All You Need To Know About A Cashier Career
You think about applying for a job as a cashier but are not sure whether this career is right for you or not?
Great! Stick with me since I will show you all you need to know about working as a cashier.
Not only will I show you how much you can make as a cashier, but you will also learn a lot about job security, career prospects, working hours, job satisfaction and educational requirements for working in this field.
At the end of this article, I also provide you with an FAQ section where I answer various questions about a cashier career.
After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to pursue a cashier career or if you rather want to go for different job options instead.
What does a Cashier do?
Cashiers are responsible to handle payments of customers in person.
Cashiers can work in various types of stores and make sure that payment processes work as smoothly as possible by handling the cash register in a proper manner.
Responsibilities & Duties of a Cashier
- Handling the cash register
- Making sure that payment processes work properly
- Assurance of the efficiency of payment processes
- Handling of cash payments
- Handling of credit card payments
- Handling of alternative payment options
- Making sure to give proper change to customers
- Making sure that receipts are collected properly
- Assistance in the checkout process
- Processing of coupons
- Requesting price checks
- Bagging items
- Making sure that customers have a good experience
What a Typical Day of a Cashier looks like?
Cashiers typically work 40 hours. However, their shifts may vary quite a lot. While some cashiers work during the day, others have to work in the evening or even at nighttime, depending on the type of location they want to work.
After getting to your workplace, you will just take a seat behind a register and will start to process payments of your customers.
You will have full responsibility that you process those payments properly and that you give appropriate change.
Hence, you always have to stay focused since mistakes on your side may lead to significant financial damage for the company you work for.
After working for a few hours, you will often make a short break to reload your batteries before you do the second part of your shift.
If you work full-time, your shift will be over after around 8 hours and you will be able to leave your workplace without having to be attainable anymore until the next workday arrives.
Cashier Salary 2021
Cashier salary brackets 2021
|Salary Brackets||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Top 10 %||> $39,000||> $19.32|
|Top 25 %||$29,000 – $33,000||$14.27 – $16.36|
|Bottom 25 %||$20,000 – $22,000||$9.41 – $10.84|
|Bottom 10 %||$16,000 – $18,000||$7.79 – $8.87|
|Range||$16,000 – $43,000||$7.79 – $21.38|
Cashier salary 2021 by expert level
|Level of Experience||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Entry level||$16,000 – $19,000||$7.79 – $9.32|
|Junior||$18,000 – $23,000||$8.87 – $11.33|
|Professional||$22,000 – $27,000||$10.78 – $13.31|
|Senior Professional||$25,000 – $31,000||$12.42 – $15.36|
|Expert||$29,000 – $37,000||$14.27 – $18.38|
|Top Expert||$33,000 – $43,000||$16.35 – $21.39|
Cashier salary by state 2021 (average)
|State||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|District of Columbia||$28,600||$14.24|
Job Security for Cashiers
Cashiers have pretty low job security. Since barriers to entry are quite low and almost everyone can do this job, cashiers are replaceable pretty easily and you may therefore lose your job as a cashier from one day to the other without prior notice.
Many cashiers also only have short-term contracts and basically no job security at all.
Future Job Prospects of Cashiers
Due to machine learning and artificial intelligence, many cashier jobs will vanish sooner or later.
Even right now, many jobs in this field are replaced by self-checkout machines and this trend will continue in the future.
Consequently, cashier jobs will become rare and once you get fired from your job, it may be hard to find another job anytime soon.
Working Hours of Cashiers
Depending on your shift, you can work either during the day, in the evenings or at nighttime. You can also work part-time or full-time as a cashier.
If you work as a full-time cashier, it is quite common for day shifts to start between 7 and 9 a.m. and to end between 4 and 6 p.m.
However, this also greatly depends on the type of shop you work for and it is therefore impossible to say what your working hours will really look like as a cashier since it greatly depends on individual circumstances.
Job Satisfaction of Cashiers
Since cashiers don’t make good money and also have quite low job security, many cashiers are not happy with their overall working conditions at all.
In fact, many cashiers think about quitting their jobs and going for something that is more sustainable in the long run.
Promotion Opportunities of Cashiers
Cashiers have barely any promotion options at all. In fact, most cashiers will do the same job for many years or even decades.
In turn, working in this field can be really frustrating since you will know deep inside that your efforts will not increase your chances of getting promoted.
Career Levels of Cashiers
- Cashier intern
- Junior cashier
- Senior cashier
- Cashier with responsibility for payment processes of the entire shop
- Cashier responsible for payment process in numerous stores
Fields and Types of Cashiers
- Cashier for grocery stores
- Cashier for home improvement stores
- Cashier for fashion stores
- Cashier for autoshops
- Cashier at fast food restaurants
- Cashier at department stores
- Cashier at gas stations
- Full-time cashier
- Part-time cashier
- Cashier paid on an hourly basis
Educational Requirements for Cashiers
Cashiers don’t need fancy education. Instead of getting a college degree that is needed for working in many other jobs, cashiers just need a high school diploma and are ready to apply for jobs in this field.
In turn, you don’t need to spend lots of money on education and almost anyone can work as a cashier.
How to become a Cashier
- Make sure that a cashier job is what you really want to do
- Work as a cashier intern at a local shop in your area
- Finish high school with decent grades
- Apply for cashier jobs in your region
- Master the job interview
- Make a good impression at trial work
- Evaluate all your options
- Read and sign your working contract
- Do a good job
- Stay in your job until something better will come along
Character Traits you need for Working as a Cashier
- Attention to detail is crucial to give proper change
- Willingness to work with numbers
- Willingness to work with many new people on a daily basis
- You should be willing to work in a job with low reputation
- Motivation to do simple work
- You should have patience for difficult customers
- You should not be afraid to get robbed
- Customer focus is crucial so that clients come back in the long run
- You should be a trustworthy person
Hard Skills for Cashiers
- Good math skills to give proper change
- Knowledge on how to operate a register
- Knowledge about safety requirements when operating the register
- Good knowledge of the infrastructure around payment systems
- Knowledge of the local language
- Knowledge of foreign languages is a plus
- You should know how to handle difficult customers
- Digital skills are a plus in our modern world
- Knowledge of products and services the firm you work offers to clients
Soft Skills for Cashiers
- Patience for slow clients
- Good people skills
- Empathy with people who have a bad day
- Good time management skills
- Motivation to work in the most efficient manner
- Good communication skills
- You need to get along with your colleagues
- High level of flexibility regarding when you have to work
Exit Options for Cashiers
Cashiers don’t have great exit options. Once you work as a cashier and don’t have any high formal education, it will be pretty hard for you to get out of this industry since many companies will not be willing to employ you in different fields of work due to your lack of hard skills that are needed in the job market right now.
Cashier – Similar Careers
- Stock boy
- Manager of a store
- Bank teller
- Customer service representative
- Ticket agent
- Parking lot service worker
- Counter clerk
Cashier Career FAQs
Is working as a cashier physically demanding?
Working as a cashier is physically demanding most of the time. Quite often, you will just stand or sit behind the register and will not have to do any hands-on work apart from giving proper change to clients.
Hence, while many other people out there have to work in a hard physical manner, you as a cashier will have a quite relaxed life in this regard.
Is working as a cashier mentally demanding?
Working as a cashier is also not that mentally demanding. While you have to stay focused to give customers the right change and to make sure that payment processes work properly, you will still not have to stress your brain that much since you can use our modern technologies to help you calculate all numbers you need to do a good job.
Is it dangerous to work as a cashier?
While working as a cashier is not as dangerous as working as a policeman or firefighter, you will still be at greater risk of serious incidents at work compared to the average person.
In fact, many shops get robbed each year and chances are that you will experience those unpleasant things during your career sooner or later.
How long do cashiers stay in their jobs?
Cashiers often stay in their jobs for quite a long time. However, this is not due to the fact that cashiers really like their jobs.
Instead, many cashiers just don’t have any other option than to work in this field since they simply don’t find other jobs in different fields and get stuck in this industry for quite a long time.
Is it easy for cashiers to find a new job?
Since many cashier jobs are replaced by self-checkout machines, the demand for cashiers has dropped quite a lot and this trend will likely continue in the future.
Consequently, once you get fired from a cashier job, it will be pretty hard for you to find a new job.
Is it hard to switch from being a cashier to another field of work?
It is not easy for cashiers to switch to a completely different field of work. In fact, most cashiers just don’t have any qualifications that look good on paper and will therefore have a hard time finding a company that would be willing to employ them in a different field.
Do cashiers have a high social status?
Cashiers have a pretty low social standing. In fact, cashiers are often belittled and since anyone can do this job, you will just not be admired in the same way as doctors, lawyers or other people who work in really demanding jobs.
Can you help out your family and friends as a cashier?
You will not be able to do good for your loved ones as a cashier at all. While craftsmen can repair many things around the home and people who work in the financial industry can help you overcome poverty, cashiers will not have any of those skills and chances are that you will therefore have a pretty low standing in your circle of friends since you just don’t have anything to offer.
Can cashiers work remotely?
It is not possible for cashiers to work remotely. Instead, cashiers have to be present at their workplace in person and will not have the same level of flexibility as people who work from home quite often.
Moreover, you will also have to spend lots of time and money commuting to work.
Is it easy to find a partner as a cashier?
It is not easy for cashiers to find a partner for a long-term relationship since cashiers don’t make good money and also don’t have high job security.
In turn, cashiers will often have a pretty hard time in the dating market while people who make good money, have a high social status and decent job security will have a much easier time in this regard.
Do cashiers have to work on weekends?
Cashiers often have to work on weekends. However, this also greatly depends on the shift you want to work and also on individual circumstances.
Yet, if you are not willing to work on weekends at all, you should not become a cashier but rather go for different job options instead.
Do cashiers have to work on holidays?
You will not have to work on holidays as a cashier unless you work in a store that will also be open during those days.
Hence, there is a good chance that you will be able to enjoy national holidays with your loved ones instead of having to work.
Do cashiers have to work at nighttime?
You may also have to work at nighttime as a cashier. Whether you have to work in the evening or even at nighttime depends on the shift you choose and also on the type of industry you work in.
For instance, while you will barely have to work at nighttime in grocery stores, you will often have to do so as a cashier at gas stations.
Do you have to travel as a cashier?
You don’t have to travel as a cashier. Instead, you will just have to commute to the same workplace every day and while many other people who work in demanding office jobs will be away from home quite often, you can rather spend your leisure with your loved ones at home.
Are cashier pensions good?
Since cashiers don’t make good money and are also not able to save and invest enough for retirement, they will often get pretty poor pensions.
In fact, many cashiers are not able to retire in their 60s but rather have to continue working since they just need the money to pay their bills.
Are cashier salaries going up?
Cashier salaries have not been going up that much over the past years. Since almost everyone can do this job and the demand for cashiers has dropped significantly over the past years, wages have not increased as much as in other fields.
This trend will likely continue in the future and you should therefore not expect cashier salaries to go up that much.
Can you have a positive effect on society as a cashier?
You will not be able to have a positive effect on society as a cashier. In fact, your main responsibility will be to make sure that clients get proper change and that payment processes work out.
Hence, while teachers and childcare workers can make a real difference in the lives of many people, you will not have the same level of power as a cashier.
How long does it take to become a cashier?
Since you don’t need a degree for working as a cashier, you can become a cashier within no time.
In fact, the only thing you have to do is to apply for cashier jobs in your region and with a little bit of luck, you will be able to work in this field within a few weeks.
Is it difficult to become a cashier?
Since you will often not need any formal education to start a cashier career, it is pretty easy to get a job in this field.
However, due to automation processes, many jobs will vanish in this industry pretty soon and once you lose your job in the future, it may be pretty hard to get a new one anytime soon.
Do you need to be smart to work as a cashier?
You don’t need to be smart for working as a cashier. However, you should have basic math skills and a decent understanding of numbers so that you can give customers proper change and can make sure that payment processes work as smoothly as possible.
Do cashiers have a good work-life balance?
Since cashiers often have to work on weekends and during nighttime, many cashiers complain about poor work-life balance.
Moreover, due to their relatively low salary, some cashiers even have to work a second job to pay their bills and their work-life balance will therefore be almost non-existent.
Do cashiers have to work many extra hours?
Cashiers usually don’t have to work many extra hours. Instead, they often have fixed shifts and once your shift is over, you will just hand over your work to the next employee who will take care of the register and you will be free to leave your workplace.
How to maximize your chances of becoming a cashier?
The sooner you get practical experience as a cashier, the more likely it is that you will get a job in this field.
Hence, if you want to maximize your chances of getting a job as a cashier, you should work as an intern in this field for a few weeks and make a good impression so that you have good chances for getting a job later once you have finished school.
Can cashiers work part-time?
Many cashiers are able to work part-time. However, this problem with working part-time as a cashier is that you will just not make good money and since the hourly wage will be quite low, most cashiers will just have no choice other than to work full-time to be able to pay their bills.
Do cashiers work indoors or outdoors?
Cashiers work indoors most of the time. Consequently, while many other people have to work outdoors during heavy rain, snow or extreme heat, you don’t have to care about climatic conditions that much since you will work in a rather protected environment as a cashier.
What does the workplace of a cashier look like?
For most of your workday, you will just sit behind the register and make sure that payment processes work as smoothly as possible.
Hence, while many other people sit in fancy offices and enjoy a nice view, you as a cashier will have to work in a rather simple environment.
Do you have to look good for working as a cashier?
You don’t necessarily have to look good as a cashier. However, this doesn’t mean that you should look unkempt.
A neat appearance is important so that customers are not disgusted and will come back to the shop you work for in the long run.
Is a cashier career beneficial for your private life?
Since you will often have to work on weekends, during the nighttime and also don’t make good money, a cashier career will often not be beneficial for your private life since your partner may just leave you for a better deal sooner or later and you will often also not have enough time for your friends.
Do you need a college degree for becoming a cashier?
You don’t need a degree for becoming a cashier. In most cases, it will be enough to have a high school diploma with decent grades and you will be good to do.
In rare cases, you might not even need a high school diploma, especially in regions where there is a shortage of labor right now.
Do you need to be certified to work as a cashier?
You also don’t need to get any certificates for working as a cashier. What’s much more important is that you have a high motivation to work in this field and that you also have a decent understanding of numbers so that you can handle the register in a secure manner.
How much does it cost to become a cashier?
Since you don’t need fancy education for becoming a cashier, you will not have to spend any money on it.
Instead, while many of your friends may have to go into student loan debt to finance their degree, you will be able to make money pretty early in your life and don’t have to pay back student loans at all.
Is being a cashier a good career?
Since cashiers don’t make great money and also have to work on weekends and during the nighttime, many cashiers are not happy with what they are doing for a living and some of them even think about quitting their jobs and doing something else.
Is it easy to start your own business as a cashier?
It is pretty hard to start your own business as a cashier. In fact, you would have to invent your own payment system and this would cost lots of money, not to mention all the expertise you would need from third parties.
Hence, if your goal is to work self-employed, you should not become a cashier but rather do something else instead.
Can cashiers teach themselves?
Cashiers can also teach themselves. In fact, cashiers will learn many things they need on the job.
However, you will still need some basic instructions from experienced colleagues so that you can operate the register in a proper manner and can give clients the right change.
Do cashiers make good money?
Cashiers don’t make good money. In fact, many cashiers are barely able to make a living from what they are doing, especially when they live in expensive regions where living costs and rents are quite high.
Is it ever too late to become a cashier?
Since working as a cashier is not physically demanding, you can do this job for quite a long time.
In turn, you can also become a cashier in your 40s, 50s or even 60s, even though it might be harder for you to find a company that is willing to employ you later in your life.
Do cashiers have to quit their careers early?
Cashiers don’t have to quit their careers early. Instead, they can work in this field for quite a long time.
Even people who suffer from physical health issues may be able to work as a cashier due to the rather relaxed nature of this job.
What is the most challenging thing about working as a cashier?
The most challenging thing about working as a cashier is that you always have to stay focused to give people proper change while you will also have to deal with many difficult people who will find something to complain about quite often.
Can you provide for your family by working as a cashier?
Providing for your family is quite difficult as a cashier. Due to your low salary, you will often not even be able to pay your own bills, not to mentions the bills of your spouse and your kids.
Consequently, if you want to have a big family, you should not become a cashier but rather go for a job that pays more instead.
Will cashiers suffer from old-age poverty?
Since cashiers often don’t make good money and are also not able to save and invest enough money for retirement, they will often no longer be able to pay their bills once they get older and may suffer from serious old-age poverty.
Can cashiers retire early?
Due to their low salary, most cashiers are not able to retire early. Instead, they have to work in their 60s and sometimes even in their 70s or 80s since their pension will often not be enough to cover their basic expenses.
Do cashiers get a fixed or variable salary?
Cashiers don’t get a variable salary most of the time. Quite often, they just get a fixed wage per hour and their performance doesn’t matter for their salary at all.
Hence, you may lose motivation to work hard pretty soon since you will just not get rewarded for it in a financial manner.
Can you get rich as a cashier?
You will not get rich as a cashier. Instead, you will be barely able to pay your bills and if money and luxury are really important to you, you should not become a cashier but should rather aspire to a medical or financial career instead.
Do cashiers need a second job?
Due to their low salary, many cashiers are not able to make a living from what they are doing.
Consequently, many of them need a second job to pay their bills, especially if they live in expensive regions where rents are often quite high.
Do you get continuous training as a cashier?
You will not get continuous training as a cashier. Instead, you will just get basic instructions right at the beginning and will have to learn on the job after that.
You will also not learn many hard skills and may therefore have a hard time in the labor market in the long run.
Are cashiers organized in unions?
Most cashiers are not organized in unions. Consequently, working conditions are often pretty poor and wages are low.
Hence, if you want to have a more solid work environment, you should rather go for a career where you have strong unions in place instead of becoming a cashier.
Do you get paid when you are sick as a cashier?
You will often not get sick pay as a cashier. However, this greatly depends on the store you work for and also on the region you work in.
If you are not sure about it, make sure to inform yourself about those issues before signing a working contract as a cashier.
Do cashiers have a high level of responsibility?
Cashiers don’t have a high level of responsibility. While they have to make sure that they give proper change, cashiers will still not have the same high level of responsibility compared to doctors whose mistakes can take away the lives of people.
Can cashiers work abroad?
Since cashiers are needed in all parts of the world, it will also be pretty easy for you to work abroad as a cashier.
However, you should still make sure that you have excellent knowledge of the foreign language of the country you want to migrate since you will have a pretty hard time in the job market otherwise.
Is it stressful to work as a cashier?
Working as a cashier is not that stressful. While you may have to work fast during busy times, you will also have many periods throughout the day when you can take breaks and will have barely any clients at all.
Is it boring to work as a cashier?
Working as a cashier may indeed become boring in the long run. While you may find it interesting to work as a cashier during your first weeks or months, you may get fed up of it pretty soon and due to the repeating nature of this job, you may lose all your motivation sooner or later.
Is being a cashier hard?
Working as a cashier is not that hard since you neither have to work in a heavy physical nor in a heavy mental manner.
Instead, you will have a rather relaxed job and while many other people really struggle at work and come home tired, you will often have enough power left for your hobbies or to meet up with friends.
Are cashiers at risk of burnout?
Since working as a cashier is not that stressful, your risk of suffering from burnout will be rather limited, at least compared to other jobs where you often have to work many extra hours and also have to do lots of work in a pretty short period of time.
Is there a dress code for cashiers?
There is no strict dress code for cashiers. However, most stores will provide you with clothes or uniforms you can wear to represent the store you work for in a proper manner so that clients will be more likely to come back in the long run.
What kind of cashiers are paid the most?
The higher the prices of the items you sell, the higher your wage as a cashier will usually be.
Hence, you should apply for jobs at luxury boutiques if you want to make the most money from your cashier job instead of applying in a normal grocery store.
What percentage of cashiers are women?
Around 68% of all cashiers are women while 32% are men. Hence, the cashier industry is dominated by female power.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that men have a lower chance to work in this field. It just means that more women are willing to work in these jobs on average.
Do I need a mentor to succeed as a cashier?
You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a cashier. What’s much more important is that you do your work efficiently and that you focus on your work to give clients proper change so that your clients and also your boss are happy with your work in the long run.
Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a cashier?
Most of the time, you will not be personally liable for mistakes if you work as an employed cashier. However, things may be different if you also have management responsibilities.
Thus, make sure to inform yourself about this topic and that you get proper insurance to avoid any financial problems in this regard.
Do cashiers have a high life expectancy?
Since cashiers often have to work at nighttime and also sometimes have to work on weekends, they will have to work quite a lot to pay their bills and this may increase the risk of serious health problems.
Moreover, due to their low income, they may also not be able to afford proper medical treatment and the overall life expectancy of cashiers will therefore be rather low.
Do cashiers suffer from sleeping problems?
If you have to work at nighttime as a cashier, chances are that you will suffer from serious sleeping problems since your natural sleeping rhythm will get destroyed and a lack of proper sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems in the long run.
What states are best for working as a cashier?
Since wage differences between states are rather low for cashiers, you should choose a state where you have low living costs and rents so that you are able to make a living from your cashier job and don’t need to take on a second job to pay your bills.
Who do cashiers work with?
Cashiers work with numerous different customers each day. Consequently, you should be an open person who is not afraid to talk to strangers so that you stay happy with what you are doing in the long run.
Is working as a cashier cool?
Working as a cashier is not considered cool by most people. In fact, many people may even make fun of you if you tell them that you work as a cashier and you should therefore be able to deal with snarky comments in this regard in a proper manner.
Can you start a side hustle as a cashier?
Since cashiers have to be pretty flexible regarding their working schedule, it will also be pretty hard for them to start a side hustle since they can never be sure when they have enough time to work on something else apart from their day job.
Do you have to be creative as a cashier?
There is no need to be creative as a cashier. What’s much more important is that you have a basic understanding of math so that you give customers the correct change and since you will do the same thing all day long, creativity is not needed at all to succeed as a cashier.
How employable are cashiers?
Since an increasing number of cashiers will be replaced by machines in the near future, cashiers will not be highly employable anymore.
Instead, you may have a pretty hard time finding a new job as a cashier once you get fired.
Are cashiers happy with their jobs?
Due to the low salary and the exotic working hours, many cashiers are not happy with their jobs at all.
They just work in this field since they simply don’t find a company that would be willing to employ them in a different field.
Is working as a cashier exciting?
Working as a cashier is not exciting at all. You will just do the same things over and over again and this can get really frustrating and exhausting in the long run, especially if you don’t have any options to get out of this field.
What are the pros and cons of working as a cashier?
If you still consider becoming a cashier, you should also have a look at the pros and cons of a cashier career.
Interviews and own research.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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