Retail salespersons and cashiers were occupations with highest employment in May 2015

March 31, 2016

Retail salespersons (4.6 million) and cashiers (3.5 million) were the occupations with the highest employment in May 2015. Combined, these two occupations made up nearly 6 percent of total U.S. employment. Annual mean wages were $26,340 for retail salespersons and $20,990 for cashiers. Office and administrative support was the largest occupational group, making up nearly 16 percent of total U.S. employment. Annual mean wages for workers in this group were $36,330.

Employment and annual mean wages for largest occupations, May 2015
Occupation Employment Annual mean wage Percent of total employment

Retail salespersons

4,612,510 $26,340 3.3%

Cashiers

3,478,420 $20,990 2.5

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food

3,216,460 $19,710 2.3

Office clerks, general

2,944,420 $31,890 2.1

Registered nurses

2,745,910 $71,000 2.0

Customer service representatives

2,595,990 $34,560 1.9

Waiters and waitresses

2,505,630 $23,020 1.8

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

2,487,680 $27,840 1.8

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

2,281,120 $35,200 1.7

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

2,146,880 $26,180 1.6

General and operations managers

2,145,140 $119,460 1.6

Stock clerks and order fillers

1,934,060 $25,940 1.4

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

1,678,280 $42,500 1.2

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

1,580,220 $38,990 1.1

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

1,424,450 $56,170 1.0

The 15 largest occupations accounted for more than 27 percent of total employment in May 2015. In addition to retail salespersons and cashiers, the 15 largest occupations included combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; office clerks, general; registered nurses; customer service representatives; and waiters and waitresses. Among the 15 largest occupations, general and operations managers ($119,460) had the highest annual mean wage and was the only occupation with an annual mean wage greater than $100,000.

In May 2015, the next largest occupational groups were sales and related; food preparation and serving related; transportation and material moving; and production. Together, the 5 largest groups made up almost half of U.S. employment. The two largest occupations, retail salespersons and cashiers, were in the sales and related occupations group.

Employment and annual mean wages for major occupational groups, May 2015
Occupational group Employment Annual mean wage Percent of total employment

Office and administrative support

21,846,420 $36,330 15.8%

Sales and related

14,462,120 $39,320 10.5

Food preparation and serving related

12,577,080 $22,850 9.1

Transportation and material moving

9,536,610 $35,160 6.9

Production

9,073,290 $36,220 6.6

Education, training, and library

8,542,670 $53,000 6.2

Healthcare practitioners and technical

8,021,800 $77,800 5.8

Business and financial operations

7,032,560 $73,800 5.1

Management

6,936,990 $115,020 5.0

Construction and extraction

5,477,820 $47,580 4.0

Installation, maintenance, and repair

5,374,150 $45,990 3.9

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

4,407,050 $27,080 3.2

Personal care and service

4,307,500 $25,650 3.1

Computer and mathematical

4,005,250 $86,170 2.9

Healthcare support

3,989,910 $29,520 2.9

Protective service

3,351,620 $44,610 2.4

Architecture and engineering

2,475,390 $82,980 1.8

Community and social service

1,972,140 $46,160 1.4

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1,843,600 $56,980 1.3

Life, physical, and social science

1,146,110 $71,220 0.8

Legal

1,062,370 $103,460 0.8

Farming, fishing, and forestry

454,230 $26,360 0.3

The smallest occupational groups included farming, fishing, and forestry; legal occupations; and life, physical, and social science occupations, each making up less than 1 percent of total employment in May 2015.

In May 2015, the highest paying occupational groups were management; legal; computer and mathematical; and architecture and engineering occupations. The lowest paying groups were food preparation and serving related; personal care and service; and farming, fishing, and forestry.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more, see, "Occupational Employment and Wages — May 2015" (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Retail salespersons and cashiers were occupations with highest employment in May 2015 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/retail-salespersons-and-cashiers-were-occupations-with-highest-employment-in-may-2015.htm (visited August 22, 2017).

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