Retail Sales Workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or big-ticket items, such as electronics or cars.
Training Required
Most retail sales workers receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 2% (Slower than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.
Median pay: How much do Retail Sales Workers make?
$22,900 Annual Salary
$11.01 per hour

Retail sales workers help customers find products they want and process customers payments. There are two types of retail sales workers: retail salespersons, who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles; and parts salespersons, who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts.

What do Retail Sales Workers do?

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and offer them assistance
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers total purchases and accept payment
  • Inform customers about current sales, promotions, and policies about payments and exchanges

The following are examples of types of retail sales workers:

Careers for Retail Sales Workers

  • Appliance parts counter clerks
  • Auto parts salespersons
  • Automobile salespersons
  • Automotive salespersons
  • Car salespersons
  • Clothing and accessories salespersons
  • Computer salespersons
  • Department store salespersons
  • Electronic parts salespersons
  • Electronics salespersons
  • Furniture salespersons
  • Menswear salespersons
  • New car salespersons
  • Parts clerks
  • Parts salespersons
  • Pet supplies salespersons
  • Pets salespersons
  • Retail salespersons
  • Sales clerks
  • Sales workers
  • Shoe salespersons
  • Used car salespersons
  • Women's apparel salespersons

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