What It's Like Working At A Vape Shop In College

What It's Like Working At A Vape Shop In College

Working at a vape shop can be a fun source of part-time income for a college student


You've bought your books for the semester, pimped out your dorm room and bought a few select items to enhance your wardrobe. You're all set – except for one problem. You're broke! You need a part-time job, and as a student, you'll find that many of your best opportunities are in the retail sector.

Do you vape? Have you found out about an open position at a local vape shop? This article will explain what you need to know about landing a job at a vape shop – and what will be expected of you once you're hired. By the time you're done reading, you'll know whether working as a sales associate at a vape shop is the right job for you.

You'll also learn what you can do to ensure that you're the most outstanding candidate in the field.

What's the Average Pay at a Vape Shop?

The average vape shop pays its sales associates $9.00 per hour. That translates to about $9,360 per year on a part-time schedule of 20 hours per week. The closer a vape shop is to your campus, the less the position is likely to pay since an on-campus business has a virtually infinite supply of labor available. If you're a vaping expert with prior sales experience, you might be able to demand a higher pay rate. You can also expect occasional pay increases if you're a good salesperson who generates revenue for the shop.

How to Make Yourself a Great Candidate for a Vape Shop

Vaping Expertise Isn't Necessary – But It Helps

Many vape shop owners prefer to hire people with vaping experience if possible. If you're a former smoker who can speak with excitement and passion about vaping – and you have a basic understanding of how vaping equipment works, even if you aren't an expert – it'll definitely make you a more attractive candidate. It's much easier to teach someone how to use vaping equipment, though, than it is to teach sales, cash handling and interpersonal skills. Vape shop owner Bradley Anderson of The Juice Connection says, "there's nothing more valuable in retail than an outstanding salesperson. Every retail industry has its own complexities, and anyone with a knack for sales can learn what it takes to be successful at a vape shop."

You can make yourself the perfect candidate for a vape shop by:

  • Highlighting your previous sales and retail experience. If you never forget a name and know how to make anyone feel special, that's great. If you can discuss a previous instance in which you did something to increase a store's revenue, that's even better.
  • Talking about your history as a vaper, if you vape.
  • Demonstrating that you're a friendly and outgoing person who loves talking to customers and knows how to offer upsells.
  • Showing that you're able to quickly research the answers to questions when needed. No matter how much you know about vaping, customers will ask questions that leave you scratching your head. Bluffing your way through a question can potentially be dangerous to the customer. If you don't know the answer, you'll need to find it.

Note that, regardless of your state's minimum smoking age, many vape shops will only hire you if you're 21 or older.

What If You Are An Expert Vaper?

If you're an expert vaper and a good salesperson, any vape shop would love to have you as an associate. There are two things, though, that can eliminate you from the pool of candidates immediately. Make sure that you avoid these two mistakes during the interview process.

  • Don't be an elitist. Most people who vape aren't "vape bros" and don't want to deal with vape shop employees who act like YouTube celebrities. Unless you happen to work for a vape shop that caters exclusively to cloud chasers, most of the people who walk into your shop will be ordinary folks who simply don't want to smoke cigarettes anymore. The smallest vape pen is just as important to a vape shop as the most powerful mod – and no matter what your opinions may be about the "right" way to vape, the needs and desires of customers outweigh your own.
  • Don't badmouth other vape shops. Doing so only makes you look unprofessional.

During your interview, do show that you are able to speak to novices on their level without talking down to them or intimidating them with unfamiliar terminology. Suppose a customer over the age of 50 walks in. That person is looking for the thing that will get him or her off of cigarettes – nothing more. If you can't talk about vaping without bringing up ohms, RDAs, wattage curves and max-VG juice, you're going to scare that person right out the door. Your job is to listen to the customer's needs and provide a solution that makes that person happy.

What's Expected of a Vape Shop Employee?

Many of the things that you'll need to do to be successful as a vape shop employee are the same things that ensure success in any retail operation. You'll do well if you come to work on time, learn everything you can about the products, treat customers like they're truly important to you and avoid goofing around on the job. There are two key differences, though, between working at a vape shop and working at another type of business such as a convenience store.

Abide by Legal Regulations

In the United States, the FDA treats vaping products and tobacco products the same. That means you'll have to learn and abide by federal and state regulations when selling those products. You can't build a vaping coil for a customer, for example, because that would make you an unlicensed tobacco product manufacturer. You'll need to check the customer's ID each time you make a sale. You can't discuss vaping products as if they were smoking cessation products. Your manager will provide ongoing training to ensure that you always heed the appropriate regulations.

Learn About the Products

No matter how much you may already know about vaping, working at a vape shop will mean that you'll encounter unfamiliar products. You'll need to do everything you can to learn about those products and the differences between them. That's important because you need to know which products work together. You need to be able to show customers how to set products up and how to troubleshoot problems. You need to know what the ideal e-liquid nicotine strength is for a given product. Most importantly, you need to understand how to use lithium ion batteries safely. Improper battery handling is a serious safety issue, and you'll need to explain that to novices.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.


To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!


It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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