What do Cashiers Do


The job of a cashier is to process payments from paying customers who are buying goods and services.


In a regular shift, cashiers generally complete the following tasks:

  • Making eye contact and greeting customers
  • Balancing the till at the beginning and end of each shift
  • Creating deposits for the bank and placing them in the safe or taking them to the bank
  • Counting a float for the till before opening the store
  • Answering questions regarding products and prices
  • Give information to customers about store policies and promotions
  • Register or scan client purchases
  • Wrap or bag the purchases, sometimes gift-wrapping may be required
  • Process merchandise exchanges and returns 
  • Help clients register for store reward programs or store credit cards

Certain stores such as liquor stores will have cashiers check the age of their clients for certain restricted products including tobacco and alcohol. 

Housekeeping chores such as dusting shelves, mopping the floors, removing garbage and cleaning bathrooms may be part of the responsibilities that cashiers must complete even though they are not related directly to sales and customers. 

There are scanners, calculators, and cash registers and transelect machines used daily to make merchandise sales, exchanges and returns. Learning how to contact customer service and how to change the receipt rolls in the printer will be part of the job. 

What Is the Best Way to Become a Cashier?

Cashiers typically receive on-the-job training. There is no distinct training required to be a cashier. Every retail environment from stores to restaurants will utilize different equipment. 


There are no formal educational requirements to become a cashier. Certain employers will specifically seek out candidates with a high school diploma or the equivalent. Ideally, cashiers need a basic knowledge of math as they must be able to count money and make change for transactions at the register.


It can take a few weeks for cashiers to work in training mode and learn their new environment. Typically, an experienced worker will help the cashier learn how to use cash registers and scanners to operate the store equipment. 


Starting out as a cashier is a common position to test an employee’s customer service skills and if they can be trusted to handle money. 

Cashiers can become retail sales workers or customer service representatives if they wish to move up the ladder. Store managers and supervisory roles may also be available. 

Important Qualities 

Communication: Cashiers must be able to greet customers in a friendly manner and be prepared to answer questions. Excellent communication skills are a huge asset.

Patience: Cashiers will deal with people who are rushed, who have communication difficulties, and who have language barriers and disabilities. 

Customer Service Skills: Cashiers are speaking with and dealing with customers all day long.

Physical Stamina: Cashiers are on their feet all day and will only be able to sit down during their breaks.

Dexterity: Cashiers rely on their hands all day long for scanning purchases and operating registers.

Near Vision: Receipts often harbor tiny print and cashiers need to be able to see tiny numbers, bar codes and item descriptions easily.

Proper Footwear Is A Worthwhile Investment

Wearing supportive footwear doesn’t have to mean compromising style. If your feet get sore, your entire body can ache. Many cashiers are working on concrete, tile and hard floors for hours at a time. If you are standing in one spot, be sure to ask for anti-fatigue mats. Ideally, they should be behind each till for comfort and ergonomics. 

If you have to walk miles each day within a retail setting, having the correct footwear can make all the difference. Avoid high heels. Choose non-slip, supportive shoes, and boot options to stay happy and healthy all day long. 

In some locations such as hardware stores, production floors and warehouses selling bulk items, steel-toe footwear may be required. Sometimes, the employer will provide you with the correct boots or shoes or offer an allowance for you to purchase them. You can find some great deals on second-hand steel toes at thrift stores if you are in a pinch. 

Security Protocols

Anyone working in a cash-handling environment should be proficient with all safety and security measures. Are you making bank deposits or going to the safe as a team? Are you communicating with other staff when you leave for washroom breaks or lunch breaks? If you are leaving a team member alone at any time, this can create an unsafe opportunity concerning theft.

Do you know where the staff security phone number is located or have the local authorities posted nearby? Are there always a minimum of two people on opening and closing shifts? Do you have the correct alarm information and a backup person to contact if you need to?

Maintaining Rapport With Customers

Most cashier jobs are for places that want customers to return. Whether you work at a gas station, a store in the mall, or a grocery store, being friendly and helpful is essential for offering stellar customer service. Does the client need a carry-out to their vehicle? 

Have you mentioned the latest promotions? Did you ask them if they found everything ok? Have you mentioned that gift certificates are available? Did you adequately answer any questions or concerns? The cashier is one of the main faces of an establishment. Looking and acting professionally are essential characteristics of this job. 

Work Environment

Cashiers held about 3.4 million jobs in 2020. The largest employers of cashiers were as follows:

  • Food and beverage stores - 27%
  • General merchandise stores - 22%
  • Gasoline stations - 18%
  • Restaurants and other eating places - 9%
  • Pharmacies and drug stores - 4%

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.

Job Outlook

Employment of cashiers is projected to decline 10 percent from 2020 to 2030.

Despite declining employment, about 546,900 openings for cashiers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


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.


The median hourly wage for cashiers was $13.11 in May 2021. 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 $8.93, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $16.94.

In May 2021, the median hourly wages for cashiers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

  • Pharmacies and drug stores - $13.85
  • Food and beverage stores - $13.50
  • General merchandise stores - $12.32
  • Gasoline stations - $11.24
  • Restaurants and other eating places - $11.13

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.