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How to Become a Cashier

Cashiers are usually trained on the job. There are usually no formal educational requirements.


Many jobs for cashiers have no specific educational requirements, although some employers prefer applicants with at least a high school diploma. Cashiers should have a basic knowledge of mathematics, because they need to be able to make change and count the money in their registers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Cashiers need to be courteous and friendly when helping customers.

Dexterity. Cashiers constantly use their hands to operate registers and scan purchases.

Listening skills. Cashiers must pay attention to their customers’ questions, instructions, and complaints.

Patience. Cashiers frequently interact with customers who are upset or angry, and the cashiers must be able to remain calm.

Stamina. Cashiers must be able to stand for long periods.


Cashiers go through a brief training period when they are hired. In small firms, an experienced worker typically trains beginners. In larger businesses, trainees spend time in training classes before being placed at cash registers. During training, new cashiers are taught store policies and procedures and how to operate equipment such as cash registers.    


Working as a cashier is often a steppingstone to other careers in retail. For example, with experience, cashiers may become customer service representatives, retail salespersons, or supervisors. Cashiers with at least a high school diploma typically have the best chances for promotion. For more information, see the profiles on customer service representatives and retail sales workers.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition