Cashier Job Description: Skills, Duties, Responsibilities

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Cashier Job Description

Cashier job description

A cashier (also known as a checkout operator) is a person who operates a cash register or equivalent in any commercial establishment that receives payments from customers at a physical point of sale in return for goods or services.

Cashiers are employed at retail outlets (e.g. supermarkets, chain stores, shops, convenience stores and grocers); hospitality establishments, such as as bars, restaurants, fast food outlets and hotels; ticket offices at cinemas and theatres; as well as at a range of other commercial enterprises, such as service stations, currency exchange offices, etc..

Cashiers ring up customers’ purchases and inform them of the total amount due. They take payment for purchases in cash and give customers their change or, alternatively, process payments by credit card, debit card, cheque or some other form of payment. Finally, they give customers a receipt for the transaction, thank them for their custom and say goodbye, in a polite, friendly and professional manner.

Cashiers are also required to ensure their checkout area is kept tidy and are responsible for the money contained in the cash register. To record customer purchases and handle payments, cashiers typically use cash registers, point-of-sale terminals, computers and a range of other devices.

Cashier skills and competencies

At the end of their shift, cashiers are responsible for counting the money in the cash drawer and ensuring it matches the amount recorded by the cash register.

Cashiers play a key role not only in handling customer payments but also in ensuring customer satisfaction. They should always be ready to promptly deal with customer complaints and to resolve any problems that may arise during payment.

The duties of a cashier may vary depending on the type of establishment in which they work. For example, supermarket cashiers ring up customer purchases using a barcode scanner,accept coupons and discount vouchers (and calculate the resulting, discounted, amount), and process customer payments. In addition to operating the cash register, cashiers also have a customer service role, providing information on promotions and special offers, helping customers find the items they are looking for and generally working to ensure that customers have a positive shopping experience. In some retail outlets cashiers may also be required by their store manager to perform duties more typically carried out by a sales assistant, such as loading and unloading goods, replenishing shelves with merchandise and stock-taking.

Cashiers working in a bar, restaurant or other food service establishment are responsible for recording customer orders and handling payments (in cash or using a POS terminal), either at the bar or at a dedicated checkout area. In hotels and other hospitality facilities, cashiers typically work at the reception (or front desk). Hotel cashiers are responsible for calculating a customer’s bill, including any additional services (e.g. parking, minibar) and applying any discounts. As well as processing payments, hotel cashiers are often required to perform a number of other administrative and accounting tasks. Finally, as part of the hotel’s reception staff, they are also responsible for greeting and welcoming guests in a polite and friendly manner and providing them with any information they might need during their stay.

Key qualities for the job of cashier include honesty, accuracy, reliability and efficiency in handling customer payments. Furthermore, since the role is customer-facing, cashiers need to possess strong customer service skills.

The working hours of a cashier depend on the opening hours of the establishment in which they work, which will often typically include weekends and holidays. Large scale retailers, such as supermarkets and high street stores, typically operate day shifts, while cashiers and receptionists at hotels, restaurants and bars may be required to work evening shifts.

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Cashier - Duties and Responsibilities

Cashier tasks and responsibilities

The duties of a cashier usually include:

  • Performing routine cash register / checkout duties without supervision
  • Calculating amount due for goods and/or services purchased by customer and informing customer of total
  • Receiving and processing payments in cash, credit card, debit card or other form of payment
  • Assisting customers with problems in a polite and professional manner
  • Keeping the checkout area tidy
  • Counting the cash in the register at the end of shift and ensuring it matches with the amount recorded by the system

How to Become a Cashier - Education, Training and Requirements

How to become Cashier - Training

Advertisements for cashier jobs do not generally include any formal education requirements, as new cashiers receive basic training on the job. Training will usually include opening and closing a cash register, handling cash, using point-of-sale terminals, dealing with customers in a professional manner and performing one’s duties effectively and efficiently.

In terms of qualifications and employment history, a high school diploma is desirable for prospective cashiers, as is previous experience in the role - preferably in busy environments with a high customer footfall.

Although most modern cash registers and point-of-sale terminals perform calculations automatically for the cashier, a head for figures also represents a definite advantage.

Finally, a knowledge of the most widely spoken foreign languages may also be useful for cashiers in stores and establishments with an international clientele.

What Skills Are Needed to Work as a Cashier?

A cashier requires the following skills:

  • Ability to process customer payments and operate a cash register or point-of-sale terminal without supervision
  • Mathematical skills
  • Basic IT skills
  • Precision and attention to detail
  • Customer-oriented approach
  • Friendly, positive attitude
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Flexibility

Since a key part of the role involves handling cash and processing payments, additional key qualities for cashiers include professionalism, reliability and trustworthiness.

Career Path

Cashier career path

So, what are the career prospects of a cashier?

Cashiers working in the retail sector have the option of moving into another role, such as sales assistant, replenishment assistant (or shelf stacker), or window dresser. Alternatively, they may progress upwards to a position such as checkout supervisor, which involves supervising checkout stations, optimizing payment processes and providing employees with training in checkout procedures.

In larger outlets, cashiers may be given the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities, such as coordinating and supervising colleagues in the role of shift manager or supervisor, and may potentially rise up the ranks to become a store manager.

In hotels and restaurants, where there is considerable overlap between the functions of a cashier and those of a receptionist, career opportunities include, respectively, becoming a reception manager (also known as a guest relations or front house manager) or head waiter.

Candidates with strong customer service experience may alternatively choose to apply their skills in the customer service sector, where career opportunities include the job of customer service manager.

Top Reasons to Work as a Cashier

The lack of formal education requirements and widespread job availability make cashier work ideal for anybody looking for employment close to home in a customer-facing role, in which the barriers to entry are relatively low. Although the job typically involves working on public holidays and weekends, it is possible to find vacancies for part-time cashiers that offer a better work-life balance.

Finally, a position as a cashier may also offer a way of acquiring valuable experience in a specific sector (e.g. retail, supermarkets or tourism/hospitality) with a view to embarking on a career in the industry.

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