Technology has largely simplified the sales of goods and merchandise. Cashiers no longer have to perform mental math or even manually type in the price of individual items; scanners and computer programs do the work for them. Nonetheless, good cashiers require a basic skill set that can be mastered through practice and repetition.
While technology has replaced some of the traditional duties of the cashier, a person still must be able to operate various pieces of machinery, some of which can be sophisticated. Point-of-sale software, for example, may require the cashier to input a series of specific commands in order to properly calculate sales tax or apply discounts; the wrong keys can require a manager override and will generally slow the transaction down. Cashiers need to be quick learners and be able to adapt to technological advances in the marketplace.
In light of technology’s advances, human error and other mistakes or problems can slow down transactions and sour customers who are in a hurry or are generally impatient. In light of these potential problems, and in order to display respect to customers in general, cashiers should have strong customer service skills. This generally means that the cashier should be polite and treat each customer as if she were the most important customer in the establishment.
Accuracy and Math Skills
Cashiers handle money and conduct financial transactions. Mistakes in this area of the job can be potentially serious. A customer could receive the wrong amount of change back or the cash register amount may be off at the end of the cashier’s shift. To prevent problems, good cashiers must be detail-orientated, accurate and adept at basic math skills.
Many cashiers work for minimum wage and the temptation to act dishonestly in order to keep some of the money exchanged during a transaction can be strong. Cashiers must be honest people. Avoiding temptation and respecting the job can not only prevent legal problems, but may also lead to advancement opportunities within the company.
2016 Salary Information for Cashiers
Cashiers earned a median annual salary of $20,180 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, cashiers earned a 25th percentile salary of $18,450, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $23,570, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 3,555,500 people were employed in the U.S. as cashiers.