The history of the employment of cashiers has developed along with the economic growth and expansion of business and industry engaging with trader jobs. In earlier times, when many businesses were small, merchants were usually able to take care of most of the aspects of their own business, including receiving money from customers. As businesses expanded and supermarkets and self-service stores came into common usage, more and more businesses employed cashiers to receive customer’s money, make changes, provide customer receipts, and often to wrap the merchandise purchased.
For cashier work, these trading jobs usually involve receiving the money paid by customers, making change, providing customer with payment receipts when requested or when such receipts are a matter of routine. If employed in some drug or department stores, they may package or bag any merchandise purchased. Cashiers must usually keep very accurate records of amounts of money transacted during their work shifts so that the end-of-the-day balances can be computed. In some places of employment, cashiers prepare the bank deposits for management. In large businesses, where cashiers are often employed in very responsible positions, employees may receive and record cash payments made to the firm, and they may be responsible for payment of the firm’s bills by cash or by check. In some instances, cashiers prepare sales tax reports, compute income tax deductions for employee’s pay rates, and may prepare paychecks and payroll envelopes. In currency exchanges and other businesses, cashiers cash checks, receive utility bill payments, and sell certain licenses. Other general duties may be performed, depending on the type of place of employment.
With its trade career, cashiers usually operate some type of business-machine cash register in their work. These machines may be very simple in their operation, printing on paper tape the amount of the purchase, automatically adding the total amount, and at the same time providing a paper receipt stub for the customer and opening the cash drawer for the cashier. Other machines, such as those used in hotels and very large department stores and supermarkets, may record other types of transactions, as well as compute the amount of change to be given to a customer. Frequently, these more complex machines will give itemized bills of a customer’s purchases or services rendered. Other machines used by cashiers may include adding machines, change-dispensing machines, and others which aid in the performance of their work.
Individuals who are interested in becoming cashiers should recognize that some employers will require that potential employees be a minimum of eighteen years of age and a high-school graduate. Some employers seek applicants with previous job experiences, sometimes giving preference to those who possess special skills in typing, elementary accounting, or selling. High-school students may find that courses in bookkeeping, typing, business machine operations, business arithmetic, and related areas are assets in developing specific job skills. Students may frequently be able to gain both the needed academic training and practical job experience through diversified cooperative training programs, sometimes called, ‘distributive education,’ in their high schools.
Business schools in many cities offer special training programs for cashiers and often, business organizations will operate brief training courses. Some businesses and firms require all new cashiers to take special training programs offered by them because of the nature of their work trade jobs. In many instances, in both large and small firms, cashiers are given on-the-job training and often experienced cashiers will work with and supervise the trainee. Not infrequently, firms will fill cashier positions by promoting employees from within their own ranks, like clerk-typists, baggers, ushers, and others, who may move into cashier jobs. The majority of cashiers are employed in positions in which they must be in constant personal contact with the public. Personal appearance and attitude are very important in a cashier’s work. A pleasant and congenial disposition and a desire to serve the public are needed. Tact and diplomacy, accompanied by a smile, are real personal assets. Cashiers should possess aptitudes for accuracy in mathematical computational work, hand-eye coordination, and finger dexterity in order to be able to work rapidly.
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