Summary

cashiers image
Cashiers process customers' payments.
Quick Facts: Cashiers
2018 Median Pay $22,430 per year
$10.78 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, 2018 3,648,500
Job Outlook, 2018-28 -4% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2018-28 -138,700

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 $10.78 in May 2018.

Job Outlook

Employment of cashiers is projected to decline 4 percent from 2018 to 2028. Advances in technology, such as self-service checkout stands in retail stores and increasing online sales, will reduce 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 3.6 million jobs in 2018. The largest employers of cashiers were as follows:

Food and beverage stores 27%
General merchandise stores 21
Gasoline stations 17
Restaurants and other eating places 9
Pharmacies and drug stores 5

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

Cashiers’ work hours vary by employer. Cashiers often 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 the 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 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 means to advance to other careers in retail. For example, with experience, cashiers may become customer service representatives or retail sales workers.

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.

Near vision. Cashiers need to see well enough to scan items and process transactions accurately.

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 2018

Total, all occupations

$18.58

Retail sales workers

$11.33

Cashiers

$10.78

 

The median hourly wage for cashiers was $10.78 in May 2018. 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 $8.49, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $14.47.

In May 2018, the median hourly wages for cashiers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Pharmacies and drug stores $11.26
Food and beverage stores 10.93
General merchandise stores 10.75
Gasoline stations 10.29
Restaurants and other eating places 10.25

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. Cashiers often 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 the year for most retailers.

Job Outlook About this section

Cashiers

Percent change in employment, projected 2018-28

Total, all occupations

5%

Retail sales workers

-3%

Cashiers

-4%

 

Employment of cashiers is projected to decline 4 percent from 2018 to 2028. 

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.

Job prospects

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

Employment projections data for cashiers, 2018-28
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Cashiers

41-2011 3,648,500 3,509,800 -4 -138,700 Get data

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.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop 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 on Entry-Level Education 2018 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Customer service representatives

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and answer questions.

High school diploma or equivalent $33,750
Retail sales workers

Retail Sales Workers

Retail sales workers help customers find products they want and process customers’ payments.

No formal educational credential $24,340
Tellers

Tellers

Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank.

High school diploma or equivalent $29,450
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 $21,780
Bartenders

Bartenders

Bartenders mix drinks and serve them directly to customers or through wait staff.

No formal educational credential $22,550
Food and beverage serving and related workers

Food and Beverage Serving and Related Workers

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in eating and drinking establishments.

No formal educational credential $21,750

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, Cashiers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/cashiers.htm (visited September 20, 2019).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

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. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

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 CareerOneStop.

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).

2018 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 2018, the median annual wage for all workers was $38,640.

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, 2018

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2018, which is the base year of the 2018-28 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2018-28

The projected percent change in employment from 2018 to 2028. The average growth rate for all occupations is 5 percent.

Employment Change, 2018-28

The projected numeric change in employment from 2018 to 2028.

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 2018-28

The projected numeric change in employment from 2018 to 2028.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2018 to 2028.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2018 to 2028.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2018 to 2028.

2018 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 2018, the median annual wage for all workers was $38,640.