If you believe in the motto, "service with a smile," a job as a courtesy clerk at your local grocery store may be a great fit for you. Positions may be part-time or full-time, but they usually involve the same daily duties: Helping customers and aiding in presenting them with a professional, clean shopping environment.
Overall, if you get a job as a courtesy clerk, you should expect to help customers, as needed. This can be assisting at the checkout, bagging groceries and carrying bags to the customers' cars. If a customer is having difficulty finding a product, it is the courtesy clerk's role to help that customer find it, which means that you will need to know where items are located and, if they've been moved, where the new location is. You will also need to keep yourself up-to-date on what's on sale and, if stock runs out, when it will be in stock again.
A courtesy clerk may also be expected to help stock shelves when items arrive, to set up special displays and to keep aisles and shelves tidy. Consequently, the job often requires some moderate to heavy lifting, moving cases of products into aisles and taking heavy items to customers' vehicles.
A courtesy clerk is generally an entry-level position. Training is always offered on the job, and usually as you work. To work full-time as a courtesy clerk, you should have a high school diploma or a GED, however this may not always be a firm requirement from the employer. High school students can often take this job, if they are working in the summer or on a part-time basis during the school year. State laws determine how old the student must be - which can be either age 14 or 16 - as well as the number of hours that can be worked, particularly during a school week.
In 2018, courtesy clerks are primarily employed by grocery stores. Many of the job openings for courtesy clerks are essentially the same as job postings for baggers or stock clerk positions of a few years ago, although with an increased focus in customer service.
To-date, few, if any, retail stores or department stores hire employees with the title of a courtesy clerk. However, these stores do hire retail sales associates and stock clerks, which often have the same roles and responsibilities as courtesy clerks, with the same approximate pay.
Years of Experience and Salary
Courtesy clerks could expect to earn a median hourly wage of $11.46 in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning that half of all clerks made below this amount and half made more. This works out to a median annual income of $23,840. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $19.11 per hour that year, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $8.74 per hour. Because this is usually an entry-level position, you shouldn't expect your rate of pay to increase significantly with more years of experience. However, the job could lead to better-paying positions in the future, such as assistant manager and manager positions.
Job Growth Trend
It's difficult to determine whether or not the number of courtesy clerk positions will grow or decline in the next several years. Increased automation like self-checkouts and the prevalence of online shopping has had a negative impact on cashiers and on retail sales positions, generally. The BLS expects the demand for these positions to decline or remain stagnant over the next 10 years. However, as stores continue to respond to market demands, and as they continue to seek to attract an aging population, there could be an increase in positions for courtesy clerks to offer a more personalized, quick shopping experience for customers. As stores offer a drive-thru service, or a pick-up service in combination with an app that allows customers to buy from their smartphones, these stores will likely need courtesy clerks to fulfill these orders with a helping hand and a smile.