Cashiers process payments from customers purchasing goods and services.

What they do

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

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.

How to become a Cashier

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

Although most jobs for cashiers have no specific education requirements, some employers 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.

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.


The median hourly wage for cashiers was $11.37 in May 2019. 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 $8.73, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $15.04.

Job Outlook

Employment of cashiers is projected to decline 7 percent from 2019 to 2029.

Although retail sales are expected to increase over the next decade, employment of cashiers is expected to decline because of advances in technology, such as the use of self-service checkout stands in retail stores and increasing online sales.

Similar Job Titles

Cage Cashier, Cashier, Center Aisle Cashier, Central Aisle Cashier, Checker, Customer Assistant, Mutuel Clerk, Sales Associate, Toll Collector, Visitor Service Associate

Related Occupations

Waiter and Waitresses, Host and Hostess-Restaurant/Lounge/Coffee Shop, Usher/Lobby Attendant/Ticket Taker, Counter and Rental Clerk, Stock Clerk-Sales Floor

More Information

The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field.  Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas.  As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.

  • National Association of Sales Professionals - The founder of this organization along with his team help individuals and companies in more than 19 countries transform their behavior and realize long-lasting results with powerful and effective conditioning programs and transformational live events.
  • National Retail Federation - This organization and its members stand up for, celebrate, educate and inspire the retail industry.
  • The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union - The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is a labor union made up of 1.3 million hard-working men and women in the U.S. and Canada. This organization is a non-profit that believes in the power of ordinary people coming together to improve their lives and make a lasting difference for all working people.

Magazines and Publications

Video Transcript

Whether they sit behind a cash register… stand at the ready on the car lot… or walk customers through a labyrinth of shelves… cashiers and retail sales workers are the face of many businesses. With more people employed in the field than in nearly any other job in the United States, retail offers workers the chance to learn skills that are essential for almost any workplace. Cashiers greet customers, ring up their purchases, and answer questions. They often handle product returns, sign customers up for rewards programs, and may stock shelves or clean up. Retail salespersons perform cashiers’ duties with an additional focus on helping customers find and choose items to buy. Items range from lumber, jewelry, clothing, books, plants, and electronics to furniture and cars. Sales positions may require specialized knowledge and training. Appliance salespersons, for example, must explain product specifications, financing, and more. Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts, especially car parts. They advise customers, take orders, and inventory supplies. Retail sales hours may be full time, though part-time hours are common, and weekends and holidays are often required. A friendly manner and the stamina to stand for long periods are important. In general, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers, and most receive on-the-job training. High school education may be required for positions selling more complex items.

Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH,
CareerOneStop, O*Net Online