What Grocery Jobs are Available?

6 04 2009

There are a ton of opportunities when it comes to grocery jobs.

The grocery store industry is traditionally made up of supermarkets and convenience stores that primarily sell a variety of food and secondarily sell some non-food items. However, there has been more pressure on grocery stores to adapt and expand to meet the changing lifestyles of humans.

There were about 85,200 grocery stores throughout America during 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 25,900 of those were convenience stores, but because convenience stores only employ a few people, they only make up 6 percent of the industry’s total employment.

Grocery stores provided 2.5 million jobs throughout the country during 2008, with 80 percent of establishments employing fewer than 50 workers, and workers between 16 and 24-years old making up about one-third of all employees.

Cashiers and stock clerks are among the most popular and abundant grocery store jobs, making up 51 percent of all occupations within the industry.

Cashiers, which account for 34 percent of grocery store workers, are responsible for scanning items, accepting customers’ payments, and making change. Stock clerks, which make up 17 percent of employees, are responsible for filling shelves with the store’s merchandise and arranging displaces

Other occupations within the grocery store industry include:

  • First-line managers of retail sales workers – These managers are mainly responsible for supervising employees. Their duties may include training; scheduling; overseeing ordering, inspection, pricing, and inventory of goods; monitoring sales activity; and making reports.
  • Office clerical workers – Employees such as general office clerks and bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are responsible for preparing and maintaining records that are necessary to keep grocery stores up and running.
  • Butchers and other meat, poultry, and fish-processing workers – These employees prepare and cook specialized foods that customers want to purchase. They’re responsible for cutting, packaging, weighing, pricing, and creating displays of the food.
  • Bakers, cooks and food prep workers, and food and beverage serving workers – These employees also are responsible for cooking and preparing various food items for customers, such as breads, rolls, cakes, cookies, salads, entrees, and sandwiches.
  • Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers – These employees work in warehouses and stockrooms to move goods in storage and deliver them to the sales floor, as well as load and unload delivery trucks.
  • Hand packers and packagers – Also known as courtesy clerks or baggers, these employees bag groceries, load purchased items into customers’ cars, and return merchandise to store shelves.
  • General and operations managers – These managers are in charge of making sure that grocery stores are efficient and profitable. They may set store policy, hire and train employees, develop merchandising plans, maintain customer and community relations, address customer complaints, and monitor store profits and losses.
  • Category manager – Employees in this fairly new occupation manage certain types of goods. They’re responsible for evaluating sales and inventory reports, sales trends, and profitability; adjusting orders; changing product displays; and planning budgets.
  • Marketing and sales managers – These employees are responsible for developing a marketing plan based on demographic trends, sales data, community needs, and consumer feedback.

Some other less common positions include: pharmacists; pharmacy technicians; human resources, training, and labor relations specialists; and building cleaning workers.

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