店員 vs. 会社員: How to Use? Improve Your Vocabulary
What is the difference between “店員 and 会社員“? When entering the store, which do you use? After reading this, you would be answering this question. Let me introduce what their subtle differences are and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!
Store clerk/Sales clerk / 店员 / 점원 / Nhân viên bán hàng
“店員” means “Store clerk or Sales clerk” and which has been used as the meaning of “a person who works in a shop/store such as restaurants, variety stores, bookstores, coffee shops, etc.” The basic way to use it “店員は___です(A clerk is ____)”, “___の店員 (A clerk of ___)”, etc. For instance “店員はあの人です(A clerk is that guy.)”, 本屋の店員はあの人です(A clerk of the bookstore is that guy.)”, etc. The tip for using “店員” is that “店” of “店員” means “shop/store” so you would call a person “店員” who is working “in a SHOP/STORE”. All of them are called “店員“, even they are “会社員“. It is the word everybody uses as both casual and formal. Although “店員さん” sounds pretty childish for guys, some girls use it.
White-collar/Office worker/Company employee / 公司职员 / 회사원 / Nhân viên công ty
“会社員” means “White-collar, Office worker or Company employee” and which has been used as the meaning of “a person works is performed in an office.” The basic way to use it “___は会社員です(___ is a white-collar worker.)”, etc. For instance “私は会社員です(I am a white-collar worker.)”, etc. The tip for using “会社員“, basically they are wearing a suit. However, store clerks can be also called “会社員“, because “会社員” literally means “会社(company)”+”員(worker)”. When they are asked “What do you do?”, they may say “私は会社員です”, even they are clerks at the coffee shop that means they are full-time salaried workers, not part-time workers. It is the word everybody uses as both casual and formal. Furthermore, they are sometimes called “サラリーマン”, especially for men.