How to Become a Cashier: Education and Career Roadmap

Mar 10, 2020

Learn the steps to becoming a cashier. Research the minimum education requirements, training and experience you will need to start a career as a cashier.

Should I Become a Cashier?

Cashiers are service industry workers who assist customers purchasing goods by handling the sales transaction. These workers, who may be found in a wide variety of different work environments, typically ring up customer's purchases on a cash register and accept payment for goods and services. They may also place the customer's purchases in bags, answer questions about the goods and services offered by their employer and keep an account of the money that is in their till at the beginning and end of the shift. Additionally, cashiers must familiarize themselves with the store's policies and regulations. Standing for long periods of time is often required. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median hourly wage of $10.78 for cashiers in May 2018.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent
Experience On-the-job training
Key Skills Customer service; dexterity; stamina; bookkeeping, database and point of sale (POS) software; proficiency with cash register, scanner, calculator, and other electronics
Salary $10.78 per hour (2018 median)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net Online

To become a cashier, you'll need a high school diploma and on-the-job training. You also should have customer service skills, dexterity, stamina, bookkeeping skills, knowledge of database and point of sale (POS) software, and proficiency with cash register, scanner, calculator and other electronics.

Steps to Become a Cashier

Let's look at what steps you'll need to take to become a cashier.

Step 1:Develop Basic Skills

While it is possible to gain employment as a cashier without a high school education, many employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma or GED certificate. Learning basic math can be helpful to prospective cashiers who have to count money for sales transactions on a daily basis. Good reading skills and computer skills may also be helpful.

Learn a second language. Prospective cashiers who are able to communicate in a second language, such as Spanish, may be more desirable to prospective employers because they are capable of communicating with a diverse customer base.

Step 2: Pursue Employment

Cashiers can work in a wide variety of environments, including grocery stores, retail merchants, restaurants, gas stations and pharmacies. Cashiers must have physical stamina to endure standing for long periods of time. While previous experience is not always required, successful cashiers will have a service-oriented attitude and enjoy working with the public. Once hired, a cashier will typically be trained in the use of cash registers, credit card scanners and other necessary equipment. Cashiers will also be educated about store policies and procedures, such as how customers can obtain a refund or exchange.

Be flexible. While hours worked may vary from employer to employer, many cashier positions require that employees be available nights, weekends and holidays. Some positions may require a cashier to work a variable schedule. Preferential consideration may be given to applicants willing to work unusual hours or extra hours as requested.

Step 3: Seek Out Training and Education for Career Advancement

Cashier jobs can be stepping stone positions to management with additional training and education. Completing bookkeeping, business management, or sales courses and programs may give cashiers the skills needed for new positions. Additionally, many companies offer internal training tracks to management positions.

You only need a high school diploma to become a cashier because training is usually given on the job.

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