How Do I Get Banking Work Experience?

Dan Cavallari

Working in a bank requires exceptional math skills as well as organizational and communications skills. Before you can get banking work experience, you will need to show potential employers that you are ready for the responsibility and rigors of the job. You will need to complete a high school education or equivalent qualification, and you will need to be able to present yourself well. This means dressing appropriately and paying attention to your hygiene. You can then seek out banking work experience by taking an entry-level position such as a teller.

Experience operating a cash register at a retail store may help land a banking job.
Experience operating a cash register at a retail store may help land a banking job.

While not always necessary, it is best to earn a college degree or be working toward one when you begin your search for banking work experience. This will show potential employers that you are serious about a career and are taking meaningful steps toward pursuing one by earning a degree in mathematics, accounting, business, or another related field. While in school, you may be able to join clubs or other organizations, and you can volunteer your services as the treasurer of that organization. This will give you some practical experience in managing money and drawing up budgets, which will be useful when you seek out banking work experience.

Aspiring bank officers should cultivate excellent communication skills.
Aspiring bank officers should cultivate excellent communication skills.

It is important to write a strong resume, regardless of how much or how little previous education and experience you have in the banking industry. You can cite volunteer activities you may have participated in, and you can write down any other relative skills you may have developed. If, for example, you have experience running a cash register, this should be noted on your resume. If you balance your own stock portfolio, be sure to note your skills in that realm. Previous experience with customer service in a retail setting is also a good thing to note on your resume, as bank tellers very often have to manage customer service tasks.

Internships and apprenticeships are other ways to get banking work experience, but you will have to be qualified for such positions and these opportunities are often highly sought-after. This means tough competition, so your resume will need to be impeccable. Internships usually do not pay, but you will be able to learn a significant amount about the banking industry during the several months you will act as an intern. Apprenticeships are often paid positions, though they most often go to candidates with the appropriate combination of education and experience.

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Discussion Comments


What scares me most about being a bank teller is the possibility of being robbed. Have I been watching too much TV? Anyway, the demand for bank tellers is decreasing, so the competition for the jobs is pretty stiff. As more and more people are beginning to and continue to do their banking via the computer online and at ATMs, the demand for bank tellers will drop even more.

However, getting a job as a teller is a good way to get your foot in the door of a bank, especially if you don't have a degree in banking.


@Laotionne - As with most jobs, the amount you make working as a bank teller depends on where you are working and how much experience you have. Some locations pay significantly more than others.

In the United States, I think the best paying bank teller jobs are in the state of Alaska. You probably wouldn't want to travel there simply to take a job as a bank teller, but if you are already in the state then it is good to know that the pay is better than in other states.


@Laotionne - As this article mentions, many bank tellers get these jobs straight out of high school and then train on the job. So as you would think, a job that doesn't require an advanced degree or training is not going to be a great paying position. However, the work experience is good because you get to learn valuable skills that can help you prepare for better paying jobs in the future.

Also, if you are straight out of high school and this is your first job then the salary will seem pretty good. I'm not saying you can't earn a decent living as a bank teller. I'm saying that you won't get rich working in this position.


How much money do bank tellers earn a year, or by the hour? Are these good paying jobs?

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