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Clerk vs. Cashier: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Both clerks and cashiers work in customer service and handle transactions. However, there are several key differences between the two positions. If you’re interested in working in customer service, learning about the duties and responsibilities of each role can help you decide which is the best fit for you. In this article, we compare and contrast the job titles of clerk and cashier, and we provide additional information about each position.

What is a Clerk?

A Clerk is a professional who provides administrative support to an organization. They keep records, file documents and perform other office tasks. Clerks typically work in an office environment, but some may work remotely. They might work for a variety of employers, including businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Clerks typically have at least a high school diploma, but some jobs may require postsecondary education or training. Clerks need strong computer, organizational and customer service skills.

What is a Cashier?

A Cashier is responsible for handling money transactions for a business. This can include accepting payments, issuing refunds, and keeping track of all the money coming in and going out. A Cashier may also be responsible for handling other customer service duties, such as answering questions, bagging merchandise, and helping customers find what they’re looking for. Cashiers typically work in retail settings, such as grocery stores, department stores, and gas stations. Some Cashiers may also work in restaurants, casinos, or other businesses where money transactions are common.

Clerk vs. Cashier

Here are the main differences between a clerk and a cashier.

Job Duties

Clerks and cashiers share some job duties, like processing customer transactions and maintaining store inventory. However, clerks have additional job responsibilities that cashiers don’t. For example, they may manage the store’s paperwork, like completing sales tax forms and filing them with state government agencies. They may also handle the store’s money by depositing it in the company’s bank account or counting it to deposit in the safe.

Cashiers typically only perform tasks related to customers. They may greet them, offer assistance and provide general customer service. Cashiers may also clean the store’s common areas and help stock shelves. However, they usually don’t perform any managerial duties, such as scheduling shifts for other employees or hiring new staff.

Job Requirements

Clerks and cashiers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the workforce. Some employers may prefer candidates with some experience in customer service, but it is not always required. Many companies offer on-the-job training for new employees to teach them the specific skills they need to do their job, such as how to use the register or handle customer complaints.

Work Environment

Cashiers and clerks work in different environments. Cashiers typically work in retail stores, restaurants or other locations where customers can purchase goods and services. They may also work for transportation companies to process payments from passengers.

Clerks usually work in offices that provide administrative support to businesses or government agencies. Some clerks work as paralegals or legal assistants who assist lawyers with research and document preparation. Other clerks work in libraries or archives to organize and preserve documents.


Both clerks and cashiers need to have basic math skills to perform their jobs. This includes the ability to count money and make change. They also both need to be able to read and understand written instructions, such as those found on product labels or in store policies.

Clerks need to have strong customer service skills as they often are responsible for helping customers find items in the store or answering questions about products. Cashiers need to have excellent customer service skills as they are typically the last person a customer interacts with before leaving the store. Both of these positions require the ability to stay calm and professional when dealing with difficult customers.

While clerks may use more complex register systems that require them to enter data or look up information, cashiers typically only need to know how to operate a basic register. Cashiers also need to have strong attention to detail to ensure they scan all of the items a customer is buying and charge the correct amount.


The average salary for a clerk is $29,548 per year, while the average salary for a cashier is $30,343 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the type of company you work for, your location and your level of experience.


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