One in Six Americans Worked at a Convenience Store

NACS survey finds that educational value and flexible hours were job benefits cited by those who worked in a convenience store during their college years.

October 17, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – One in six American adults (17%) has worked in a convenience store, gas station or corner store, and they say that their job gave them valuable experience in how to work with people and how to run a business, according to a new NACS survey.

Of that total, 91% say that they learned a lot about how to work with people, 86% say that the experience that they gained was valuable, 82% say that they learned about how businesses are run, and 71% say they would recommend this type of work to others, particularly as a first job.

Those who said the convenience store job was their first job are equally as positive about the experience: 83% say that the work experience was valuable and 74% say that the wages that they earned were consistent with their level of experience.

Educational value and flexible hours were job benefits cited by those who held a convenience store job in college: 90% say that they learned a lot about how businesses are run and 81% say that the job offered a flexible work schedule that allowed them to schedule hours around other things in life.

Adult Americans who had never worked in a convenience store were equally positive about the job opportunities available at convenience stores. Overall, 85% of Americans who have never worked in the industry say that convenience stores are great summer jobs for high school or college students, and 83% say that convenience stores offer good first jobs for those looking to enter the workforce. Also, they see convenience store jobs as a potential path toward managing or owning a small business: More than two in three non-convenience store employees (71%) agree that it is common for employees who work hard to become managers or eventually own their own businesses.

“Convenience stores conduct more than 160 million customer transactions a day and fuel 80% of the vehicles on the roads today,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard. “None of this would be possible without the 2.5 million employees who serve busy Americans every day—and around the clock. These jobs also provide opportunities—whether to gain valuable business experience as you earn an income, or to eventually grow your own small business.”

The survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,111 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed in September 2016.