About Cashiers


From California Occupational Guide Number 31
Interest Area 7

CASHIERS handle cash and credit payments, make change, give receipts, 
account for all payments, and perform related clerical duties in many kinds 
of businesses.  CASHIER-WRAPPERS operate cash registers to compute and 
record sales and wrap merchandise for customers.

A Cashier's job duties and title depend upon the employer's type of business 
and the Cashier's work station.  Office Cashiers usually work in department 
stores, specialty shops, hotels, mortgage and loan companies, hospitals, 
insurance companies, and government agencies that collect fees or make 
payments.  This job requires more clerical skill and more knowledge of 
business procedures than the other Cashier occupations.  Office Cashiers 
take cash, checks and other forms of payment from customers, meet the public 
and explain charges or billing policies, and answer routine questions and 

In a hotel or hospital, additional duties are:  posting charges against 
guests' or patients' accounts, taking payments at check-out time, and 
preparing insurance forms.  In government agencies, office Cashiers receive 
and account for money from the public in payment of bills for services, 
taxes, deposits, and licenses.

A restaurant Cashier, who may also be a Cashier-Hostess, takes the food 
check from the customer or waiter/waitress, double-checks the figures, rings 
up the amount on the cash register, and makes change.  In some restaurants, 
the Cashier welcomes the customers, seats them at tables or in a lounge, 
gives them their menus, and makes sure they get fast service.

Cashier-Wrappers work in a booth or behind a counter in department stores, 
variety stores, or specialty stores.  They take payments; they enter the 
amount of the sale on the cash register; they make change, and they bag what 
the customer bought.  They inspect the sales items; they match sales slips 
with the prices on the merchandise and get credit authorization on charges. 
These workers may gift wrap merchandise and prepare packages for shipment.

Many grocery and super stores (combined food, drug, and hardware) have 
computer systems that make checkout easier.  Information on products is 
stored in the computer memory and called up by entering a special code.  
Most packaged merchandise has a standard Universal Product Code (UPC) 
printed on the label.  Cashiers slide the package over a scanner in the 
counter (or use a hand-held scanner), and the price, the tax, and other 
information is registered automatically.  For fruit and vegetables and other 
things not marked with a UPC, Cashiers enter the product's code number with 
the computer keyboard.


Because most of the business owners that Cashiers work for want their 
customers to be comfortable and happy, their work places are usually well 
lighted, cooled and heated.  Cashiers and Cashier-Wrappers work around other 
employees all the time and deal with the public directly.  Cashiers have to 
be alert and courteous all the time.  They have to be on their feet all day, 
and they often have to bend, stoop, reach for and sometimes lift things.  In 
some stores, they may be required to wear smocks or uniforms provided by the 
employer.  In many areas, Cashiers and Cashier-Wrappers may belong to union 
locals of the Retail Clerks International Association, AFL-CIO.  Cashiers in 
some restaurants and bars or hotels may be members of the Culinary and Hotel 
Services Employees Union.


The California Projections of Employment, published by the Labor Market 
Information Division of the Employment Development Department, estimates 
that the number of Cashiers in California will reach 308,180 by 2005, an 
increase in new jobs of 75,030 over the number there were in 1993.

There will also be an estimated 123,710 job openings due to people retiring 
or leaving the occupation.  Added to the 75,030 new jobs expected, this 
makes for an estimated total of 198,740 job opportunities through 2005.

(These figures do not include self-employment nor openings due to turnover.) 

This occupation will rank fifth among all occupations in terms of actual new 
growth through 2005.


There can be big differences in wages, depending upon amount of experience, 
job duties, and skills required; type and location of the business; and 
union membership.  For inexperienced Cashiers, the salary ranges from 
minimum wage to $8.25 per hour.  Experienced Cashiers earn from minimum wage 
to $15.50 per hour, and journey-level workers earn in the range of the 
minimum wage to $17.00 or higher per hour.

Benefits available to many Cashiers and Cashier-Wrappers include paid 
holidays, vacation, life and health insurance, sick leave, and pension plans.

Many places employing Cashiers and Cashier-Wrappers are often open late, 
seven days a week.  However, Cashiers in these places usually only work 40 
hours per week.  Stores handle this in several ways.  Some use an early and 
late shift of full-time employees, while others use one full-time shift and 
one of part-time employees to work evenings and weekends.  A third method is 
to use a rotating shift and give employees compensating time off during the 
middle of the week for weekend and holiday work.  Office Cashiers usually 
work a five-day, 40-hour week.


People in these jobs represent their employers when dealing with the public. 
Because of this, poise, alertness, and tact along with a neat, well-groomed 
appearance, and a nice personality are essential. Good communication skills, 
accurate arithmetic, and honesty are also a must.  Most employers do not 
require job applicants to have Cashier or sales experience, but after 
school, summer or other temporary selling or public contact work is 
considered valuable because it shows a certain level of confidence and 

Some employers want job applicants who have experience with computer scanning 
cash registers.  When hiring an Office Cashier, employers look for an 
applicant with a general background of clerical skills, knowledge of 
bookkeeping basics, and the ability to operate office machines.  Most 
employers have on-the-job training programs in which Cashiers and Cashier-
Wrappers learn all about their work.  The best way to prepare for these 
programs is to graduate from high school with classes in arithmetic, public 
speaking, and English.  Applicants also need easy-to-read handwriting.  
Those who want to be Cashiers should also take courses in typing, office 
machines, and bookkeeping.  Grocery Cashiers usually start as courtesy 
clerks or clerk's helpers who bag, clean-up and stock shelves.  When Cashier 
openings occur, courtesy clerks/clerk's helpers are given first 


Since this job is found in a lot of industries, there are many kinds of 
promotional opportunities.  A Cashier in private industry may promote to 
senior Cashier, office Cashier, or supervisor.  Sometimes an experienced 
Cashier with more education can become a bookkeeping or credit clerk.  In 
State government, promotion may be from Cashier Clerk through several levels 
to supervising Cashier Clerk II.

In most grocery chains, opportunities for promotion are good.  Cashiers 
interested in working toward full-time careers may be able to advance to 
department head clerk and eventually to store manager.


People interested in getting work as Cashiers and Cashier-Wrappers should 
contact employers directly, or they can file an application with the 
California Employment Development Department, Job Service Program.  They 
should also contact the local unions and read the newspaper ads.


Receptionists and Information Clerks       No.  21
Tellers                                    No. 109
Counter and Rental Clerks                  No. 511
Retail Salespersons                        No. 536


DOT (Dictionary of Occupational Titles, 4th ed., Rev. 1)
Cashier I                              211.362-010
Cashier II                             211.462-010
Cashier-Checker                        211.462-014
Cashier-Wrapper                        211.462-018

OES (Occupational Employment Statistics) System
Cashiers                                    490230

Source:  State of California, Employment Development Department,
         Labor Market Information Division, Information Services Group,
         (916) 262-2162.