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Hospitality Cashier Job Description, Career as a Hospitality Cashier, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: Typically high school and on-the-job training

Salary: Median—$7.81 per hour

Employment Outlook: Fair

Definition and Nature of the Work

Hospitality cashiers are employed in many different establishments, including large resort hotels, restaurants, and small coffee shops. They are also employed in entertainment arenas ranging from Broadway theaters to amusement parks.

Cashiers are responsible for taking payments from customers, making change, and giving receipts. They generally operate a cash register or adding machine. Most modern cash registers automatically add the prices of items, total them, open the cash drawer, and provide a receipt. Some cashiers keep records of business transactions and prepare cash and checks for deposit in banks. Some also prepare sales tax reports.

Hospitality cashiers perform duties that relate directly to the kind of establishment for which they work. Cashiers who work for restaurants are called cashier checkers. They answer telephones, take reservations, and often serve as hosts by seating patrons. In addition, cashier checkers sell candy, cigarettes, and other items displayed at the cash register counter.

Cashiers who work for hotels generally keep track of charges to guests for room service, telephone calls, and valet service. Some sophisticated cash registers are linked to computer systems that can do all these things automatically. Sometimes cashiers assign and take care of safe-deposit boxes in which guests store jewelry and other valuables. They may also have front desk duties such as notifying hotel desk clerks when guests check out.

Those who work for theaters or amusement parks are generally called box office cashiers or ticket sellers. They sell tickets to customers, operate ticket dispensing machines, and answer telephones. In theaters they sometimes handle advance ticket sales and mail-order ticket requests.

Cashiers come into contact with many customers throughout the working day. Some establishments, including restaurants and hotels, do a good deal of their business at night; therefore, hospitality cashiers often work evenings. About half of all cashiers work part time.

Hospitality cashiers must be pleasant and agreeable and dress neatly. Above all they must be honest and trustworthy, since they often handle large sums of money.

Education and Training Requirements

Typically an individual needs a high school education to become a cashier. Some employers require that cashiers be at least eighteen years old. In high school prospective cashiers should take courses in business mathematics, bookkeeping, typing, and business machine operation.

Most businesses provide on-the-job training for newly hired cashiers. Large hotels and restaurants may have formal training programs that include classroom instruction. Smaller employers generally train beginners by having experienced cashiers supervise and instruct them.

Getting the Job

Interested individuals should apply directly to hotels, restaurants, theaters, and other businesses for cashier positions. Jobs are sometimes listed in newspaper want ads or job banks on the Internet. School placement offices may also be able to help candidates find cashiering jobs.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Cashiers have few opportunities for advancement unless they get additional education or training. Occasionally hotel cashiers advance to become hotel desk clerks. Those who show the ability to handle management responsibilities may be able to enter a management-training program. For example, a cashier in a restaurant may complete training and advance to the position of assistant manager.

The employment outlook for cashiers is mixed. Many hospitality establishments are installing self-service ticketing and checkout systems that eliminate some cashiering positions. Although growth in this field is expected to be slower than average through the year 2014, employee turnover is usually high enough to guarantee a steady number of job openings.

Working Conditions

Full-time hospitality cashiers generally work a five-day, forty-hour week, but only about half of all cashiers are considered full-time workers. Many work during the evenings and on weekends when the majority of people visit restaurants and movie theaters.

Cashiers often have to work quickly. They are under a great deal of pressure at peak periods of business such as lunch rushes in restaurants. It is important that they are efficient and accurate. Some cashiers have to work in small enclosed spaces such as ticket booths. Depending on where they work, they may have to stand for long periods of time, which can be very tiring.

Where to Go for More Information

American Hotel and Lodging Association
1201 New York Ave. NW, Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20005-3931
(202) 289-3100

The International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education
2810 N. Parham Rd., Ste. 230
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 346-4800

275 Seventh Ave.
New York, NY 10001-6708
(212) 265-7000

Earnings and Benefits

Most cashiers start at minimum wage. Wages vary in different parts of the country. Cashiers typically earn more in the western and northern-central states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for cashiers was $7.81 per hour in 2004. Cashiers who belong to unions often receive higher salaries than non-unionized cashiers. Many full-time cashiers receive benefits such as paid vacations, sick leave, health insurance, and retirement plans.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHospitality and Recreation