Cashiers process the sale of merchandise in businesses ranging from supermarkets to department stores, movie theaters and restaurants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for the highest-earning group of cashiers was just over $12 per hour as of May 2008 (most recent figures available). Though responsibilities vary by type of business, there are similarities.
When cashiers arrive for work, they typically are assigned a drawer that contains a set amount of cash to provide customers with accurate change. One of their main responsibilities is to ensure the drawer contains the correct amount of cash at the beginning and end of the shift after all points of sale are processed.
Many retailers use computers and scanners that allow the cashier to verify the price of a specific item. If requested to do so by a customer or co-worker, the cashier will scan an item's bar code to verify the price.
Using the same scanner that's used for price verification, cashiers will scan each item a customer wishes to purchase and then determine the total for all combined merchandise plus tax and minus coupons. The cashier then accepts cash, check or credit card from the customer and furnishes the appropriate change if applicable.
Some cashiers are also required to process returns and exchanges. Once the cashier inspects the merchandise to ensure it's not damaged and meets return requirements, he processes the return or exchange on the register and provides the customer with an accurate refund, if appropriate.
At the end of the work shift, the cashier is responsible for balancing the money and check or credit card receipts against the daily sales totals. This is done to ensure that the cash drawer accurately reflects the daily profits of the establishment and that there is no discrepancy between the sales and the profits reflected by that register.