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Duties of Commissary Workers

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Most commissaries are places that provide food and other goods, such as a grocery store on a military base or a cafeteria in a hospital or prison. A commissary worker's duties depend on the type of commissary where she works. For example, if she works at a military commissary, she might be responsible for running a cash register, stocking shelves, filling orders or preparing food. If she works in a prison or a county jail, her duties might include filling orders or providing support services. Commissary warehouse workers might order supplies or preparing pre-packaged meals.

Meeting Basic Requirements

To work in a commissary, you must have a high school diploma or GED. Some employers hire workers who are 18 years old, while others require their workers to be at least 21. In some cases, such as for the job of commissary clerk, it helps to be computer literate and have some experience in bookkeeping/accounting and data processing. Most jobs require strong communication and customer service skills. You should be able to handle stressful situations, sit and stand for long periods of time and lift and carry up to 25 pounds. Experience with a cash register can enhance your job prospects.

Working in a County Jail

A commissary worker who serves a clerical role at a county jail oversees records of inmate and security officer commissary orders, which includes charging orders to individual accounts. She might also train and supervise inmates who work at the commissary, perform data-entry work such as correcting balance-sheet errors, maintain the commissary’s accounts payable records, and provide reports on commissary merchandise costs. Other duties include administrative support such as preparing agendas, transcribing meeting minutes and distributing the minutes.

Working in a Prison

A commissary worker in a prison fills resident, inmate, employee and ward orders for commissary items; operates a cash register; serves customers; and submits daily transactions reports to the commissary manager or business office. These reports might include charge slips, sales logs and a resident’s or inmate’s debits and credits. Some commissary workers also operate grill and other kitchen equipment, prepare food such as sandwiches and soups, set up serving lines, serve inmates and/or staff; clean work areas and equipment, order items for commissary and stock its shelves.

Working on a Military Base

A commissary worker on a military base helps customers by answering pricing questions or carrying bulky and/or heavy items. He also operates a cash register, takes inventory of stock and orders needed items. Other duties include setting up stock such as food, sundry and household items, and preparing and maintaining reports and records such as order forms, invoice reconciliations and requisitions. She also cleans the commissary and helps keep it secure and safe.


William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the "New England Blade" and is a former contributor to "The Advocate." His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.

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