Cashiers are trained on the job. There are no formal education requirements to become a cashier.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Does a Cashier Do?
Cashiers process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.
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.
The median hourly wage for cashiers was $11.37 in May 2019. 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 $8.73, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $15.04.
In May 2019, the median hourly wages for cashiers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Pharmacies and drug stores||$11.94|
|Food and beverage stores||11.53|
|General merchandise stores||11.36|
|Restaurants and other eating places||10.73|
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.
Career Outlook for Cashiers
Employment of cashiers is projected to decline 7 percent from 2019 to 2029.
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 opportunities should be good because of the need to replace the large number of workers who leave the occupation each year.