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How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at a Vape Shop?

In the United States, you are expected to be at least 18 years to work at a vape shop. However, your state or local laws regarding the minimum age to sell tobacco and vaping products supersede the Federal regulations which is the minimum age of 18 years old.

If your state has a higher minimum age, for instance, you live in California, then the minimum age to sell tobacco and a vaping product is 21. And lots of other states and localities have minimum ages higher than the federal regulation.

Vape shops are more or less retail establishments selling the products needed to complete the vaping process. These businesses offer consumers items such as various vaping devices, battery packs, and various flavors and tastes in terms of vaping liquids.

An individual’s experience upon visiting such establishments will vary depending upon factors such as the shop’s environment, in addition to their history with the craft. Note that all vape shops will likely possess the basic merchandise needed to carry out the activity.

Howbeit, many such entities will vary in size, the specialty products offered, and, in some cases, the customers catered to. Moreover, the customer base of businesses carrying more sophisticated apparatuses and a greater number of distinctive features is likely made up of more experienced vapers.

Vape shops do not employ pushy salespersons but helpful, compassionate, and knowledgeable individuals. These business establishments often retain these attributes because purchasing vaping products is unlike other retail experiences customers will normally have.

Most times, would-be consumers are individuals who are eager to quit cigarette smoking. Many vape store employees are themselves former smokers, have gone through this potentially daunting transition. These persons are usually easy to converse with and will have expert knowledge in terms of designs and helping the customer make decisions that befits their needs.

Also, have it in mind that many vape shop owners prefer to hire people with vaping experience. If you are a former smoker who can converse with excitement and passion about vaping – and you have an adequate understanding of how vaping equipment works, even if you aren’t an expert – it will make you a more attractive candidate.

It is much easier to teach someone how to use vaping equipment though, than it is to teach sales, cash handling, and interpersonal skills.

Basic Things about Working in a Vape Shop

Working in a vape shop is a wonderful way to make some money while surrounding yourself with people who share your interest. Note that most vape shops offer a relaxed atmosphere where you can interact with people and explore. Nonetheless, it takes a special kind of person to understand the complex inner workings of a vape shop as well.

  1. Learn About the Products

Regardless of how much you may already know about vaping, working at a vape shop still entails that you will encounter unfamiliar products. You’ll need to do everything you can to learn about those products and the differences between them.

That’s necessary especially since you need to know which products work together. You also need to be able to show customers how to set products up and how to troubleshoot problems.

You need to understand what the ideal e-liquid nicotine strength is for a given product. Most importantly, you need to know how to use lithium ion batteries safely. Improper battery handling is a serious safety issue, and you will need to explain that to novices.

  1. Helping People

According to vape shop employees, one of the best parts of working in a vape store is having the chance to help people who want to give up smoking. A good number of vapers have already made this journey for themselves and can relate to the struggles that their customers are facing.

Ideally, Customers who are merely curious about vaping can receive guidance, and vape shop employees can share some of their experiences. They can even send people home with literature and information to share with their loved ones about choosing a safer alternative.

  1. Legal Regulations

In the United States, the FDA treats vaping products and tobacco products the same. It simply means that you will 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.

Note that you will 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.

  1. Choosing E-Liquids

Note that once someone has decided that they are ready to try vaping, the next task is helping them find a suitable e-liquid. With time this task becomes broader as experienced vapers look for the hottest new e-liquids and get more adventurous.

As a vape shop employee, you can help ease people into the transition by finding them an e-liquid that really fits their tastes.

However, the importance of this task is nothing short of monumental since a bad first impression may turn them off of vaping. Note that your recommendations really carry weight here. The same is true of finding new e-liquids for advanced vapers.

They may be more willing to experiment and take risks, but a bad experience with one flavor may cause them to write off an entire brand.

  1. Checking IDs

Have it in mind that vape shops are subject to a varying range of rules that include ID laws to prevent the sale of nicotine products to minors as well as documentation of all products for safety.

Once an inspector walks through the doors, vape shop employees need to be prepared to answer questions with authority and knowledge and provide evidence that they are in compliance with the rules. Vape shop employees are expected to be steadily vigilant against sting operations trying to catch people selling to minors.

This has become increasingly common with teens coming in trying to buy vapor products so they can try cloud chasing for themselves

  1. Getting Excited About Products

One crucial part of being a vape store employee is being the first to see and try the latest products on the market. Note that you can’t share your knowledge with customers until you are familiar with the devices yourself. Being able to preview new products and put them to the test is the best way to get to know your product.

Have it in mind that your customers will appreciate your knowledge when they are comparing two options side by side and you can give feedback on both. If you follow all the latest vaping news, it’s exciting to get hands on the new products coming through the door.

  1. Hosting Events

A good number of vape shops host events, including vaping competitions and workshops. Vape shop employees may be expected to participate in events as hosts. This includes promoting and sharing with everyone they know and directing customers at the event as needed.

In some situations, these events happen outside of normal business hours, which may need taking extra time out of your weekend to participate. But honestly, if you love vaping enough to work in a vape shop you probably love vaping enough to enjoy the event as well.

  1. Being a Family

A good number of vape shops prefer to employ a handful of people and focus on serving their local community. Every day that you come into work, you see the same faces and get to know the people who are there. It is a well coordinated group of people who form strong relationships unlike working for a big business.

You will also become familiar with regular customers and can share a nice relaxing vape with them in between ringing up people at the register.

  1. Planning for the Future

One other critical part of being a vape shop employee is informing your vape customers about changes coming in federal vaping regulations. Since federal vaping rules will indeed have a big impact on the industry as a whole, vapers need to know what to expect.

If products or e-liquid flavors will no longer be available, they deserve the opportunity to stock up and get ready, or to get active in their communities and lobby for change.


According to reports, 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. If you are 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 are a good salesperson who generates revenue for the shop. However, regardless of your state’s minimum smoking age, many vape shops will only hire you if you are 21 or older.