A retail clerk is responsible for selling goods and services to the customers, recommending products based on their needs, and responding to the customers' inquiries and concerns about the product. Retail clerks assist with the store's marketing strategies, organize product displays, monitor inventories, endorse promotional discounts, and help customers on their checkout payments. A retail clerk must have excellent communication and customer service skills to handle customers' requests and ensure their highest satisfaction.

Retail Clerk Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real retail clerk resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage an online eBay store, featuring wireless technology accessories.
  • Handle sales and returns through a POS software system and inventory database, and train new employees on the same tools.
  • Respond to telephone and internet inquiries and ensure effective communication is taken.
  • Develop critical communication skills require for sales and customer satisfaction through costumer interactions.
  • Collect and process payments including accurate maintenance of sales register and jewelry inventory following close of daily business.
  • Totale customer merchandise selection at checkout counter using cash register.
Retail Clerk Traits
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.
Selling skills
Selling skills refer to the knowledge one has to secure a sale between a customer and a vendor.

Retail Clerk Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a retail clerk does, you may be wondering, "should I become a retail clerk?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, retail clerks have a growth rate described as "decline" at -2% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of retail clerk opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is -105,200.

On average, the retail clerk annual salary is $24,615 per year, which translates to $11.83 an hour. Generally speaking, retail clerks earn anywhere from $18,000 to $33,000 a year, which means that the top-earning retail clerks make $15,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a retail clerk, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a sales associate, store associate, jewelry sales associate, and sales floor associate.

Retail Clerk Jobs You Might Like

Retail Clerk Resume Examples

Retail Clerk Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 36% of Retail Clerks are proficient in Stock Shelves, Customer Service, and Communication. They’re also known for soft skills such as Interpersonal skills, Math skills, and Selling skills.

We break down the percentage of Retail Clerks that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Stock Shelves, 36%

    Exhibit excellent customer service * Restock shelves and inventory products * Exhibit excellent salesmanship

  • Customer Service, 13%

    Provide gracious/friendly customer service, display positive/cooperative teamwork and exhibit product/service knowledge when transacting sales in team stores/stands.

  • Communication, 10%

    Developed critical communication skills required for sales and customer satisfaction through costumer interactions.

  • Retail Sales, 7%

    Worked summers involving retail sales, customer services, inventory management and computer involvement

  • Product Knowledge, 6%

    Aided customers by investigating their product needs, providing product knowledge and making product recommendations.

  • Sales Goals, 6%

    Provide exceptional customer service by utilizing training and sales skills to achieve sales goals and overall company profitability.

Some of the skills we found on retail clerk resumes included "stock shelves," "customer service," and "communication." We have detailed the most important retail clerk responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a retail clerk to have happens to be interpersonal skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "a friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that retail clerks can use interpersonal skills to "selected to wear and promote new merchandise based on sales record and interpersonal skills. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many retail clerk duties rely on math skills. This example from a retail clerk explains why: "retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers." This resume example is just one of many ways retail clerks are able to utilize math skills: "analyzed statistics and other data to determine the level of customer service performance achieved by the team. "
  • Selling skills is also an important skill for retail clerks to have. This example of how retail clerks use this skill comes from a retail clerk resume, "retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "selected to train in the photo sales department -trained new employees -aided in loss prevention -completed osha certification"
  • In order for certain retail clerk responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "customer-service skills." According to a retail clerk resume, "retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "cash handling skills provide bilingual customer service running cash register loss prevention skills organize merchandise merchandising and stocking"
  • See the full list of retail clerk skills.

    We've found that 34.9% of retail clerks have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 2.4% earned their master's degrees before becoming a retail clerk. While it's true that some retail clerks have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every four retail clerks did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those retail clerks who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a general studies degree. Less commonly earned degrees for retail clerks include a psychology degree or a criminal justice degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a retail clerk. We've found that most retail clerk resumes include experience from Kroger, Bridgestone Tires, and Meijer. Of recent, Kroger had 1,383 positions open for retail clerks. Meanwhile, there are 335 job openings at Bridgestone Tires and 78 at Meijer.

    If you're interested in companies where retail clerks make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at UBS, Cracker Barrel, and Albertsons. We found that at UBS, the average retail clerk salary is $34,278. Whereas at Cracker Barrel, retail clerks earn roughly $28,555. And at Albertsons, they make an average salary of $28,411.

    View more details on retail clerk salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Macy's, Nordstrom, and Walmart. These three companies have hired a significant number of retail clerks from these institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious retail clerks are:

      What Sales Associates Do

      Sales associates are responsible for promoting the company's goods or services. They are expected to provide exceptional customer service to prospective buyers. They should be familiar with all features of the company's products or services so that they can answer the customers' inquiries. Sales associates also assist customers in processing their checkouts, refunds, returns, and other needs. They should be customer-oriented, and they should have great communication skills. They should know how to sell their products or services to customers. They are considered the company's representatives on the ground.

      In this section, we compare the average retail clerk annual salary with that of a sales associate. Typically, sales associates earn a $9,976 higher salary than retail clerks earn annually.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between retail clerks and sales associates are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like stock shelves, customer service, and communication.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A retail clerk responsibility is more likely to require skills like "product knowledge," "hard-working," "display merchandise," and "public inquiries." Whereas a sales associate requires skills like "high levels," "new customers," "current promotions," and "clean store." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      Sales associates tend to make the most money in the retail industry by averaging a salary of $33,029. In contrast, retail clerks make the biggest average salary of $24,454 in the retail industry.

      On average, sales associates reach similar levels of education than retail clerks. Sales associates are 0.6% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Store Associate?

      A store associate is responsible for assisting customers with the products they need and recommending alternative goods that would fit their budget. Sales associates also market promotional offers and provide product descriptions to the customer. They also monitor inventories, stock supplies on the appropriate shelves, and ensure the cleanliness and orderliness of the store. Store associates also perform other administrative tasks as needed, such as creating sales reports, assisting in the counter, and helping customers on carrying their items.

      Now we're going to look at the store associate profession. On average, store associates earn a $4,202 higher salary than retail clerks a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Retail clerks and store associates both include similar skills like "stock shelves," "customer service," and "communication" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, retail clerk responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "retail environment," "hard-working," "floor stock," and "display merchandise." Meanwhile, a store associate might be skilled in areas such as "safe environment," "front end," "store shelves," and "pallet jack." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, store associates earn a higher salary than retail clerks. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, store associates earn the most pay in the retail industry with an average salary of $29,512. Whereas, retail clerks have higher paychecks in the retail industry where they earn an average of $24,454.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, store associates tend to reach similar levels of education than retail clerks. In fact, they're 1.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Jewelry Sales Associate Compares

      A jewelry sales associate is in charge of assisting clients when purchasing jewelry, ensuring customer satisfaction. They primarily greet potential clients, identify their needs and preferences, answer inquiries, and offer advice when needed. A jewelry sales associate may also help clients when trying on the products, close sales, and even arrange payment plans. Furthermore, as a jewelry sales associate, it essential to keep the sales floor presentable and secure, all while implementing the company's policies and regulations.

      The third profession we take a look at is jewelry sales associate. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than retail clerks. In fact, they make a $3,798 higher salary per year.

      By looking over several retail clerks and jewelry sales associates resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "stock shelves," "customer service," and "communication." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from retail clerk resumes include skills like "retail environment," "positive attitude," "hard-working," and "customer transactions," whereas a jewelry sales associate might be skilled in "special events," "new customers," "display cases," and "potential customers. "

      When it comes to education, jewelry sales associates tend to earn similar education levels than retail clerks. In fact, they're 0.3% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Sales Floor Associate

      Salesfloor associates often work with retail establishments. They are either referred to as retail sales associates or retail associates. These associates greet customers as they arrive, assess their needs, and help them find the right products and services. Other responsibilities include operating cash registers, introducing customers to promotions and opportunities, and cross-selling products to increase sales. Also, they assist customers in getting their complaints resolved as well as with their returns and refunds. Job seekers must have excellent customer service skills, relevant retail experience, and a strong knowledge of selling techniques.

      Sales floor associates tend to earn a higher pay than retail clerks by about $3,822 per year.

      According to resumes from both retail clerks and sales floor associates, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "stock shelves," "customer service," and "communication. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "retail sales," "hard-working," "public inquiries," and "customer relations" are skills that have shown up on retail clerks resumes. Additionally, sales floor associate uses skills like front end, pallet jack, guest service, and jewelry on their resumes.

      In general, sales floor associates reach similar levels of education when compared to retail clerks resumes. Sales floor associates are 1.9% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.