Career Development

How To Become a Store Clerk: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn about the steps important to pursuing a career as a store clerk, including education, skills, salary and more.

Store clerks are responsible for a wide range of tasks in retail environments, from stocking shelves and handling customer inquiries to operating the cash register and processing sales. If you are interested in working in retail, becoming a store clerk is a great entry-level position. In this article, we discuss what store clerks do, the average salary and how to become one.

What Does a Store Clerk Do?

A store clerk is responsible for assisting customers with their purchases, handling sales transactions and keeping the store shelves stocked. Store clerks work in a variety of retail settings, such as grocery stores, department stores, drug stores and convenience stores.

The duties of a store clerk include:

  • Greeting customers as they enter the store
  • Answering customer questions and providing them with assistance
  • Handling customer complaints in a professional manner
  • Operating the cash register to process sales transactions
  • Bagging merchandise for customers
  • Restocking shelves and organizing merchandise
  • Cleaning the store area
  • Monitoring store security cameras
  • Completing other tasks as assigned by the store manager

Store Clerk Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for a store clerk is $25,750 per year. This figure can vary based on the type of store, location, and the clerk’s level of experience.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job prospects for store clerks will have little or no change over the next decade. Many stores are now using self-checkout machines and other technology to automate the tasks that were once performed by store clerks. However, some stores may still need clerks to perform customer service tasks such as helping customers find items or answering questions.

How to Become a Store Clerk

Here are several steps you should take to become a store clerk.

1. Be at least 18 years old

Most employers require store clerks to be at least 18 years old. Some retailers may have a minimum age requirement of 21 or even 25, so it’s important to check the job posting for any specific age requirements. If you are under the age of 18, however, you may still apply for store clerk positions if you are currently attending high school and expect to graduate before you turn 18.

2. Have a high school diploma or equivalent

While a high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum education requirement for store clerks, many employers prefer candidates to have some college experience. Some colleges and universities offer courses in retail management that can help you develop skills needed for this career. If you are currently in high school, consider taking classes in math, business and computer science to better prepare yourself for this role.

If you do not have a high school diploma or equivalent, you may still be able to become a store clerk with additional training from an employer. Talk to your potential employer about their specific requirements before applying for a job as a store clerk.

3. Pass a background check

Most employers require store clerks to pass a background check before they can start working. The exact requirements vary by employer, but most will check for any criminal convictions and may also do a credit check. If you have any negative marks on your record or low credit scores, consider discussing them with the hiring manager to see if there is anything you can do to make yourself a more attractive candidate.

4. Complete on-the-job training

Most employers require store clerks to complete a training program before they start working independently. This usually takes about two weeks and includes learning the layout of the store, how to use registers and other equipment, inventory management, customer service skills and more. Some employers may also have their employees shadow another clerk for a few shifts to see what the job is like before they start working independently.

5. Develop strong customer service skills

Store clerks should be friendly and welcoming to customers. They should greet each customer as they enter the store, ask how they can help them and thank them for shopping at their store when they leave. Store clerks should also know where all of the products are located in the store and direct customers to these areas if needed.

It’s important that store clerks develop good listening skills so they can hear what a customer is asking for or looking for. It’s also important that they remember details about each customer, such as their name or what they usually buy from the store. This helps build relationships with regular customers and encourages them to keep coming back.

6. Be able to lift heavy objects

As a store clerk, you may be required to lift and move heavy objects. For example, you might need to stock shelves with large boxes or crates of products. You should be physically fit enough to complete these tasks safely and without injuring yourself. If you are applying for a position that involves operating a cash register, you may also need to lift items like boxes of canned goods from the storage area.

7. Have good communication skills

Store clerks must be able to communicate clearly with customers and coworkers. They may need to answer questions about products or direct shoppers to certain areas of the store. Communication is also important when receiving and processing orders from suppliers. Store clerks should always be courteous and friendly, even if a customer is rude or demanding.

Employers often look for candidates who are good communicators because they will interact with many different people in their work environment. For example, grocery store clerks interact with both customers and employees throughout the day.


How To Become a Senior Occupational Therapist: Step-by-Step Guide

Back to Career Development

How To Become a Cybersecurity Sales Engineer: Step-by-Step Guide