How to Become a Cashier

There are millions of businesses around the United States and the world that sell products and services to the public. In all of these businesses, cashiers are essential personnel that register the sale of merchandise and collect a variety of forms of payment.

What does a cashier do?

Cashiers are trained workers who operate cash registers for a variety of businesses such as department stores, grocery stores, gasoline service stations, restaurants, movie theaters, and many others. They total bills, receive payment, give out change and receipts, fill out forms, handle returns and exchanges, and place items in bags. Cashiers are typically assigned a register and given a drawer with a certain amount of money. They must count the drawer to ensure that it contains the right amount of money. Cashiers must also verify the age of customers wishing to purchase tobacco or alcohol. Most cashiers use computers and scanners, but some enter product information and price manually. They also perform other duties such as answering customer questions, helping customers locate an item, returning unwanted items, weighing food, stocking shelves, and performing cleaning duties. Some cashiers sell money orders, lottery tickets, and stamps and others operate ticket-dispensing machines.

What kind of training does a cashier need?

Most employers prefer cashiers with at least a high school diploma. Cashiers learn their skills through on the job training. Experienced workers or managers usually train new cashiers by explaining the operation, equipment, procedures, and policies of the employer. New cashiers first observe experienced workers and are then assigned a register and supervised by an experience employee. Some large businesses provide classroom instruction on topics such as description of the company, policies and procedures, security, and operating equipment. Employers often provide additional training when new procedures or equipment is introduced.

What are the prospects for a career as a cashier?

Employment of cashiers is projected to decline slowly, decreasing 3% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growth of purchasing products online and increased use of self-service checkout systems contribute to job decline.

Job prospects are expected to be good because there is a high need to replace a large number of cashiers that retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons.

How much do cashiers make?

As of October 2009, cashiers with less than 1 year experience earn average annual salaries between $11,792 and $35,608. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $12,480 and $26,015 (2).

A career as a cashier is a great choice for people who are interested in providing service to a variety of people purchasing products. Cashiers must have excellent customer service skills and able to complete repetitious tasks in an accurate manner. Good manual dexterity, basic mathematics skills, and a neat appearance are essential characteristics. Cashiers must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they deal with a variety of customers and other workers.

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