Cashiers


Cashiers process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.

Duties

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.

Cashiers held about 3.6 million jobs in 2018. The largest employers of cashiers were as follows:

Food and beverage stores 27%
General merchandise stores 21
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.

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.

The median hourly wage for cashiers was $10.78 in May 2018.

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 $8.49, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $14.47.

In May 2018, the median hourly wages for cashiers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Pharmacies and drug stores $11.26
Food and beverage stores 10.93
General merchandise stores 10.75
Gasoline stations 10.29
Restaurants and other eating places 10.25

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.

Cashiers

Median hourly wages, May 2018

Total, all occupations

$18.58

Retail sales workers

$11.33

Cashiers

$10.78

 

Employment of cashiers is projected to decline 4 percent from 2018 to 2028. 

Although retail sales are expected to increase over the next decade, employment of cashiers is expected to decline 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 good because of the need to replace the large number of workers who leave the occupation each year.

Employment projections data for cashiers, 2018-28
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Cashiers

41-2011 3,648,500 3,509,800 -4 -138,700 Get data

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of cashiers.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2018

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and answer questions.

High school diploma or equivalent $33,750

Retail Sales Workers

Retail sales workers help customers find products they want and process customers’ payments.

No formal educational credential $24,340

Tellers

Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank.

High school diploma or equivalent $29,450

Waiters and Waitresses

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

No formal educational credential $21,780

Bartenders

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

No formal educational credential $22,550

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 eating and drinking establishments.

No formal educational credential $21,750

The Handbook does not have contacts for more information for this occupation.

O*NET

Cashiers


Suggested 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 (visited ).


 

Tracey Lamphere

Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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