Cashier Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a cashier. Learn about employment outlook, training requirements and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Cashier?

Whether manning the bookstore, running the boutique or scanning items at the supermarket, cashiers work wherever products and services are sold. Their primary responsibility is to process payments for various products and services. Cashiers also greet customers and answer any questions they may have. Therefore, they must be familiar with store policies. Depending on their place of work, some cashiers may help giftwrap purchased items, sign customers up for rewards programs or process returns and exchanges. Cashiers typically scan items, accept different forms of payment and count the money in their registers. Review the table below to see other career details for cashiers.

Education Required High school diploma or equivalent
Training Required On-the-job training
Key Skills Customer service, physical stamina, communication, patience
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2%*
Average Salary (2015) $20,990*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Cashier Do?

Cashiers render payment for goods and services at gas stations, retail stores and other businesses. You might greet customers, process returns, address customer complaints and answer questions about products. When customers are set to check out, your duties include accepting their payment, distributing change as needed and bagging their purchases, if necessary.

Depending on where you're employed, you might be called a sales associate instead of a cashier. You could spend your time out on the floor interacting with customers and engaging in one-on-one sales, which requires a familiarity with the store's layout. When not working with customers, you might set up promotional displays and signs, stock shelves and maintain the store's appearance.

How Much Can I Make?

Cashiers are typically paid by the hour, although some sales associates receive commission in addition to their wages. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed in May 2015 that rates for cashiers averaged $10.09 per hour or $20,990 annually. Your salary can vary depending on the industry you work in. For example, grocery and personal care stores both paid over $21,000, and cashiers working for railway companies made an average salary of $50,180, according to the BLS.

How Can I Become a Cashier?

According to job postings for cashiers on Monster.com, most employers require minimal experience or education for such positions. Some might prefer that you already know about the products they sell or a particular industry, but in most places, previous knowledge isn't necessary. While an undergraduate degree isn't typically required, you might find job opportunities that expect you to have one. On-the-job training can prepare you for your tasks.

What Are the Advancement Opportunities?

You might be able to turn your part-time job into a full-time position with dedication and hard work. Other promotions can include head or senior cashier or cash office clerk. Eventually, you might move into retail management. You could even end up running your own store or serving as a regional manager for several stores in a retail chain.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a few other related careers that require no formal education, but typically provide on the job training. Working as a waiter or waitress is one such option, which primarily involves serving patrons of eating establishments. You'd explain the menu, take orders and serve the food when it is ready. Retail sales work is another option. These workers are employed in a wide range of industries to sell products to consumers. Some may specialize in selling larger items, such as cars or appliances, or more everyday items, like clothing.

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