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Become A Parts Associate

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Working As A Parts Associate

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Getting Information
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $51,620

    Average Salary

What Does A Parts Associate Do

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Duties

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and offer them assistance
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers’ total purchases and accept payment
  • Inform customers about current sales, promotions, and policies about payments and exchanges

The following are examples of types of retail sales workers:

Retail salespersons work in stores where they sell goods, such as books, cars, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, lumber, plants, shoes, and many other types of merchandise.

In addition to helping customers find and select items to buy, many retail salespersons process the payment for the sale, which typically involves operating cash registers.

After taking payment for the purchases, retail salespersons may bag or package the purchases.

Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This includes counting the money in the register and separating charge slips, coupons, and exchange vouchers. They may also make deposits at a cash office.

For information about other workers who receive and disburse money, see the profile on cashiers.

In addition, retail salespersons may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays.

For some retail sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail sales workers need special knowledge or skills. For example, those who sell cars must be able to explain the features of various models, manufacturers’ specifications, different types of options on the car, financing available, and the details of associated warranties.

In addition, retail sales workers must recognize security risks and thefts and understand their organization’s procedures for handling thefts—procedures that may include notifying security guards or calling police.

Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts. Most work in either automotive parts stores or automobile dealerships. They take customers’ orders, inform customers of part availability and price, and take inventory.

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How To Become A Parts Associate

Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers. Most receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months.

Education

Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or “big-ticket” items, such as electronics or cars.

Training

Most retail sales workers receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.

During training sessions, topics often include customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to operate the cash register.

Depending on the type of product they are selling, employees may be given additional specialized training. For example, salespersons working in cosmetics get instruction on the types of products the store offers and for whom the cosmetics would be most beneficial. Likewise, those who sell computers may be instructed on the technical differences between computer products.

Because providing exceptional service to customers is a priority for many employers, employees often get periodic training to update and refine their skills.

Advancement

Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.

As sales workers gain experience and seniority, they often move into positions that have greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments in which to work. This opportunity often means moving to positions with higher potential earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually involves selling “big-ticket” items—such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronics. These positions often require workers with extensive knowledge of the product and an excellent talent for persuasion.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers. They should explain the product options available to customers and make appropriate recommendations.

Interpersonal skills. A friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people. 

Math skills. Retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers.

Persistence. A large number of attempted sales may not be successful, so sales workers should not be discouraged easily. They must start each new sales attempt with a positive attitude.

Selling skills. Retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers. They must clearly and effectively explain the benefits of the merchandise.

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Parts Associate Career Paths

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Parts Associate Demographics

Gender

Male

74.9%

Female

24.2%

Unknown

0.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Portuguese

10.0%

German

10.0%

Japanese

10.0%

Chinese

3.3%

Mandarin

3.3%

French

3.3%

Macedonian

3.3%

Carrier

3.3%

Russian

3.3%
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Parts Associate Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

26.7%

Universal Technical Institute-Motorcycle Mechanics

8.9%

University of Phoenix

7.9%

Liberty University

5.0%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

4.0%

West Virginia University

4.0%

Old Dominion University

4.0%

Western Kentucky University

4.0%

Valencia College

3.0%

The Academy

3.0%

PowerSport Institute

3.0%

Forsyth Technical Community College

3.0%

Texas A&M University

3.0%

Des Moines Area Community College

3.0%

Johnson County Community College

3.0%

Eastern Kentucky University

3.0%

Strayer University

3.0%

Northern Illinois University

3.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.0%

Columbus State Community College

3.0%
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Majors

Business

24.2%

Automotive Technology

14.8%

Criminal Justice

7.3%

Management

4.9%

General Studies

4.2%

Accounting

3.9%

Computer Science

3.4%

Electrical Engineering

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Education

3.1%

Psychology

3.1%

Industrial Technology

2.9%

Communication

2.9%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Nursing

2.6%

Political Science

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Mechanical Engineering

2.3%

Marketing

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

42.7%

Bachelors

26.2%

Associate

15.3%

Certificate

6.5%

Diploma

4.5%

Masters

3.6%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.5%
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Top Skills for A Parts Associate

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  1. Customer Service
  2. Service Technicians
  3. Parts Delivery
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Responded to customer inquiries to achieve consistent customer service levels, updated parts databases and monitored inventory to ensure optimal levels.
  • Assist customers and service technicians in selecting parts needed for repairs in process.
  • Inventory, stocking, parts delivery, shipping, receiving, warehouse maintenance
  • Control and management of parts inventory along with shipping and receiving which required in-depth knowledge of shipping methods and associated costs.
  • Deliver auto parts on high demand to multiple locations Maintain safe and professional driving conduct under all conditions Customer assistance

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Top Parts Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Parts Associate Employers

Parts Associate Videos

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Life as a Car Dealership parts counter man

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