Cashiers who work outside the retail sector tend to earn significantly higher annual salaries. However, shoppers' preferences may hamper some job opportunities for cashiers. More consumers are shopping online, and some are growing accustomed to ringing up their own purchases at grocery stores. This will likely reduce the number of cashier jobs in the future.
Cashiers are often required to take on additional duties outside of ringing up customers' purchases. For example, some cashiers issue money orders to customers and sell lottery tickets. They also need to be familiar with the store where they work so they can answer customers' questions or help them find items. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that cashiers earned a mean annual salary of $19,030 in 2009. Washington state cashiers had some of the highest earnings that year, with mean annual wages of $23,350.
The BLS estimates the employment of cashiers will grow 4 percent through 2018, adding 125,500 jobs to the industry. The growing popularity of online shopping may hamper future job opportunities for cashiers. Even so, some consumers still prefer to shop at stores so that they can see merchandise close up before buying it. California cashiers may have some of the best future job opportunities, since all of the top-paying cities listed in the BLS 2009 data are in California. For example, cashiers in Napa, Santa Cruz and San Francisco earned above-average annual salaries that year of $26,950, $26,740 and $25,790, respectively.
The employment of cashiers at grocery stores may significantly drop as more grocers install self-service checkout systems that allow customers to pay for their purchases without assistance from cashiers. According to the BLS, the impact of self-service systems will largely depend on whether customers accept or reject having to ring up and bag their grocery purchases themselves. Grocery stores are among the largest employers of cashiers. BLS data show that grocers employed nearly 840,000 cashiers in 2009, and cashiers earned a mean annual wage of $19,990 at grocery stores that year.
Some cashiers advance to higher-paying positions as head cashiers or cash-office clerks. Some cashiers work part-time, so advancement may include promotion to a full-time cashier position. Cashiers also can earn above-average salaries outside of the retail sector. For example, BLS data show that cashiers who worked at outpatient care centers in 2009 earned mean annual salaries of $29,150. Cashiers who worked in the rail transportation industry that year earned mean annual wages of $40,780.