Employment Prospects


Of the approximately 3.6 million cashiers working in the country in 2018, 25 percent worked for food and beverage stores, 21 percent worked for general merchandise stores, and nearly 17 percent worked in gasoline stations. Large numbers are also employed in restaurants, department stores, drug stores, and other retail stores, and many work in hotels, theaters, and casinos.

Starting Out

People generally enter this field by completing an in-store or online application. Applicants may learn of job openings through "Help Wanted" signs posted in the store, newspaper ads, and on the Internet. Employers sometimes require that applicants provide personal references from schools or former employers attesting to their character and personal qualifications. Having a friendly personality and great attitude during an interview are helpful in getting a job as a cashier.

Advancement Prospects

Opportunities for advancement vary depending on the size and type of business, personal initiative, experience, and special training and skills. Cashier positions, for example, can provide people with the business skills to move into other types of clerical jobs or managerial positions. Opportunities for promotion are greater within larger firms than in small businesses or stores. Cashiers sometimes advance to cashier supervisors, shift leaders, division managers, or store managers. In hotels, they might be able to advance to room clerks or related positions. For most people, cashiering is a temporary or part-time job. 

Tips for Entry

When looking for a job as a cashier, ask at stores that you frequent. Also, inquire among friends and family members who work in the retail industry or who have contacts there.

A position as a cashier in your school store or cafeteria will be a helpful introduction to the job. Also seek out community activities that involve money handling, such as raffles and fund-raisers.

When interviewing for a cashier job, be flexible when considering that you may also be asked to spend some time on tasks not directly related to sales and customer service, such as restocking shelves or taking out the trash.

If you are a young cashier, realize that you'll have plenty of company. Many cashiers are 24 years old or younger.