Stock Clerk Job Description

  • Stock clerk job descriptionStock clerks average around $10 per hour.
  • Jobs as a stock clerk offer decent job security.
  • You'll need to be hard-working, physically fit and an independent worker.

What do stock clerks do?

Have you ever wondered how all the cans of green beans get on the shelves at the grocery store, or where store employees go when you ask them to "check in the back?" If you enjoy working behind the scenes, being a stock clerk just might be the perfect job for you.

A stock clerk is responsible for stocking shelves and maintaining the overall appearance of the store. That means you'll have to unload trucks and move the merchandise to the floor quickly and efficiently. You may be responsible for planograms (setting up the shelves according to company specifications), which means you'll need a good eye for detail. This is also the kind of job where your boss probably won't be looking over your shoulder. If you work well independently and you can motivate yourself to complete an assigned task from start to finish (without getting distracted), this will be perfect for you.

Some of these tasks can be completed when the store is open, but others have to happen early in the morning or late at night. Shifts are typically available around the clock, so this job offers is perfect for someone needing scheduling flexibility.

To be a stock clerk, you'll also need to physically be able to perform the tasks assigned to you. This means some heavy lifting, stooping, bending, and even climbing ladders. If you have a bad back, or if you're afraid of heights (10 to 20 feet), this probably isn't the job for you.

Employers will expect you to be hard-working and good with customers (especially if you work a day shift). You will be in the aisles stocking the shelves, so you'll be the very first person customers ask when they need to know what aisle the canned rutabaga is on (aisle 12, second shelf on the right).

How much do stock clerks make?

The average hourly pay for a stock clerk is usually around $10 per hour. This varies by industry, with warehouse and storage clerks making the most ($13.34 per hour) and department stores having the lowest hourly wage (around $9.29 per hour).

Education requirements

A high school diploma or GED is sufficient education for a stock clerk position. Most employers will offer short-term, on-site training so you can learn the job according to their specifications.

Career paths for stock clerks

Working in a large store (like a supermarket or department store) may lead to a wealth of growth opportunities in the store you work in and throughout the organization. Because each location consists of so many separate departments, there are lots of different management opportunities in each. For stocking positions there are typically shift supervisors and an operations or inventory manager assigning daily job functions. Each store will also have a general manager who oversees all aspects of the store; this position would likely require additional education (at least a bachelor's degree) and several years of job training.

The future of stock clerk jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of stock clerks is expected to grow a little more than 7 percent between 2008 and 2018. Grocery and retail clerk positions are expected to grow the most and are among the only types of clerk positions that expect substantial growth. The position offers job security and growth opportunities.

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Retail Associate Job Description

  • post a jobOn average, retail sales associates make $9.50 an hour
  • One-third of retail sales associates work part time
  • Retail sales associates are usually required to work evenings and weekends

What do retail sales associates do?

They're everywhere you shop, assisting you with hard-to-find items, answering questions and ultimately getting you to buy what they're selling. They provide a variety of services, from helping you pick out items to ringing up your purchases. Like cashiers, retail sales associates use cash registers to process transactions and are responsible for keeping track of all the money inside. You might encounter retail sales associates several times a day without realizing it - they work at department stores, grocery stores, cell phone stores and even car dealerships.

You've got to have a lot of patience to make it as a retail sales associate because unfortunately, you will run into your fair share of difficult customers. The most successful sales associates are polite, friendly and have a very outgoing personality. If you're not a naturally happy person who likes to work with others, then retail sales is not for you.

As a retail sales associate you've got to know what you're talking about; if you sell cars, you'll need to know specifics about each car's features, your dealership's financing policy and warranty services. The same goes for people who sell TVs, mattresses and clothing.

Most retail sales associates work indoors - but don't be surprised to find yourself outdoors, sometimes in bad weather, if you decide to sell cars, lumber or gardening equipment. Retail sales associates are on their feet a lot, so comfy shoes are a must.

Long hours and weekends are the norm for retail sales associates. Since most retail stores are busiest in November and December, you'll be required to work nights, weekends and holidays during the busy season.

How much do retail sales associates make?

You can make some pretty good money if you've got the skills. If you score a job with a good commission program and have a knack for sales, you can make upwards of $19 an hour; most car salespeople are in this range. On average, retail sales associates make $9.50 an hour. Be aware that some entry-level jobs will start you out as low as minimum wage, which is just $7.25 an hour.

What are the education requirements to be a retail sales associate?

It's a good rule of thumb that the more education you have, the better. Most entry-level retail sales associate jobs don't require you to have a degree, but most places will require that you have at least a high school diploma. If you're interested in someday becoming a manager, a college degree may be required.

Career paths for retail sales associates

You probably won't get a job selling Porsches right off the bat. Many entry-level sales associates start off selling small-ticket items, such as cosmetics. As they gain experience they move up to bigger items, like electronics and jewelry. After that, it's common to see sales associates move into management positions. A college degree, especially one with a concentration in business, will help you out if you're hoping to be a retail sales manager.

The future of retail sales associate jobs

It's a good time to become a retail sales associate. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), over half a million jobs will be created in the retail sales industry by 2016. Many new jobs will be at supercenters and warehouse clubs as they become more and more popular.

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Product Demonstrator Job Description

  • Product demonstrator and event coordinatorOn average, demonstrators make around $11 per hour.
  • 54 percent of all demonstrators work part time.
  • You'll receive on-the-job training.

What do product demonstrators do?

"Would you like to try this new pizza pocket?"

"Don't mind if I do."

You might know demonstrators and product promoters by another name: angels, because there are few things in life better than store d'oeuvres. It adds excitement to an otherwise monotonous trip to the grocery store. These lovely people are the ones offering up the free eats at the end of the aisle to entice you to buy their delicious products.

You may not realize that the world of product demonstration extends far beyond the realm of frozen prepared foods. You'll be dazzling customers with the features (savory sauce, creamy cheese, spicy pepperoni) of all sorts of awesome treats.

If food isn't really your thing, there are less delicious products to demonstrate, like computers, software, cell phones, ShamWows and OxyClean. If you really have a knack for product demonstration, you might get to be the next Billy Mays (though that's a big beard to fill).

You'll need to be friendly and engaging to attract the attention of busy customers and passersby. About half of demonstrators work part time. The positions are highly seasonal, with demand for workers being higher during strong retail seasons (like the holidays).

How much do demonstrators make?

The average hourly pay for all demonstrators is about $11 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Experienced demonstrators who sell high-priced products can expect to earn up to $20 per hour.

Education requirements

Not everyone is a pizza pocket aficionado, so most employers will teach you techniques to help you sell the product you'll be presenting. More complicated products like electronics or tools may require more extensive training, but this will also be provided by your employer.

Career paths for demonstrators

Many demonstrators are hired by third-party companies to fill a variety of different positions. Advancement within these companies can be difficult, because there are a small number of office positions overseeing a large number of demonstrators in a given area. These positions are best suited for workers looking for a second job, or temporary, part-time and seasonal work.

The future of demonstrators

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) is expecting average growth for demonstrator positions. Because product demonstration is a powerful marketing tool, companies like to use a hands-on approach to sell their product whenever possible.

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Auto Parts Counter Rep Job Description

  • Parts counter representative job descriptionOn average, parts counter representatives make around $9 per hour
  • Having familiarity with auto parts will make it easier for you to get a job
  • Job prospects will be impacted by increased internet sales

What do parts counter representatives do?

Most people's knowledge of car parts is limited to: engine, muffler, wipers and oil. If you can name a dozen others, you're well versed. If you can name a dozen more, you're an expert. Well, not really, but close to it.

Parts counter representatives are responsible for assisting customers in finding the appropriate parts for their vehicle. This job exists in two different places: retail automotive stores (think Advanced Auto Parts) and car dealerships. At a retail automotive store, you'll work one-on-one with customers to answer questions and find parts matching the make and model of their vehicles.

In a dealer setting, you'll work with customers and automotive mechanics to find accessories and order parts for repairs and upgrades to commercial and consumer vehicles.

How much do parts counter representatives make?

The average salary for all parts counter representatives is about $9 per hour. Parts counter representatives with extensive experience, or those who work for specialty automotive dealers or companies can expect to earn higher wages up to $19 per hour.

Education requirements

Generally, parts counter representatives should have completed or be in the process of completing their high school diploma or GED. Having informal training and some familiarity of different auto parts and problems certainly won't hurt your bid for a job. Most training is provided on the job, and comes with time.

Career paths for parts counter representatives

The career opportunities for parts counter representatives will vary based on the industry you work in. Parts counter reps working in automotive retail stores have opportunities for advancement in assistant manager and general manager positions. In car dealerships, promotions may be available in maintenance, purchasing and inventory, or sales.

The future of parts counter representatives

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects average growth in parts counter representative positions over the 2008-2018 decade. Growth will be tempered by the increasing trend of online shopping for bargains on automotive parts.

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Merchandiser Job Description

  • Merchandiser job descriptionMerchandisers make around $9.50 per hour
  • Merchandising jobs offer flexible scheduling
  • You'll have to have reliable transportation

What do merchandisers do?

Merchandisers are "image consultants for the retail world." Retailers use merchandising to promote specific products and services and increase sales. When you walk by a store that's having a sale, you typically see eye-catching signs in the front windows announcing, "Up to 50% off the entire store!" or "Buy one get one free!" This entices customers to enter the store, thus increasing their chances of purchasing something. You may also see brochures and coupons at the register that encourage you to return to the store and buy again. Pretty smart thinking, don't you agree? All this is the work of merchandisers.

Merchandisers also deliver educational materials to the store for training new employees or teaching sales tactics to existing workers. They also conduct inventory reports -counting the merchandise at a particular location - and replace old or defective stock.

Some stores have their own merchandising departments, but others use third-party companies to handle merchandising certain displays. If you are employed by one of these companies, like Mosaic, you will need your own reliable transportation to get you to and from each location. You'll travel from store to store setting up displays, doing reports and talking with employees.

How much do merchandisers make?

The average hourly pay for a merchandiser is around $9.50 per hour. Like in most jobs, pay will vary by skill level and location.

Education requirements

A high school diploma or GED is sufficient education for a merchandiser position. It's an entry-level position and doesn't require much experience to get started. Most employers will offer short-term, on-site training so you can learn how to use their equipment and meet all the job requirements.

Career paths for merchandisers

Typically a merchandiser will work under a team leader or a manager. Several managers are grouped together into a geographic region which is led by a district manager. A successful merchandiser may be able to move into a management role in one of these areas.

The future of merchandisers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for merchandisers should grow at an average rate. Remember that this job depends on the demand of retailers requiring their merchandise to be displayed. The limited training requirements and flexible hours attract many people seeking second or part-time jobs.

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Loss Prevention Specialist Job Description

  • Loss prevention job descriptionLoss prevention specialists average around $10 per hour
  • The number of jobs in loss prevention is growing
  • You'll need to be able to pass a rigorous background check

Cue the secret agent music and get your 007 tuxedo on, because you're going to need to channel your inner super spy to work in loss prevention (also called asset protection). Okay, to be fair, there is no Aston Martin company vehicle, but the upside is that you probably won't risk life and limb on the job. Your goal is to keep ne'er-do-wells from plundering the merchandise of some of the nation's most popular retailers.

Most loss prevention specialists work at the front of the store, examining purchase receipts and greeting customers. Their primary goal is verifying that each customer is leaving the store with only the merchandise they've purchased. You will need to be highly attentive to detail and very friendly. Some customers may wrongly assume that you're accusing them of stealing, so you'll need to be able to explain the company's policy in a friendly and non-accusatory way.

Other types of loss prevention specialists work in plain clothes, patrolling the aisles of the store. These people typically have another person on their team watching the cameras and alerting them of suspicious activity. These types of asset protection jobs are much more common in larger retailers like Kmart, Sears or JCPenney.

No matter which type of position you have, you'll need to be able to pass a thorough background check. Any type of criminal activity will likely exclude you from these positions. You'll need to be able to show good judgment and common sense, follow directions clearly and in some cases testify accurately in court. In this position, you'll have to carefully follow company policies and guidelines to limit company liability.

How much do loss prevention specialists make?

The average hourly pay for a loss prevention specialist is around $10.65 per hour. Like in most jobs, pay will vary by skill level and location. What are the education requirements to be a loss prevention specialist?

A high school diploma or GED is sufficient education for a loss prevention or asset protection position. Most employers will offer short-term, on-site training so you can learn how to use their equipment and meet all the job requirements.

Career paths for loss prevention

Typically a loss prevention specialist will report to an inventory or operations manager. A successful loss prevention specialist may be able to move into a management role in one of these areas.

The future of loss prevention jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for loss prevention specialists should be good because of growing demand for these workers and the need to replace workers who leave their current positions. Controlling theft is one of the easiest ways to increase how much money a store makes, so companies are consistently trying to attract the best people for these positions. The limited training requirements and flexible hours attract many people seeking second or part-time jobs.

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Customer Service Supervisor Job Description

Customer service supervisor jobsOn average, customer service supervisors make around $17 per hour. Job opportunities for customer service supervisors are increasing. Customer service supervisor positions are great entry-level management jobs.

What do customer service supervisors do?

"I'd like to return this."

"I'm sorry sir, we can't accept 8 track players purchased before 1972."

"I want to speak to your manager!"

Enter the customer service supervisor. As a customer service supervisor, your job is to diffuse difficult situations between customer service representatives and customers. You'll need a thorough grasp on what makes good business sense for the company. You'll need to make decisions that maximize profitability for the company, but maintain customer loyalty and that can be difficult.

Customer service supervisors also may be responsible for reconciling money at the end of the day, handling more difficult transactions, and filling in for customer service representatives and cashiers as need demands it.

Typically these positions are promotions for tenured representatives, but with the right skill set and work history, you could easily find a customer service supervisor position at the company of your choice.

How much do customer service supervisors make?

The average hourly pay for all customer service supervisors is about $17 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Experienced customer service supervisors who successfully sell high-priced products can expect to earn up to $30 per hour.

What are the education requirements?

Education requirements will vary based on the company and product being sold, but many require a minimum of a high school diploma. Occasionally companies will require a bachelor's degree for supervisory and management positions. Nearly every company will require extensive training on company policy and procedures.

Career paths for customer service supervisors

Customer service jobs can lead to a variety of different careers. As with most jobs, supervisor roles almost always lead to management positions that over see one or more supervisory level employees. In a retail or restaurant setting there are additional general manager or district level positions to move in to.

The future of customer service supervisors

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects average growth for customer service supervisor positions. The largest portion of new jobs created will be from retail expansion into new markets.

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Cashier Job Description

Cashier job descriptionMany cashiers make minimum wage. Almost half of all cashiers work part time, and cashier jobs are expected to decrease in the next few years.

What do cashiers do?

Cashiers work in a variety of places including supermarkets, retail stores, gas stations, movie theaters and restaurants. As a cashier you'll probably use a cash register to ring people up, take their money and give them their change and a receipt. You might also have to wrap or bag their purchase. Cashiers sometimes handle returns and exchanges.

At the end of a shift, you'll have to count the money in your cash register and compare it with the sales data in the computer. Be careful with your money - although you probably won't get in trouble for occasionally being a few cents short, you could get fired if it happens too often.

Depending on where you work, you might have other responsibilities as well. If you're a cashier at a supermarket, you might be asked to clean your area as well as return unwanted items to shelves. If you work at a convenience store, you might have to create money orders and sell lottery tickets.

Almost half of all cashiers work part time. Most cashiers are asked to work weekends, evenings and holidays.

How much do cashiers make?

Many cashiers make the federal minimum wage, which just went up to $7.25 an hour. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most cashiers make between $6.99 and $9.44 an hour. The highest paid cashiers can earn more than $14.50 an hour. See how much cashiers earn in your area .

What are the education requirements?

Most cashiers have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. No higher education is required to be a cashier, but taking business classes or getting your associate's degree can help you if you eventually want to be a manager.

Career paths for cashiers

Cashier career paths can vary. If you've started out in a part-time position learning all you can about the business and practicing good customer service can lead to a full-time position. After that, hard work can lead to opportunities as a head cashier, or even as a manager.

The future of cashier jobs

According to the BLS, most cashier jobs are expected to see a decline in the next few years with the exception of gaming cashier jobs, which will increase. No need to worry though, there will be plenty of full-time and part-time cashier jobs still available because the BLS expects a good number of cashiers to leave their current jobs.

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Assistant Manager Job Description

post a jobAssistant managers have a lot of responsibility, and this job requires great leadership skills. Whether you’re managing a group of sales people in retail or dishing out orders to servers in a restaurant, you'll need to keep a level head, be able to multitask and have excellent people skills.

Assistant Manager Job skills

The good news is that your training will teach you everything you need to know to succeed on the job. But here are a few skills you should have from the get-go:

  • Leadership: You will have several people you need to supervise in addition to handling general complaints, last-minute schedule changes, kitchen mess-ups and inventory problems. Assistant managers are leaders and should represent their company and themselves well by acting as a role model to the people reporting to them.
  • Organization: There will be a million and one things going on as an assistant manager and everyone will assume that you have it all worked out for them. You should be able to stay focused during busy times and delegate tasks to employees to keep business running smoothly.
  • Recruiting and training: Assistant managers are usually the ones responsible for recruiting and interviewing quality people to staff your location, as well as making sure these new employees transition as smoothly as possibly into their jobs. You should be a good teacher who tries to help employees who are having difficulty picking up new skills.
  • Being friendly and outgoing: People skills and customer service are a must in this job. Not only will you interact with your employees every day, but you will also need to assist customers when they have questions, concerns or complaints. Put on a happy face and address these issues in a professional manner.
  • Staying attentive: This is not a position where you can sit back, forget about the people around you and do your own thing. Your job is to be attentive to your employees by motivating them to succeed and improve. Even if business is slow, keep your staff in high spirits and be as helpful as possible to customers and clients.

Assistant Manager Salary

  • Average hourly wage: $18.81
  • Median annual wage: $34,900

Extra Perks

  • Discounts: If you work in the retail or restaurant industries, you may be entitled to an employee discount on merchandise or food. Other industries have some great perks too, which might include discounted hotel rooms/suites, free phones and gas cards.
  • Sales incentives: In many sales environments, managers who have the best sales month or bring in the most revenue are given incentives like bonuses, gift certificates or even a paid day off.
  • Great chance for promotion
  • Earn valuable leadership skills

Expected hours

Shifts vary depending on the location, but most assistant managers can expect to work a full 40-hour week. Availability on nights, weekends and holidays is also usually required.

Dress the part

Depending on the establishment, work attire varies. Many clothing stores require employees to wear that company's brand or dress business casual (example: dress pants and a nice shirt). Other companies, like auto shops, restaurants and entertainment establishments, will provide you with a uniform. If you're unsure of what's appropriate to wear in this position, ask others in management for a copy of the dress code. Remember that you are setting the standard for your employees, so it is better to dress up than down.

Job myth

“Assistant managers just shout orders at the employees they manage.”

While this job does require you to take control and delegate responsibilities to other workers, assistant managers get their hands just as dirty as their employees. One of the main requirements for this position is people skills, and ordering people around like servants doesn't fit the bill. You'll be so busy dealing with customers, answering phones, filing paperwork, training new employees, cleaning the store/office and covering shifts when you're shorthanded, you won't have time to sit back and relax while telling other people what to do.

Career path

  • Restaurant manager (Averages $40,000 to $45,000/year)
  • Office manager (Averages $50,000/year)
  • Medical clinic manager (Averages $50,000 to $70,000/year)


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