Cashiers held about 3.3 million jobs in 2012. Most cashiers work indoors, usually in retail establishments such as supermarkets, department stores, and restaurants.
The industries that employed the most cashiers in 2012 were as follows:
|Other general merchandise stores||11|
|Restaurants and other eating places||7|
The work is often repetitive, and cashiers spend most of their time standing behind counters or checkout stands.
Injuries and Illnesses
Working as a cashier can sometimes be dangerous; the risk from robberies and homicides is higher for cashiers than for most other workers. However, more safety precautions, such as limited access to cash and security cameras, help deter criminals.
Work hours vary by employer, but cashiers typically must work nights, weekends, and holidays. Employers may restrict the use of vacation from Thanksgiving through early January because that is the busiest time of year for most retailers.
Cashiers are usually trained on the job. There are typically no formal educational requirements.
Many jobs for cashiers have no specific educational requirements, although some employers prefer applicants with at least 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 go through a brief training period when they are hired. In small firms, an experienced worker typically trains beginners. In larger businesses, trainees spend time in training classes before being placed at cash registers. During training, new cashiers learn store policies and procedures and how to operate equipment such as cash registers.
Cashiers typically have an interest in the Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.
If you are not sure whether you have a Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as a cashier, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Cashiers should also possess the following specific qualities:
Customer-service skills. Cashiers must be courteous and friendly when helping customers.
Dexterity. Cashiers use their hands to operate registers and scan purchases.
Listening skills. Cashiers must pay attention to customer questions, instructions, and complaints.
Patience. Cashiers must be able to remain calm when interacting with customers who are upset or angry.
Physical stamina. Cashiers must be able to stand for long periods.
Working as a cashier is often a steppingstone to other careers in retail. For example, with experience, cashiers may become customer service representatives, retail sales workers, or sales managers. Cashiers with at least a high school diploma or equivalent typically have the best chances for promotion.
The median hourly wage for cashiers was $9.12 in May 2012. 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 $7.89, and the top 10 percent earned more than $13.20.
Many cashiers start at the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour. Some states set the minimum wage above $7.25 an hour.
Work hours vary by employer, but cashiers typically must work nights, weekends, and holidays. Employers may restrict the use of vacation time from Thanksgiving through early January, because that is the busiest time of year for most retailers.
Employment of cashiers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Retail sales are expected to grow, leading to increased need for cashiers over the projections decade. However, employment growth will be limited by advances in technology, such as a rise in the number of self-service checkout stands in retail stores and increasing online sales, which decrease the need for cashiers.
Job opportunities should be good because of the need to replace the large number of workers who leave the occupation for a variety of reasons each year.
Historically, workers under the age of 25 have filled many of the openings for cashiers. In 2012, about half of all cashiers were 24 years old or younger.
The Handbook does not have contacts for more information for this occupation.