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School Cashier Duties & Responsibilities

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The school cashier helps feed hungry kids by checking them through cafeteria lines. Whether it's Pizza Day or Taco Tuesday, cashier skills and good interpersonal skills are necessary to keep meal times in school cafeterias running smoothly.

School Cashier Job Description

School cashiers primarily work in the cafeteria, taking payment for meals, beverages and snacks in cash and by checking students' and teachers' meal cards. The cashier may punch a paper meal card or scan meal card bar codes, depending on the system used by the school. They monitor government subsidies for students receiving free or reduced-price meals. Cashiers must know the prices of items offered for sale. They must be able to make change and to accurately balance the cash drawer at the end of the shift. Depending on the school and the duties required, the cashier may also be one of the workers who prepares or serves meals. The duties and responsibilities of a cashier may extend outside the lunchroom. School cashiers may also work in a school store. They may collect monies for field trips or fundraisers.

Education Requirements

There are no formal education requirements for a school cashier, though most employers seek candidates with at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Cashier skills are necessary, including the accurate counting of money, making change and the ability to balance the cash drawer at the close of the day. School cashiers need patience and good communication skills for working with students. They may be required to stand while processing payments.

Work Environment

School cashiers work in public and private schools. They may serve students ranging in age from kindergarten through seniors in high school. Many schools have extended hours, so school cashiers may need to work during breakfast or after-school shifts. Most school cashiers work only during the regular school year, meaning they have time off for holidays, break weeks and summer vacation. School cashiers rarely work full-time unless they are also involved in food preparation, cleanup, inventory and other tasks beyond basic cashier job duties.

Salary and Job Outlook

The average pay for a school cafeteria worker is $10.20 per hour. The rate typically varies between $7.71 and $12.54 per hour, depending on geographic location, employer and cashier job duties performed. Annual salaries range from $12,436 to $30,760, varying, according to hourly rate and the number of hours worked. More than half of the employees currently in the field have worked in school cafeterias for five years or more.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks data and makes projections for civilian occupations. There is no specific category for school cashiers. The predicts little or no change in the job outlook for cashiers in general through 2026. Likewise, numbers for school cooks are also likely to see little change. There is not a high rate of turnover in school cafeteria jobs. Although pay can be low, many employees appreciate that work schedules allow them to accommodate the schedules of their children and families.


Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology. She has written for, Library Journal, The Searcher, Bureau of Education and Research, and corporate clients.

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