A cashier accepts and processes payments, exchanges, and returns of merchandise and services. They use registers, calculators, or scanners for the use of processing purchases. They typically have other tasks as well, such as bagging merchandise, counting their register money, and other store-related duties.
How to Become a Cashier
Typically, becoming a cashier has no educational requirements. In fact, high school students or young adults often become cashiers while in high school or college. With no experience or education requirements, a position as a cashier can become a great entry-level job when a person first steps into the workforce. Most training is on-the-job.
Some employers may favor a person that holds a high school diploma or equivalent, especially if they need their cashier to work late hours or daytime hours. Flexibility is necessary for scheduling. Not all students have this luxury. An employer may also expect some knowledge of mathematics because you will be working with money. This includes balancing registers and receiving and counting change from the customer, and giving back the correct amount.
The job training usually includes how to handle cash, registers or Point of Sale Systems (POS), store policies, and how to treat customers. Besides, one must be friendly, have excellent communication skills, active listening skills, multitask, and be solution-driven. Also, you will need physical stamina; you will be lifting items, putting things in bags, and standing most of the time.
Job Description of a Cashier
A cashier’s duties include processing payments for customers that are purchasing merchandise or services. They take care of returns or exchanges and give refunds or change due. Cashiers greet the public in a friendly manner and assist them with store polices or reward programs. You bag merchandise and may even have to help customers take items to their cars, if the store policy allows you to. Cashiers are required to keep their registers tidy. Therefore, they may clean the conveyor belts or ensure the clearing of left baskets or items in their register isle. Some stores want their cashiers to empty garbage cans, mop floors, or stock shelves, among other duties.
These are just a few of typical tasks required for most cashiers. Pending on the setting this may vary a bit; for example, a fast-food cashier may be required to gather food items and give them to customers or possibly pour coffee or make icecream. Gas station cashier may have to active gas pumps while running the cashier, etc.., but for the most part, it involves customer transactions at a register.
Cashiers work a variety of hours. This can be part-time or full time pending on what setting you choose. Retail stores usually are open all day, and some even 24 hours a day. Therefore schedules can vary from day, evening, and possibly overnight hours, including weekends and holidays. This type of work ca be repetitive, and you usually spend most of the time standing behind a register or checkout counter. In addition during the holidays, a lot of companies may restrict vacation or taking time off, due to it being the busiest time of year. According to the Bureau of Labor, there are plenty of employment opportunities; however, self-checkouts are starting to increase in many stores, potentially changing the job duties or tasks required by cashiers.
Benefits of being a Cashier
Cashiers have the advantage of flexibility in choosing their workplace, whether it’s a local grocery store, department store, or various other settings. This profession doesn’t demand an expensive degree, with on-the-job training being the primary route, although additional education can be a wise investment for future career advancement. Cashiers benefit from flexible scheduling, allowing them to work full-time or part-time, ensuring a manageable work-life balance.
Many stores extend employee discounts, a valuable perk. They also enjoy working indoors, shielded from extreme weather conditions, and avoid physically demanding tasks typically associated with other store roles. Cashiers usually operate at the cash register, minimizing strenuous labor. Standard benefits such as health insurance, paid sick leave, and vacation days are typically provided, with some companies offering retirement plans. Most cashiers find fulfillment in meeting new customers and interacting with others while leaving a positive impression on customers as they leave the store, which is a rewarding aspect of their job.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Cashier.
National Center for O*NET Development. 41-2011.00. O*NET OnLine.