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Also Known As
- Cashier, Shop
- Shop Checkout Operator
- Till Operator
Checkout operators work in shops or supermarkets operating tills. They handle cash, credit and debit cards and cheques for goods purchased by customers. Depending on the size of the shop they may have other duties such as stocking shelves and maintaining a level of cleanliness.
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.
Personal Qualities and Skills
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.
Pay and Opportunities
Specific careers in the retail sector are covered by agreements made by Joint Labour Committees (JLCs). The purpose of Joint Labour Committees is to regulate conditions of employment and set minimum rates of pay for employees in these sectors of employment. Where there is no agreement in place the minimum wage often still pertains (see www.employmentrights.ie or www.citizensinformation.ie for more information).
Entry Routes and Training
Training is usually a combination of on-the-job and outside training. Most employers offer courses in basic computer skills, training in using the computerized till, and training for supervisors.
FAS offer a range of relevant, retail courses.
No educational qualifications are required but a good standard of English and Maths is usually preferred.
Mature applicants have a very good chance of entry. The trend towards part-time hours may make this attractive for those with childcare commitments.
Contact your local Intreo Centre or Employment Services office for Career Guidance, planning and support that will help you make informed decisions about the best career direction for you
Labour Market Information
Qualifax: Ireland’s National Learners’ Database
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