Exploring this Job

You can try to find part-time employment as a cashier. This will enable you to explore your interest and aptitude for this type of work. You can sometimes obtain related job experience by working in the school bookstore or cafeteria or by participating in community activities, such as raffles and sales drives, that require the handling of money. It can also be useful to talk with persons already employed as cashiers.

The Job

Although cashiers are employed in many different businesses and establishments, most handle the following tasks: receiving money from customers, making change, and providing customers with a payment receipt. The type of business dictates other duties. In supermarkets, for example, they might be required to bag groceries. Typically, cashiers in drug or department stores also package or bag merchandise for customers. In currency exchanges, they cash checks, receive utility bill payments, and sell licenses and permits.

At some businesses, cashiers handle tasks not directly related to customers. Some cashiers prepare bank deposits for the management team. In large businesses, where cashiers are often given a lot of responsibility, they may receive and record cash payments made to the firm and handle payment of the firm's bills. Cashiers might even prepare sales tax reports, compute income tax deductions for employees' pay rates, and prepare paychecks and payroll envelopes.

Cashiers usually operate a cash register or other business machine. These machines might print out the amount of each purchase, automatically add the total amount, provide a paper receipt for the customer, and open the cash drawer for the cashier. Other, more complex machines, such as those used in hotels, large department stores, and supermarkets, might print out an itemized bill of the customer's purchases. In some cases, cashiers use electronic devices called optical scanners, which read the prices of goods from bar codes printed on the merchandise. As the cashier passes the product over the scanner, the scanner reads the code on the product and transmits the code to the cashier's terminal. The price of the item is then automatically displayed at the terminal and added to the customer's bill. Cashiers generally have their own drawer of money, known as a bank, which fits into the cash register or terminal. They must keep an accurate record of the amount of money in the drawer. Cashiers may also use adding machines and change-dispensing machines.

Job titles vary depending on where the cashier is employed. In supermarkets, cashiers might be known as check-out clerks or grocery checkers; in utility companies they are typically called bill clerks or tellers; in theaters they are often referred to as ticket sellers or box office cashiers; and in cafeterias they are frequently called cashier-checkers, food checkers, or food tabulators. In large businesses, cashiers might be given special job titles such as disbursement clerk, credit cashier, or cash accounting clerk.

In addition to handling money, theater box office cashiers might answer telephone inquiries and operate machines that dispense tickets and change. Restaurant cashiers might receive telephone calls for meal reservations and for special parties, keep the reservation book current, type the menu, stock the sales counter with candies and other supplies, and seat customers.

Department store or supermarket cashiers typically bag or wrap purchases. During slack periods they might price the merchandise, restock shelves, make out order forms, and perform other duties similar to those of food and beverage order clerks. Those employed as hotel cashiers usually keep accurate records of telephone charges and room-service bills to go on the customer's account. They might also be in charge of overseeing customers' safe-deposit boxes, handling credit card billing, and notifying room clerks of customer checkouts.

Cashier supervisors, money-room supervisors, and money counters might act as cashiers for other cashiers—receiving and recording cash and sales slips from them and making sure their cash registers contain enough money to make change for customers.

Other cashier positions include gambling cashiers, who buy and sell chips for cash; pari-mutuel ticket cashiers and sellers, who buy and sell betting tickets at racetracks; paymasters of purses, who are responsible for collecting money for and paying money to racehorse owners. The U.S. Department of Labor describes these four types of cashiers as gaming change persons and booth cashiers; as of May 2018, there are approximately 22,020 gaming change persons and booth cashiers employed in the United States. Auction clerks are responsible for collecting money from winning bidders at auctions.