Whether they sit behind a cash register… stand at the ready on the car lot… or walk customers through a labyrinth of shelves… cashiers and retail sales workers are the face of many businesses. With more people employed in the field than in nearly any other job in the United States, retail offers workers the chance to learn skills that are essential for almost any workplace. Cashiers greet customers, ring up their purchases, and answer questions. They often handle product returns, sign customers up for rewards programs, and may stock shelves or clean up. Retail salespersons perform cashiers’ duties with an additional focus on helping customers find and choose items to buy. Items range from lumber, jewelry, clothing, books, plants, and electronics to furniture and cars. Sales positions may require specialized knowledge and training. Appliance salespersons, for example, must explain product specifications, financing, and more. Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts, especially car parts. They advise customers, take orders, and inventory supplies. Retail sales hours may be full time, though part-time hours are common, and weekends and holidays are often required. A friendly manner and the stamina to stand for long periods are important. In general, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers, and most receive on-the-job training. High school education may be required for positions selling more complex items.
What they do:
Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.
On the job, you would:
Greet customers and ascertain what each customer wants or needs.
Recommend, select, and help locate or obtain merchandise based on customer needs and desires.
Compute sales prices, total purchases, and receive and process cash or credit payment.
sales and marketing
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
looking for ways to help people
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Point of sale POS software
Plexis Software Plexis POS
The General Store
Data base user interface and query software
Gift registry software
Electronic mail software
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.