Job Description of a Sales Associate and Cashier


A sales associate and cashier handles a multitude of duties, including making sales, handling payments, working in the stockroom and making sure merchandise is displayed correctly. Sales associates and cashiers must be passionate about customer service and be capable of absorbing a great deal of detail about the products they sell.


  • A sales associates/cashier works in a variety of industries, most related to retail sales in places such as electronics or apparel stores. Some may work in the food industry at coffee shops, fast-food chains and cafés. On top of demonstrating how products are used and explaining the benefits of buying them, sales associates and cashiers also often have to make sure items are displayed in a manner that draws a customer’s interest. Other duties range from stocking shelves and monitoring inventory to running credit cards and taking a customer’s cash and making change.


  • Sales associates and cashiers must be professional, courteous, motivated and possess a positive attitude toward their jobs. They need to have a thorough knowledge of the merchandise they sell and strong communication skills, ably providing detailed information and answering customer inquiries. They also need to be resilient in their efforts to make a sale. Along with those traits, sales associates and cashiers should have a basic understanding of math, along with the technical skills needed to operate the register.


  • Education requirements to become a sales associate and cashier vary by establishment. Most need to possess a high school diploma for full-time work, although many retail stores hire students on a part-time basis. What is often as important as education is an ability to make sales--as jobs for sales associates and cashiers are often considered entry-level positions that can be mastered with minimal training.


  • All retail establishments need sales associates and cashiers, meaning opportunities for both should be abundant for years to come. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of retail sales workers is expected to increase by eight percent through 2018. The BLS also projected jobs for cashiers to grow by four percent during the same decade.


  • Sales associates and cashiers often receive a base salary, along with a commission, or a percentage of what they sell, so how much they earn is frequently in their own hands. A lot of it depends on their industry and experience, as well. According to the BLS, retail salespersons made a median hourly wage of $9.86 in May 2008. Cashiers made $7.25 an hour during that same month.

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