Detailed Guide forCashiers 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.
In a store with bar code scanners, a Cashier passes a product's Universal Product Code (UPC) over the scanning device, which transmits the code number to a computer that identifies the item and its price. In establishments without newer technology, Cashiers manually enter codes into registers and then descriptions of the items and their prices appear on the screen.
After calculating charges for all items and subtracting the value of any coupons or discounts, Cashiers total the customer's bill and accept payment. Forms of payment include cash; personal checks; and gift, credit, and debit cards. Cashiers must know the store's policies and procedures for each type of accepted payment. For checks and credit and debit card charges, they may request identification from the customer or call in for an authorization. They must verify the age of customers purchasing alcohol or tobacco. When the sale is complete, Cashiers issue a receipt to the customer and return the appropriate change. They may also wrap or bag the purchase.
When Cashiers near the end of their shifts, they must again count their drawers' contents and compare the totals with sales data to make sure the sums match. An occasional shortage of small amounts may be overlooked, but repeated shortages can be grounds for dismissal. In addition to adding up the contents of their drawers, Cashiers usually also separate and total return slips, coupons, checks, and any other noncash items.
Depending on the type of business, Cashiers may have other duties as well. In many supermarkets, for example, Cashiers weigh produce and bulk food, assist with stocking shelves and reshelf unwanted items. Cashiers at convenience stores may need to know how to generate money orders and sell lottery tickets. Cashiers who work at movie theaters and ticket agencies operate ticket-dispensing machines and answer customers' questions. In restaurant settings, Cashiers may also serve as hosts, welcoming and seating customers, giving them their menus, and ringing up food checks.
Tools and Technology
Cashiers use a variety of tools in the course of their work, including bar code scanners, calculators, cash registers, food scales, computers, electronic funds transfer (EFT) equipment, laser printers, magnetic card readers, cardboard balers, trash compactors, surveillance cameras, lottery ticket machines, and money order machines. Some may also use bookkeeping, database, and point of sale (POS) software.
Important Tasks and Related Skills
Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.
|View the skill definitions|
|Task||Skill Used in this Task|
|Greet customers entering establishments.||Service Orientation|
|Receive payment by cash, check, credit cards, vouchers, or automatic debits.||Mathematical Reasoning|
|Issue receipts, refunds, credits, or change due to customers.||Customer and Personal Service|
|Establish or identify prices of goods, services or admission, and tabulate bills using calculators, cash registers, or optical price scanners.||Deductive Reasoning|
|Stock shelves, and mark prices on shelves and items.||Information Ordering|
|Answer customers' questions, and provide information on procedures or policies.||Oral Expression|
|Resolve customer complaints.||Problem Sensitivity|
Below is a definition for each skill.
|View the tasks to skills list|
|Service Orientation||Actively looking for ways to help people.|
|Mathematical Reasoning||The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.|
|Customer and Personal Service||Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.|
|Deductive Reasoning||The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.|
|Information Ordering||The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).|
|Oral Expression||The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.|
|Problem Sensitivity||The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.|
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. Additionally, since Cashiers are responsible for large sums of money in their registers, they may not leave their station unattended without a supervisor’s approval.
Due to the varied business needs of establishments that employ Cashiers, they may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. More than half of Cashiers work part-time or fewer than thirty hours a week, although some are employed full-time. In stores that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Cashiers may work weekends, split shifts, and odd hours.
Most Cashiers are not unionized; however, some Cashiers may belong to union locals of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and UNITE HERE.
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 2015 for Cashiers in California was $21,365 annually, or $10.27 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
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.
Projections of Employment
In California, the number of Cashiers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Cashiers are expected to increase by 9.7 percent, or 34,800 jobs between 2012 and 2022.
|Estimated Employment and Projected Growth|
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Due to Net
|View Projected Growth for All Areas|
Annual Job Openings
In California, an average of 3,480 new job openings per year is expected for Cashiers, plus an additional 15,470 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 18,950 job openings.
|Estimated Average Annual Job Openings|
|Jobs From Growth||Jobs Due to|
|View Data for All Areas|
How Do I Qualify?
Education, Training, and Other Requirements
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, barcode 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.
Cashier jobs usually are entry-level positions requiring little or no previous work experience, although experience in retail, Cashiering, and cash handling will be helpful.
Early Career Planning
High school preparation should include courses in basic mathematics, bookkeeping, typing, and English.
Where Would I Work?
The largest industries employing Cashiers are as follows:
|Industry Title||Percent of Total Employment for Occupation in California|
|Grocery Stores ||28.2%|
|Gasoline Stations ||10.2%|
|Other General Merchandise Stores ||9.4%|
|Department Stores ||7.2%|
|Full-Service Restaurants ||6.8%|
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).
Yellow Page Headings
You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Cashiers.
- Department Stores
- Drug Stores
- Gasoline Stations
- Grocery Stores
- Movie Theatres
Find Possible Employers
To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:
- Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
- Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
- Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
- Contact the employer for possible employment.
Where Could This Job Lead?
Working as a Cashier is an excellent way to learn about a business. Opportunities for advancement depend on a Cashier’s level of performance and competence, and the size and type of employing company. Since most stores promote their own workers rather than hire external candidates to fill advanced jobs, chances are good for hard-working Cashiers to become head cashiers, cashier trainers, or customer service desk clerks. With more experience and further education or training, some may be able to advance to managerial positions.
Below is a list of occupations related to Cashiers with links to more information.
|Billing and Posting Clerks||Profile|
|Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food||Profile|
|Counter and Rental Clerks||Profile|
|Postal Service Clerks||Profile|
|Receptionists and Information Clerks||Guide|
These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.
For the Career Professional
The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.