In Summary - Checkout Operator
The Work - Checkout Operator
Checkout operators work in shops, supermarkets or warehouses. They sit at cash tills or cash registers where they check the items a customer is buying and then take payment from the customer. The checkout operator takes each item the customer wants to buy and enters its price into the till either by using an electronic scanner or pressing numbers on the till's keypad. Once all the items have been entered, the checkout operator presses a button to get the total price and asks the customer for payment.
Checkout operators deal with cash, cheques and credit and debit cards and must be able to give change accurately. You may also have to handle discount/loyalty cards. They may also have to wrap goods, weigh produce and pack shopping bags. The work can be repetitive and requires sitting or standing in one place for long periods. There is a great deal of customer contact and the work can be demanding, particularly during busy periods.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Receive payment by cash, check, credit cards, vouchers, or automatic debits.
- Issue receipts, refunds, credits, or change due to customers.
- Assist customers by providing information and resolving their complaints.
- Establish or identify prices of goods, services or admission, and tabulate bills using calculators, cash registers, or optical price scanners.
- Greet customers entering establishments.
- Answer customers' questions, and provide information on procedures or policies.
- Sell tickets and other items to customers.
- Process merchandise returns and exchanges.
- Maintain clean and orderly checkout areas and complete other general cleaning duties, such as mopping floors and emptying trash cans.
- Stock shelves, and mark prices on shelves and items.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interests - Checkout Operator
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
As a checkout operator, you should have good powers of concentration and be able to work under pressure. It's important to be able to work quickly and accurately. A neat appearance and pleasant manner are essential.
You will also be a major point of contact with the customer, therefore politeness and communication skills are essential. You will need basic number skills to work out payments and change, and the ability to use computerised tills and pricing equipment.
Honesty is a requirement also for a checkout operator.
Entry Requirements - Checkout Operator
Pay & Salary - Checkout Operator
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 21k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.