Cashiers

Summary

cashiers image
Cashiers process customers' payments.
Quick Facts: Cashiers
2015 Median Pay $19,310 per year
$9.28 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education No formal educational credential
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Short-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2014 3,424,200
Job Outlook, 2014-24 2% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 67,000

What Cashiers Do

Cashiers process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.

Work Environment

Most cashiers work in retail establishments such as grocery stores, gasoline stations, and other general merchandise stores. 

How to Become a Cashier

Cashiers are trained on the job. There are no formal education requirements to become a cashier.

Pay

The median hourly wage for cashiers was $9.28 in May 2015.

Job Outlook

Employment of cashiers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Advances in technology, such as self-service checkout stands in retail stores and increasing online sales, will continue to limit the need for cashiers.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for cashiers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of cashiers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about cashiers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

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 3.4 million jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most cashiers were as follows:

Grocery stores 24%
Gasoline stations 17
Other general merchandise stores 12
Restaurants and other eating places 8
Department stores 6

Most cashiers work in retail establishments such as grocery stores, gasoline stations, and other general merchandise stores. 

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

Cashier work hours vary by employer, and sometimes require them to 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 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 may 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 steppingstone to other careers in retail. For example, with experience, cashiers may become customer service representatives, retail sales workers, or sales managers.

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.

Integrity. Cashiers must calculate payments accurately and be trusted to process customers’ financial information.

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 2015

Total, all occupations

$17.40

Retail sales workers

$9.84

Cashiers

$9.28

 

The median hourly wage for cashiers was $9.28 in May 2015. 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 $8.09, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $13.52.

In May 2015, the median hourly wages for cashiers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Grocery stores $9.40
Other general merchandise stores 9.24
Department stores 9.14
Gasoline stations 9.12
Restaurants and other eating places 9.10

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, and sometimes require them to 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 year for most retailers.

Job Outlook About this section

Cashiers

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Total, all occupations

7%

Retail sales workers

5%

Cashiers

2%

 

Employment of cashiers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. While retail sales are expected to increase over the next decade, employment growth of cashiers should be limited due to advances in technology, such as self-service checkout stands in retail stores and increasing online sales.

Job prospects

Job opportunities should be very good, primarily because of the need to replace the large number of workers who leave the occupation each year.

Historically, workers under the age of 25 have filled many of the openings for cashiers. In 2014, nearly half of all cashiers were 24 years old or younger.

Employment projections data for cashiers, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Cashiers

41-2011 3,424,200 3,491,100 2 67,000 [XLSX]

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of cashiers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2015 MEDIAN PAY Help
Customer service representatives

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

High school diploma or equivalent $31,720
Retail sales workers

Retail Sales Workers

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of retail sales workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

No formal educational credential $22,040
Tellers

Tellers

Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank. These transactions include cashing checks, depositing money, and collecting loan payments.

High school diploma or equivalent $26,410
Waiters and waitresses

Waiters and Waitresses

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments.

No formal educational credential $19,250

Contacts for More Information About this section

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

O*NET

Cashiers

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Cashiers,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/cashiers.htm (visited May 01, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. This tab may also provide information on earnings in the major industries employing the occupation.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's Career InfoNet.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2014

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2014, which is the base year of the 2014-24 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2014-24

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.