earn less than people working in the category of Billing and Bookkeeping generally in Illinois and less than people in the Billing and Bookkeeping category nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including two within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a bank teller. The most common level of education for bank tellers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a bank teller if you already have a high school diploma.


Bank Teller video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, bank tellers receive and pay out money. They also keep records of money and negotiable instruments involved in a financial institution's various transactions.

Bank tellers cash checks and pay out money after verifying that signatures are correct, that written and numerical amounts agree, and that accounts have sufficient funds. They also receive checks and cash for deposit and check precision of deposit slips. Equally important, bank tellers have to count currency and checks received, by hand or using currency-counting machines, to ready them for deposit or shipment to branch banks or the Federal Reserve Bank. They are often called upon to balance currency and checks in cash drawers at ends of shifts, and calculate daily transactions using computers or adding machines. They are expected to examine checks for endorsements and to confirm other data such as dates, bank names, identification of the persons receiving payments and the legality of the documents. Finally, bank tellers identify transaction mistakes when debits and credits do not balance.

Every day, bank tellers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for bank tellers to enter customers' transactions into computers to record transactions and issue computer-generated receipts. They are often called upon to arrange monies received in cash boxes and coin dispensers in line with denomination. They also carry out special services for customers. They are sometimes expected to sort and file deposit slips and checks. Somewhat less frequently, bank tellers are also expected to perform clerical tasks such as typing and microfilm photography.

They also have to be able to issue checks to bond owners in settlement of transactions and receive and count daily inventories of cash and travelers' checks. And finally, they sometimes have to arrange monies received in cash boxes and coin dispensers in line with denomination.

Like many other jobs, bank tellers must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist. Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.
  • Bookkeeper. Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.
  • Broker Assistant. Perform clerical duties involving the purchase or sale of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
  • Clerk. Compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
  • Gaming Cashier. Conduct financial transactions for patrons in gaming establishments. May reconcile daily summaries of transactions to balance books. Accept patron's credit application and verify credit references to provide check-cashing authorization or to establish house credit accounts. May sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons, or to other workers for resale to patrons. May convert gaming chips, tokens, or tickets to currency upon patron's request. May use a cash register or computer to record transaction.
  • Insurance Claims Processor. Obtain information from insured or designated persons for purpose of settling claim with insurance carrier.
  • Loan Inspector. Interview loan applicants to elicit information; investigate applicants' backgrounds and verify references; prepare loan request papers; and forward findings, reports, and documents to appraisal department. Review loan papers to ensure completeness, and complete transactions between loan establishment, borrowers, and sellers upon approval of loan.
  • Office Clerk. Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.
  • Payroll Machine Operator. Operate machines that automatically perform mathematical processes, such as addition, subtraction, and division, to calculate and record billing, accounting, and other numerical data. Duties include operating special billing machines to prepare statements, bills, and invoices, and operating bookkeeping machines to copy and post data, make computations, and compile records of transactions.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.


Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Banking and Financial Support Services which graduated two and two students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Banking and Financial Support Services which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.


Certified Bank Teller: Applicable to financial services professionals who have completed the AIB Bank Teller Certificate and who function as bank tellers.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

National Professional Certification in Sales: The Certification was designed to capture the core Sales duties for a broad range of entry-level through first-line supervisory positions across the sales and service industries.

For more information, see the National Retail Federation Foundation website.


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.