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Cashier

Job Outlook: -4% (Decline)

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What Cashiers Do About this section

Cashiers
Cashiers process returns and exchanges of merchandise.

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.

Work Environment About this section

Cashiers
Cashiers spend most of their time on their feet.

Cashiers held about 3.6 million jobs in 2019. The largest employers of cashiers were as follows:

Food and beverage stores 26%
General merchandise stores 21
Gasoline stations 17
Restaurants and other eating places 10
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 About this section

Cashiers
Cashiers need to have good customer service skills.

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.

Pay About this section

Cashiers

Median hourly wages, May 2019

Total, all occupations

$19.14

Retail sales workers

$11.84

Cashiers

$11.37

 

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
Gasoline stations 10.85
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.

Job Outlook About this section

Cashiers

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Total, all occupations

4%

Retail sales workers

-3%

Cashiers

-7%

 

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 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, 2019-29
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Cashiers

41-2011 3,600,900 3,335,500 -7 -265,300 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

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

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Cashiers

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