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What is a Retail Clerk

A retail clerk is a sales professional whose job is to help customers with their shopping by directing and serving them, stocking shelves, manning the register, packing and bagging produce, and acting as a teller or cashier when necessary. Their additional responsibilities include serving shoppers by politely helping them find what they are looking for, completing purchases, taking care of facility maintenance and appearance, gathering carts, keeping aisles in order, and setting up displays that highlight certain products.

They are required to follow directions, to get along with their teammates, to dress according to company policy, to look and act like a professional at all times, and to perceive what needs to be done and do it, whether that's requesting stock for an empty shelf or opening a new checkout line during the evening rush. They also need to learn about new items and procedures willingly and quickly.

This position does not require a college education: A high school diploma or GED is sufficient. Retail clerks earn an average salary of $23,367 annually which translates to $11.23 per hour. They are generally paid per hour, work in shifts, and might work more hours and longer shifts during the holiday season.

What Does a Retail Clerk 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.

Learn more about what a Retail Clerk does

How To Become a Retail Clerk

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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And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Kohl's Jobs (117)
  2. Nordstrom Jobs (134)
  3. Sears Holdings Jobs (93)
  4. Ross Stores Jobs (60)
  5. Macy's Jobs (223)
Average Salary
$28,126
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-2%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
490,483
Job Openings
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Retail Clerk Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Retail Clerk

Retail Clerks in America make an average salary of $28,126 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Salary
$28,126
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12 Retail Clerk Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Retail Clerk Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Retail Clerk resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Retail Clerk Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Kohl's Jobs (117)
  2. Nordstrom Jobs (134)
  3. Sears Holdings Jobs (93)
  4. Ross Stores Jobs (60)
  5. Macy's Jobs (223)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Retail Clerk Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Retail Clerk templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Retail Clerk resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Retail Clerk Resume
Retail Clerk Resume
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Retail Clerk Resume
Retail Clerk Resume

Retail Clerk Demographics

Retail Clerk Gender Distribution

Male
Male
41%
Female
Female
59%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Retail Clerks, 59.0% of them are women, while 41.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Retail Clerks is White, which makes up 61.9% of all Retail Clerks.

  • The most common foreign language among Retail Clerks is Spanish at 64.4%.

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Retail Clerk Education

Retail Clerk Majors

23.7 %

Retail Clerk Degrees

Bachelors

34.9 %

High School Diploma

31.4 %

Associate

20.3 %
Job Openings

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Online Courses For Retail Clerk That You May Like

Pre-sales Skills: Prospecting, Lead Generation, Qualifying
udemy
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Lead Generation and pre-sales skills: Learn lead generation, introducing yourself & qualifying your lead in 3 hours...

Sales Training: Practical Sales Techniques
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Sales Hacking: Essential sales skills, sales strategies and sales techniques to sell just about anything!...

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Learn Sales Strategies & Sales Techniques to Sell ANYTHING for Entrepreneurs, Startup, B2B Sales, & Business Development...

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Top Skills For a Retail Clerk

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 35.5% of Retail Clerks listed Stock Shelves on their resume, but soft skills such as Interpersonal skills and Math skills are important as well.

  • Stock Shelves, 35.5%
  • Customer Service, 12.7%
  • Communication, 10.1%
  • Retail Sales, 6.7%
  • Product Knowledge, 6.5%
  • Other Skills, 28.5%

Best States For a Retail Clerk

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Retail Clerk. The best states for people in this position are Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Alaska. Retail Clerks make the most in Maine with an average salary of $40,074. Whereas in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, they would average $37,817 and $37,460, respectively. While Retail Clerks would only make an average of $37,045 in Alaska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maine

Total Retail Clerk Jobs:
979
Highest 10% Earn:
$49,000
Location Quotient:
1.18
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Retail Clerk Jobs:
1,379
Highest 10% Earn:
$47,000
Location Quotient:
1.26
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Vermont

Total Retail Clerk Jobs:
440
Highest 10% Earn:
$44,000
Location Quotient:
0.91
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Retail Clerks

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Top Retail Clerk Employers

Most Common Employers For Retail Clerk

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Retail Clerk SalaryAverage Salary
1$33,013
2$31,138
3$30,890
4$30,495
5
5.Kmart
$30,447
6$30,171

Retail Clerk Videos

Becoming a Retail Clerk FAQs

How much do Kroger retail clerks make?

Kroger retail clerks make an average of $11 an hour. If working full-time, a Kroger retail clerk can expect to make about $22,000 a year, which is less than half the national average salary.

Is being a retail clerk hard?

No, being a retail clerk is not hard. In most cases, one does not even need a high school diploma to work as a retail clerk, and the specific tasks retail clerks perform are not especially difficult.

What are retail job duties?

Retail job duties primarily involve customer service. Retail workers would welcome customers, help them find anything they need in the store, answer any questions they might have, and charge them for the products they decide to buy.

What does a retail clerk do at Kroger?

At Kroger, a retail clerk assists with maintenance, helps customers get the best shopping experience at the store, packs and offload items, takes inventory and reports damaged goods, and assists the other grocery workers whenever needed.

What qualifications do you need to be a clerk?

You don't need any formal qualifications to be a store clerk. Depending on the kind of store, you may be required to have prior experience working with money and cash registers or just general customer service. Some stores may require a high school diploma, but this is not common.

What skills do you need to be a retail clerk?

You need basic math skills to be a retail clerk. This is evident, as you would be working with money and inventory daily. You also need good communication and people skills, as your primary responsibilities would involve customer service.

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