Looking for a new job and interested in becoming a courtesy clerk? There are tons of job openings for courtesy clerks and, if you have the right skills and experience (though training always happens on the job, too!), you can get a job as one, yourself.
Here, we'll dive into what exactly a courtesy clerk's responsibilities are, the skills you need to become a courtesy clerk, the hourly wage you can likely earn as a courtesy clerk and how to go about finding a job as a courtesy clerk.
What is a Courtesy Clerk?
A courtesy clerk is also known as a grocery store clerk or a bagger (though courtesy clerks don't only work in grocery stores). In short, a courtesy clerk is a customer service worker whose main responsibility is to appease customers by greeting them, fulfilling their needs and assisting them with queries.
So, specifically, what are the responsibilities of a courtesy clerk? This job entails helping customers bag their groceries or carry bags to their car, or helping them to find products in the store or look up products that they cannot find in the store. A courtesy clerk may also sometimes be asked to stock shelves, set up special displays (i.e. for the holidays) and tidy up aisles and shelves. As such, the job of a courtesy clerk also entails keeping up-to-daete on sales, inventory and stock/shipment calendars and expectations.
Unfortunately, as increased automation like self-checkouts and the prevalence of online shopping continues to grow, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for courtesy clerks will decline or, at best, remain stagnant over the next 10 years. That said, as more stores start offering drive-thru and pick-up services with associated delivery apps, courtesy clerks will still be needed; the job responsibilities of courtesy clerks might just change.
As of 2018, grocery stores primarily employ courtesy clerks, though retail and department stores also hire employees with the title of a courtesy clerk (they sometimes hire retail sales associates and stock clerks, which often mirror the same roles and responsibilities as courtesy clerks, as well). Therefore, a courtesy clerk will likely work in stores such as Trader Joe's, Costco, Kroger, Publix, Wegmans, ShopRite!, Giant Food Stores, Safeway, Stop & Shop, Walmart and more.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Courtesy Clerk?
You may first be wondering, how old do you have to be to be a courtesy clerk? The answer varies upon state (and store), though most stores require courtesy clerks to be at least 16 years of age. State laws determine how old students must be to work as courtesy clerks, as well as the number of hours that can be worked, particularly during a school week.
For example, of the aforementioned list, Safeway requires courtesy clerks to be at least 14 years old, while Kroger requires them to be at least 16 years old. You can usually find this information on the stores' job application forms online, or you can ask another courtesy clerk for more information if you opt to walk in to the store to inquire about job opportunities in person.
Besides age, some employers prefer a minimum amount of high school education and/or job experience. While qualifications vary by employer, generally, a courtesy clerk position is an entry-level one. This means that one can usually find employment in this position with just a high school diploma. The only mandatory requirements for which most employers will ask include physical requirements, like the ability to stand for extended periods of time and lift usually at least 25 or more pounds (for stocking and bag-carrying purposes).
"Training is always offered on the job, and usually as you work," according to Career Trends. "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."
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Courtesy Clerk?
Besides the general requirements, a courtesy clerk should possess a number of people-oriented and organizational skills.
"The role of a courtesy clerk is a customer service position that requires mostly soft skills to be successful — a good courtesy clerk is a people person who has a passion for providing excellent customer service on a consistent basis," according to Job Hero. "They have to have the patience and conflict resolution skills to deal with customers who come in with complaints. They also have to have compassion so they can go above and beyond in helping elderly and handicapped customers. Finally, courtesy clerks have to be able to easily shift between tasks, as what they have to do during the course of a day can vary wildly."
In addition, here are some of the most preferable skills for a courtesy clerk, according to a multitude of job applications for the position.
- Communication skills
- Organization skills
- Safe Food-Handling Skills
- An Adherence to Schedules
- An Understanding of Product and Store Information
How Much Does a Courtesy Clerk Make an Hour?
Courtesy clerks' hourly wages vary by store. That said, the median hourly wage for a courtesy clerk is $8.95 per hour, according to Payscale.
It's important to note that, for dedicated and skilled employees, the job has the potential lead to better-paying positions in the future, such as assistant manager and manager positions.
Where Can You Look for Jobs to Become a Courtesy Clerk?
You can look for jobs as a courtesy clerk on a number of job board sites like Fairygodboss' own job board or by going directly to stores' career pages. Here are a few store applications and job boards to get you started:
- Kroger Courtesy Clerk Applications
- Giant Food Stores Careers
- Trader Joe's Careers
- Wegmans Jobs
- Walmart Courtesy Clerk Applications
- Safeway Courtesy Clerk Jobs
- Publix Jobs
- Costco Jobs
- Stop and Shop Careers
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.