14 Pros and Cons of Being a Counter Worker

Counter workers or attendants are customer service professionals who may work in many establishments, such as restaurants, cafes, and even gas stations.

They help customers check out, find foods or drinks, and sell them various items.

This job path includes many responsibilities, including customer support and assistance with a customer’s orders and other tasks.

If you’re interested in this career path, here are some pros and cons to consider before applying for a job.

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Pros of Being a Counter Worker 

Though careers as a counter worker might seem rather basic or boring to some people, there are some potential benefits that make it more than worth considering.

These are all things that you should consider if you’re interested in this career and want to try it out or think that someone you love (such as your teenager) might find this job an excellent way to break into working.

Minimal Training Requirements 

Are you looking for a job you can just jump into right away without a lot of excessive training?

Counter worker careers might be a great choice for you!

You’ll get a few days of hands-on training from your supervisor on handling the cash register, preparing food, stocking goods, and other important steps.

After that, you’re pretty ready to go and probably don’t have to worry about things like college degrees or even licensing before you start working.

High Career Demand 

Simply put, there’s a high need for counter workers across just about every market.

For example, all new restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and gas stations need a counter attendant who can work with customers.

As a result, it shouldn’t be hard for you to find a job in this field.

Many even advertise in the newspaper, which makes finding an option even easier for you to find a career in this field if it interests you.

Simple Job Scope 

Are you looking for a little side hustle you can do beyond your normal job that doesn’t require a lot of thought?

Counter work, while not simplistic, isn’t exactly rocket science: that’s one of its biggest benefits.

It’s something that you can not only master easily but feel comfortable doing.

There aren’t many people who will get intellectually challenged by this job, making it less stressful for some.

Others might find it boring, but we’ll discuss that in more depth below.

Diverse Duties 

While it’s true that counter workers don’t have a lot of complex tasks to perform, they do have many things to do.

For example, you’ll likely have to prepare simple foods for the customers, ring them up, handle things like lottery tickets, stock supplies, talk with delivery truck drivers when they deliver more goods, and more.

Though there might be some downtime in this job, you’ll almost always have something to do to keep you busy, depending on the job.

Easy to Transfer Skills

Did you know that many of the skills you learn as a counter work can transfer to other jobs?

You’ll get experience handling money, helping customers, preparing food, and even keeping track of products.

These abilities can transfer easily to other counter jobs or even into other industries.

For instance, your experience stocking a store as a counter worker might help you prepare for a logistics career, especially if you’re working towards a degree in this field.

Works Around Other Life Needs

Many people start as counter workers while they go to high school, college, or attend night school to change a career.

The adaptability of this job’s scheduling often makes it easier for you to move in and around your educational demands.

For example, you may schedule morning shifts if you have afternoon classes.

Furthermore, if you have kids, this job may work well as a morning job while your kids are at school, helping you spend time with them when they need you.

Improves Your People Skills 

Are you a little shy and want to force yourself to spend time around people to work on your skills a little?

A counter attendant job is a great option because you’ll be out in public, meeting people all the time, and won’t have much choice but to interact with others.

That makes this an excellent career, too, for those who enjoy working in the public.

You’ll get lots of opportunities to make new friends and social connections in this career field.

Cons of Being a Counter Worker

While there are many unique advantages to being a counter worker or attendant, there are some concerns to keep in mind if this career appeals to you.

Each of these issues will vary in intensity based on factors such as the job you take and your experience.

Some people may also find them easier to tolerate or ignore, while others may feel it’s impossible to work properly with them.

Limited Job Improvement Options 

A counter worker doesn’t usually have many career advancement options.

For example, a counter worker at a restaurant may move up to a position seating people or even become a shift leader or manager.

At that point, advancement is usually quite rare.

Furthermore, many counter attendant jobs may have no advancement options at all, meaning that you’re likely to work the same duties for a long time.

If that doesn’t sound appealing, this may not be the job for you.

Low-Paying Job 

With some exceptions, counter workers typically work for minimum wage, though some states or careers may have higher compensation packages.

For instance, a counter worker at a fancier restaurant or store may also get tips or even higher wages, depending on the employer.

That said, you typically won’t get very high pay in this job, which might make it a better option as a side hustle or a part-time gig you perform on the weekends for your “fun” or “vacation” money.

Typically Minimal Pay Increases 

The thing about counter work is that it’s typically a pretty static job in most ways.

For example, you’re probably going to have pretty much the same tasks and, frankly, the same pay.

People who want regular raises or even bonuses will be very disappointed in this job.

There aren’t many opportunities to make more money, which can impact your job satisfaction and make it hard to stay focused on your job.

Some counter workers even move from job to job to find better pay.

Rarely Any Benefits 

Most counter workers either work part-time or if they work full-time, don’t get benefits with their job.

These benefits might include things like paid vacation time, health insurance, or even sick leave.

While you can always take time off as a counter worker if you want to take a break, you typically won’t get paid for your time off.

That can be frustrating if you get sick or if you need help paying for medical bills and can’t get an insurance policy to help you manage it. 

Harder for Older People 

Counter workers may have to stay on their feet all day with minimal time for sitting or even leaning.

For older adults or even people with strength problems, this job style might be hard for them to tolerate.

Simply put, you might find yourself feeling worn out and tired before your shift is even over.

Some might even develop foot problems or postural issues as a result.

If you want to try this job, make sure you talk with a doctor to ensure you’re strong enough for it.

Might Feel Boring 

Many counter workers stand in the same place for hours at a time, simply helping check people out.

Even if you do move on to other tasks, such as stocking goods or other items, you might find yourself getting bored.

Boredom can be a major cause of job dissatisfaction, especially if there’s not much you can do to improve your situation.

That said, some days on the job might be excessively stimulating and challenging, which might wear you out and make the job even harder.

Not Mentally Engaging

Are you someone who likes menial jobs that don’t require you to do a lot of thinking?

You might like this career because it’s not exactly one of the most stimulating jobs available.

For some people, that low-key and simpler nature is perfect for them just because they don’t want a lot of responsibility and just like doing the same thing over and over.

If you find that you need a lot of mental stimulation in your job, you probably won’t like being a counter work.

14 Pros and Cons of Being a Counter Worker – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Counter WorkerCons of Being a Counter Worker
Minimal Training RequirementsLimited Job Improvement Options
High Career DemandLow-Paying Job
Simple Job ScopeTypically Minimal Pay Increases
Diverse DutiesRarely Any Benefits
Easy to Transfer SkillsHarder for Older People
Works Around Other Life NeedsMight Feel Boring
Improves Your People SkillsNot Mentally Engaging

Should You Become a Counter Worker

Becoming a counter worker is a good choice for people who enjoy working in public, have limited job experience, or want a simple side hustle that doesn’t demand much out of them.

It’s not something that often works well as a long-term career for those who want to make a lot of cash.

That said, it may be a rewarding job for those who want a simple and undemanding job.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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