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Retail Cashier: Job Description & Requirements

Find out about the work responsibilities of a retail cashier. Explore what skills and training are required, and review the salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career choice.

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Career Definition of a Retail Cashier

A retail cashier is the point of contact for customers who are purchasing items, and he or she is responsible for ringing up items and bagging them. The cashier also handles tender and provides customer receipts using a cash register or till. Cashiers may also handle returns or exchanges.

Educational Requirements No formal education required; some employers may desire a high school diploma or equivalent
Job Skills Grasp of basic math, customer service skills, good attention to detail and ability to stand for long periods of time
Median Salary (2015)* $19,310
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 2%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

There is no required education to become a retail cashier, although some companies may prefer that an applicant have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Training is completed onsite. Retail cashiers are expected to follow specific company guidelines under the supervision of a manager.

Skills Required

Retail cashiers need to have basic math skills. Since they are the last image the customer usually sees before leaving a store, they should have a semi-professional appearance and be able to provide basic customer service. Retail cashiers should also have attention to detail and be able to stand for an extended length of time. They should also be comfortable with repetition, since their job function rarely varies.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cashier jobs were expected to grow only 2% from 2014-2024, which was less than average. This was due to the increase in online stores and in-store, self-checkout counters. While the general outlook may not be excellent, many retail cashiers often move on to other careers, so openings will continue to be available. In 2015, the median annual pay for a cashier was $19,310. Grocery stores and gas stations are listed as the two top retail establishments that hire cashiers.

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Alternative Careers

Similar career options in this field include:

Retail Sales Worker

If working in a retail store and helping customers select the right product sounds interesting, consider becoming a retail sales worker. These sales personnel greet customers as they enter the store, answer questions about products, assist in locating desired items and encourage the customer to buy the merchandise. Retail sales workers may also set up store displays and perform cashier duties. No formal education is usually required to work in this field, but some companies that sell more technical items may prefer a candidate with a high school diploma. Training is generally offered by the employer. In May of 2015, the BLS reported that retail salespeople earned an average salary of $21,780 per year. It also predicted the creation of over 331,000 new jobs for retail and parts salespeople between 2014 and 2024, at a growth rate of 7%.

Teller

For those who desire a cash-handling position but may not want to work in a retail environment, becoming a teller could be the right fit. Tellers work in a bank and assist customers with deposits, withdrawals and other monetary transactions. They also answer account questions and manage their money drawer throughout their shift. On-the-job training is most common, and no education beyond high school is usually required to qualify for a position. The BLS projected a decline of 8% in employment of tellers from 2014-2024 because of the increase in online banking activities. However, jobs will open up when tellers move on to higher-level positions. Tellers received average annual compensation of $26,410 in 2015, as stated by the BLS.

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