Call Centre & Customer Service
Checkout operators work on electronic cash registers serving customers in supermarkets, convenience stores or large retail stores.
Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent
What does a Checkout Operator do?
Checkout operators work on electronic cash registers serving customers. This could be in a supermarket, convenience store or large retail store.
As a checkout operator, your work would normally include:
- using a computerised cash register system that has a barcode scanner
- scanning items for customers
- weighing and pricing items such as fruit and vegetables
- using special tools to remove security tags
- checking customers' ages for restrictions on items like alcohol
- packing and wrapping purchases
- processing store loyalty cards, coupons and vouchers
- taking payments and making sure the cash register till balances at the end of the day.
You would need to work quickly so that customers in the queue don’t have to wait too long. You may spend time away from the till, filling shelves, checking stock or working on a customer service desk. Your exact duties would depend on the type of retail outlet you work in. For example, there may be some lifting involved if you worked in a DIY store.
Key skills and interests
To become a checkout operator, you would need to be:
- polite and friendly
- honest and trustworthy
- good with customers
- comfortable using computerised cash registers, barcode scanners and electronic payment systems
- confident handling money and giving change
- able to work quickly and accurately under pressure.
Working hours and conditions
You might work full-time as a checkout operator, but there are also lots of opportunities to work part-time. This may include working shift work on evenings, weekends and public holidays. Some stores open 24 hours a day.
Many large retail stores or centres are in out-of-town locations, so you may need your own transport to get there. You would be expected to dress neatly and may be provided with a uniform.
How to become an Checkout Operator?
Entry Level Education
You can work as a checkout operator without formal qualifications. You would get some on-the-job training.
You can also become a checkout operator through a traineeship in Retail Services. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Employment of checkout operators is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.
Employment growth will be limited by advances in technology, such as a rise in the number of self-service checkouts in retail stores and increasing online sales, which decrease the need for checkout operators.
Job opportunities should be good because of the need to replace the large number of workers who leave the occupation for a variety of reasons each year.