California Occupational Guides

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         What Would I Do?
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Summary Guide for

Cashiers in California

May also be called: Admissions Gate Attendants; Central Aisle Cashiers; Checkers; Clerks; Customer Assistants; Customer Service Representatives (CSR); Sales Associates; Toll Collectors

What Would I Do?

In our everyday life, we frequently receive service and assistance from Cashiers when we shop for groceries and daily essentials. Supermarkets, department stores, gasoline stations, movie theaters, restaurants, and many other businesses employ Cashiers to enter the sale of their goods and services. Although specific job duties vary by employer, Cashiers usually are assigned to a register and are given a drawer containing a specific amount of money at the beginning of their shifts, known as their “till.” They must keep track of their till to make sure that it contains the correct amount of money and sufficient change. Some Cashiers also process returns and exchanges. They must determine whether the product is eligible for a refund or exchange, where and when it was purchased, and the type of payment used.

Cashiers’ work places are generally clean, well-lighted, and temperature-controlled. The work of a Cashier can be stressful as they must focus on processing many customers’ purchases as quickly as possible. Sometimes, Cashiers have to deal with demanding, impatient, or even angry customers. Physically, Cashiers are on their feet all day, and they often have to bend, stoop, and reach for merchandise. Some Cashiers may also be required to lift and move up to 50 pounds.

Will This Job Fit Me?

Cashiers should enjoy working with numbers and have tolerance for repetitious work in fast-paced environments. Friendly, pleasant, and courteous manners are vital. Tact and patience are also necessary in providing service to all customers, especially those who may be rude or angry. Depending on the establishment, some Cashiers may need to work effectively in teams. Cashiers are expected to dress neatly and some may be issued uniforms.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2016 for Cashiers in California is $21,127 annually, or $10.16 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$19,479$21,127$25,312
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits vary by employer, but are generally available only to full-time employees. These benefits usually include medical insurance, vacation, sick leave, and sometimes include other health insurance, such as dental and vision coverage, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

This occupation experiences high turnover as many Cashiers enter this work while they are in college or until they reach some other goal. Most job openings will be created by the need to replace Cashiers who retire or leave the field for other reasons. Opportunities may be greater for Cashiers with more education or experience. Demand for this job may increase seasonally during certain holiday shopping periods when retail stores and restaurants have increased business. However, like many occupations, employment may be sensitive to fluctuations in the economy.

How Do I Qualify?

Most employers require at least a high school diploma or equivalent and for new hires to be at least 16 years old. Employers look for candidates with good customer service and verbal communication skills. Generally, employers train new Cashiers on the job to operate registers, bar code scanners, computers, and other equipment. In larger franchises or chains, formal orientation classes may be provided to give new employees more in-depth training on company history, store policies, and procedures. Some employers may require drug testing of new hires prior to employment. Random drug and alcohol testing may also be required.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Applicants can also find employment opportunities through placement offices at colleges and universities. Newspaper classified ads and the Internet provide additional sources for job listings. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).


Learn More About Cashiers