Cashiers


Quick Facts: Cashiers
2017 Median Pay $21,030 per year 
$10.11 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education No formal educational credential
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Short-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2016 3,555,500
Job Outlook, 2016-26 -1% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2016-26 -30,600

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Cashiering Career, Salary, and Education Information

What cashiers Do

Cashiers process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.

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Cashiers

Duties of cashiers

Cashiers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers

  • Scan or register customers’ purchases

  • Accept payments from customers and give change and receipts

  • Bag or wrap customers’ purchases

  • Process returns and exchanges of merchandise

  • Answer customers’ questions and provide information about store policies

  • Help customers sign up for store rewards programs or credit cards

  • Count the money in their register at the beginning and end of each shift

In some establishments, cashiers have to check the age of their customers when selling age-restricted products, such as alcohol and tobacco. Some cashiers may have duties not directly related to sales and customer service, such as mopping floors, taking out the trash, and other custodial tasks. Others may stock shelves or mark prices on items.

Cashiers use scanners, registers, or calculators to process payments and returns or exchanges of merchandise.


Work Environment for cashiers

Cashiers held about 3.6 million jobs in 2016. The largest employers of cashiers were as follows:

Food and beverage stores: 28%

General merchandise stores: 19%

Gasoline stations: 17%

Restaurants and other eating places: 9%

Pharmacies and drug stores: 5%

The work is often repetitive, and cashiers spend most of their time standing behind counters or checkout stands. Dealing with dissatisfied customers can be stressful.

Work Schedules

Cashiers’ work hours vary by employer. Cashiers often work during weekends and holidays. Some cashiers employed in establishments that operate 24 hours a day, such as gasoline stations, work overnight shifts. Part-time work is common.

Employers may restrict the use of time off from Thanksgiving through early January because that is the busiest time of the year for most retailers.


How to Become a Cashier

Cashiers are trained on the job. There are no formal education requirements to become a cashier.

Education

Although most jobs for cashiers have no specific education requirements, some employers prefer applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent. Cashiers should have a basic knowledge of mathematics, because they need to be able to make change and count the money in their registers.

Training

Cashiers receive on-the-job training, which may last a few weeks. An experienced worker typically helps new cashiers learn how to operate equipment such as scanners or registers.

Advancement

Working as a cashier is often a means to advance to other careers in retail. For example, with experience, cashiers may become customer service representatives or retail sales workers.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Cashiers must pay attention to customers’ questions and explain pricing.

Customer-service skills. Cashiers must be courteous and friendly when helping customers.

Dexterity. Cashiers use their hands to operate registers and scan purchases.

Near vision. Cashiers need to see well enough to scan items and process transactions accurately.

Patience. Cashiers must be able to remain calm when interacting with customers.

Physical stamina. Cashiers stand for long periods.


salaries for cashiers

The median hourly wage for cashiers was $10.11 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.23, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $13.95.

 

In May 2017, the median hourly wages for cashiers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Pharmacies and drug stores: $10.60

Food and beverage stores: $10.24

General merchandise stores: $9.94

Gasoline stations: $9.61

Restaurants and other eating places: $9.54

Many beginning or inexperienced cashiers earn the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour as of July, 24, 2009), but many states set minimum wages higher than the federal minimum.

Cashiers’ work hours vary by employer. Cashiers often work during weekends and holidays. Some cashiers employed in establishments that operate 24 hours a day, such as gasoline stations, work overnight shifts. Part-time work is common.

Employers may restrict the use of time off from Thanksgiving through early January because that is the busiest time of the year for most retailers.


Job Outlook for cashiers

Employment of cashiers is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026. 

Although retail sales are expected to increase over the next decade, employment growth of cashiers should be limited because of advances in technology, such as the use of self-service checkout stands in retail stores and increasing online sales.

Job prospects

Job opportunities should be very good because of the need to replace the large number of workers who leave the occupation each year.

Employment projections data for Cashiers, 2016-26

Employment, 2016: 3,555,500

Projected Employment, 2026: 3,524,900

Change, 2016-2026: -1%, -30,600


Careers Related to cashiers

Bartenders

Bartenders mix drinks and serve them directly to customers or through wait staff.

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

Food and Beverage Serving and Related Workers

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking establishments.

Retail Sales Workers

Retail sales workers help customers find products they want and process customers’ payments. There are two types of retail sales workers: retail salespersons, who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles; and parts salespersons, who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts.

Tellers

Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank. These transactions include cashing checks, depositing money, and collecting loan payments.

Waiters and Waitresses

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments.


Citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Cashiers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/cashiers.htm