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Cashier Career – 2024 Complete Guide on Duties & Salaries

This overview provides valuable insights into the Cashier’s role, covering responsibilities, salary, career progression and frequently asked questions.

What Is a Cashier?

A Cashier is a person skilled in processing transactions, managing cash and providing customer service. Their responsibilities include accurately handling payments, issuing receipts and maintaining a tidy checkout area.

Cashiers often serve as frontline representatives of the establishment, greeting customers, answering inquiries and upholding sales policies.

Additionally, Cashiers may be tasked with restocking shelves, organizing merchandise and assisting with inventory management.

Are Cashier salaries keeping up with living costs in your area?

What Does a Cashier Do?

A Cashier’s day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Processing customer transactions, including cash, credit/debit cards and digital payments
  • Operating electronic cash registers or point-of-sale (POS) systems to scan items and calculate total amounts
  • Providing friendly and efficient customer service, addressing inquiries and resolving issues
  • Maintaining accurate cash balances and reconciling transactions at the end of shifts
  • Bagging purchases and ensuring that customers’ items are properly packaged for safe transport
  • Keeping the checkout area clean, organized and stocked with necessary supplies
  • Adhering to policies and procedures regarding refunds, exchanges and discounts
  • Following security measures to prevent theft and fraud

Cashier Salary in the US

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average base salary for a Cashier in the United States is $30,710 per year or $14.76 per hour.

The highest-paying state for Cashiers is Washington with an average annual salary of $38,320, followed by California where the average Cashier’s salary stands at $37,490 per year.

[Source: BLS]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

Explore the map below for insights into Cashier salaries in other U.S. states.

[BLS]

This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data. 

Location, local economy and the type of establishment are key factors in determining Cashier salaries and the reason they vary across states. In bustling urban areas or regions with a higher cost of living, Cashiers may receive higher wages to accommodate expenses.

Here’s a look at the Cashier salary across four major U.S. cities — Miami, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Miami

Annual mean wage

$29,310

Number of Employees

56,110

New York City

Annual mean wage

$36,750

Number of Employees

173,030

Chicago

Annual mean wage

$32,970

Number of Employees

89,090

Los Angeles

Annual mean wage

$37,180

Number of Employees

125,060

[Source: BLS]

What Is the Workplace of a Cashier Like?

The BLS data indicates that most Cashiers work in Food and Beverage Retailers, Gasoline Stations and Restaurants and Other Eating Places.

[Source: BLS]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

In the Food and Beverage Retail industry, Cashiers oversee transactions at checkout counters.

At gas stations, Cashiers often handle different tasks, such as processing fuel purchases, operating cash registers, supervising transactions in convenience stores and managing the sale of snacks and beverages to customers.

In general merchandise retail stores, Cashiers manage purchases like apparel and electronics to household essentials. Their main responsibilities include item scanning, payment processing and providing receipts and change.

Cashiers working in restaurants and similar dining establishments are responsible for taking orders and processing payments.

Within health and personal care retail establishments, Cashiers facilitate transactions involving a variety of health and beauty products. They operate cash registers, process payments and offer assistance by providing product and service recommendations.

Should establishments provide bonuses or shared profits with employees?

Cashier Industry Trends in 2024

According to the most recent data from the BLS, there are 3,298,660 Cashiers employed across the United States.

However, projections indicate a decrease in employed Cashiers, with an expected 10% decline from 2022 to 2032.

[Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)]
This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

This decline is largely attributed to the rapid advancement of technology and automation within the retail sector. Innovations such as self-checkouts and automated inventory management systems have significantly improved operational efficiency.

Despite the overall decrease in employment, an average of  577,600 Cashier jobs are expected to emerge every year over the next decade.

projected number of Cashier positions

These openings primarily result from the need to replace workers transitioning to other occupations or exiting the labor force, including those retiring from their positions.

Explore the map below for more insights into Cashier employment across the U.S.

[Source: BLS]

This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data. 

How To Become a Cashier

A Cashier is typically an entry-level position and it requires little to no formal education, still, there are plenty of courses that you can take to improve your skills.

Education and Experience Requirements for Cashiers

Most Cashier positions require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer candidates with additional education or training in customer service or retail management.

[Source: O*NET]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

How To Become a Cashier With No Experience

Follow these steps to secure a Cashier job with no prior experience:

Step 1: Develop essential soft skills

As you will frequently engage with customers, try working on skills such as effective communication, adaptability and a welcoming demeanor. To hone these skills, observe and analyze how experienced Cashiers engage with patrons, incorporating their practices into your approach.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with POS systems

A thorough understanding of point-of-sale (POS) systems is one of the most important aspects of a Cashier job. These systems facilitate electronic payment processing and are used across diverse industries, including retail and hospitality.

Explore the chart below to discover what POS systems are the most popular choice for retailers across the U.S.

[Source: 6sense]
This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

To familiarize yourself with POS software try finding online tutorials available on platforms like YouTube.

Step 3: Improve your basic math skills

Basic math knowledge is essential for Cashier roles, particularly in scenarios involving cash transactions sans a POS system. Strengthen your mathematical skills by finding online resources offering practice exercises.

Step 4: Apply for Cashier jobs

Begin by exploring entry-level positions within the retail or service industry, using them as stepping stones toward your desired role. Even if a Cashier position isn’t immediately available, embrace similar roles, such as a Retail Associate or Stock Clerk that offer valuable experience and advancement opportunities.

Top Skills of the Best Cashiers

The best Cashiers possess a combination of technical proficiency, interpersonal skills and personal attributes that contribute to their effectiveness and success in the role.    Here are the top skills and qualities of professional Cashiers:

  • Effective verbal communication skills: Clear and concise verbal communication is important for Cashiers to convey information accurately, address customer inquiries and resolve issues professionally.
  • Numeracy: Proficiency in basic math skills, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, helps Cashiers to calculate totals, provide correct change and reconcile cash transactions accurately.
  • Attention to detail: Thoroughness in handling transactions, scanning merchandise and processing payments precisely helps minimize errors and maintain accuracy in cash management.
  • Problem-solving ability: The capacity to identify and address challenges efficiently, such as resolving discrepancies, handling technical issues with POS systems and addressing customer concerns effectively is what makes a good Cashier.
  • Technical proficiency: Competence in operating Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, cash registers and other Cashiering equipment to process transactions swiftly and accurately is crucial for this job role.
  • Time management: Effective allocation of time and resources to manage queues, prioritize tasks and complete transactions effortlessly during peak periods is an important aspect of this job.
  • Stress management: Good Cashiers must express resilience and composure under pressure to maintain professionalism, handle challenging situations calmly and deliver quality service during busy periods.

Cashier Training Programs To Consider

Even though the majority of establishments require a high school diploma for a Cashier position, there are plenty of training courses that can help you improve your skills for this position.   Here are five Cashier training programs you can take:

EdApp’s Payment Security

This course provides an in-depth exploration of contemporary payment systems, including contactless transactions and essential security protocols. Additionally, it teaches applicants how to use popular digital payment platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Square, as well as the intricacies of credit and debit card processing.

  • Duration: 5-10 minutes per lesson
  • Certification: Available
  • Cost: Free

GMC Training Institute’s Cashier Training Program

This program teaches fundamental math skills for computing sales taxes, operating cash registers, making change and facilitating checkout processes. Additionally, it incorporates training in interpersonal abilities essential for delivering effective customer service.

  • Duration: 40-100 hours
  • Certification: Available
  • Cost: Contact for pricing

NCEC Academy’s Cashier Essential Skills

This self-paced course addresses the duties of a Cashier, usage of equipment and the development of communication skills necessary for customer interactions.

  • Duration: 50 hours
  • Certification: Available for a fee
  • Cost: Contact for pricing

Higher Education Training Services’ The Cashiering Professional Certificate

Tailored for Cashiers within higher education institutions, this course focuses on cashiering tasks, cash management and the development of soft skills such as problem-solving and stress management.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Certification: Available
  • Price: $290

Universal Class Basic Math 101

This course provides comprehensive instruction in fundamental arithmetic skills vital for Cashier jobs, encompassing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Furthermore, it offers practical guidance on navigating decimals, fractions and percentages frequently encountered during transactions.

  • Duration: 17 hours
  • Certification: Available
  • Price: $55 (excluding certificate), $80 (including certificate)
Cashier Career Progression

As an experienced Cashier, you have the chance to transition into roles with more responsibilities, such as a Shift Supervisor or Guest Services Representative.

Cashier
Counter Server
Avg Salary $ 32,000
Waiter/Waitress
Avg Salary $ 34,000
Shift Supervisor
Avg Salary $ 41,000
Assistant Restaurant Manager
Avg Salary $ 52,000
Front Desk Associate
Avg Salary $ 37,000
Guest Services Representative
Avg Salary $ 43,000
Assistant Front Office Manager
Avg Salary $ 53,000
Front Office Manager
Avg Salary $ 61,000

Cashier Career FAQ

While the level of stress can vary depending on factors such as workload, customer interactions and work environment, being a Cashier can indeed be stressful at times. Handling transactions quickly and accurately, managing long lines and dealing with difficult customers can contribute to stress.

However, effective time management, communication skills and support from colleagues and supervisors can help reduce stress levels.

While the role of a Cashier may seem accessible to many, it demands certain skills for effective performance. Strong attention to detail, good communication skills and the ability to work under pressure are important for success in this role.

Additionally, some employers may require a high school diploma or equivalent, while others provide on-the-job training for those with little to no prior experience.

While excellent math skills are not always a strict requirement, Cashiers do need to have basic math proficiency to accurately handle transactions, calculate totals and provide correct change.

Most POS systems assist Cashiers with calculations, but the ability to perform mental math quickly and accurately can be advantageous.

The length of Cashier training can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the tasks involved, the organization’s training program and the individual’s prior experience.

Typically, Cashier training can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. During this time, they’ll learn essential skills such as operating the cash register, processing transactions accurately, handling customer inquiries and adhering to company policies and procedures.

Having basic computer skills is often necessary for Cashiers in modern retail environments. Cashiers typically use electronic cash registers or point-of-sale (POS) systems to process transactions, which require some level of familiarity with computers.

This includes tasks such as entering items, processing payments, handling refunds or exchanges and generating receipts.

Additionally, Cashiers may need to navigate through menus or use keyboard shortcuts on the POS system. While extensive computer knowledge may not be required, comfort with basic computer operations and the ability to quickly learn new software are beneficial for Cashiers.

Common challenges for Cashiers include:

  • Customer interactions: Managing difficult or impatient customers demands patience and professionalism.
  • Product knowledge: Accurately identifying and pricing items can present challenges.
  • Technical issues: Cash register malfunctions have the potential to disrupt transactions.
  • Theft and fraud: Depending on the store’s location, occurrences of theft and fraud can pose risks.
  • Time management: Juggling speed, accuracy, and customer service can be demanding.
  • Physical demands: Prolonged standing and lifting heavy items can lead to fatigue.
  • Language barriers: Communicating with customers who speak different languages may present difficulties.
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