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Deal with People
Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers. Most receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months.Education
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
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.
During training sessions, topics often include customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to operate the cash register.
Depending on the type of product they are selling, employees may be given additional specialized training. For example, salespersons working in cosmetics get instruction on the types of products the store offers and for whom the cosmetics would be most beneficial. Likewise, those who sell computers may be instructed on the technical differences between computer products.
Because providing exceptional service to customers is a priority for many employers, employees often get periodic training to update and refine their skills.Advancement
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.
As sales workers gain experience and seniority, they often move into positions that have greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments in which to work. This opportunity often means moving to positions with higher potential earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually involves selling “big-ticket” items—such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronics. These positions often require workers with extensive knowledge of the product and an excellent talent for persuasion.Important Qualities
Customer-service skills. Retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers. They should explain the product options available to customers and make appropriate recommendations.
Interpersonal skills. A friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people.
Math skills. Retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers.
Persistence. A large number of attempted sales may not be successful, so sales workers should not be discouraged easily. They must start each new sales attempt with a positive attitude.
Selling skills. Retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers. They must clearly and effectively explain the benefits of the merchandise.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Associate
Top Careers After Associate
Hispanic or Latino11.3%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix13.8%
New York University6.0%
George Washington University5.3%
New York Law School4.9%
University of Pennsylvania4.6%
Pennsylvania State University4.2%
Florida State University4.1%
University of Texas at Austin4.0%
Southern New Hampshire University3.9%
University of Houston3.8%
George Mason University3.8%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Associate||Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP||New York, NY||Aug 29, 2016||$315,000|
|Associate||Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, LLP||New York, NY||Aug 24, 2016||$315,000 -
|U.S. Associate||Linklaters LLP||New York, NY||Sep 15, 2016||$300,000|
|Associate (Quantitative Researcher)||Ajo LP||Boston, MA||Apr 23, 2015||$300,000 -
|Associate||OEP Capital Advisors L.P.||New York, NY||Jan 13, 2015||$300,000|
|Associate||Proskauer Rose LLP||New York, NY||Sep 16, 2016||$300,000|
|Associate||Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP||Washington, DC||Dec 22, 2015||$290,000|
|Associate||Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP||New York, NY||Aug 25, 2016||$290,000|
|Associate||Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP||CA||Oct 01, 2015||$290,000|
|Associate||Shearman & Sterling LLP||Washington, DC||Mar 02, 2016||$290,000|
|Associate||Shearman & Sterling LLP||Washington, DC||Aug 25, 2015||$290,000|
|Associate||Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP||New York, NY||Aug 26, 2016||$290,000|
|Associate (Management Consultant)||McKinsey & Company, Inc. United States||New York, NY||Jan 29, 2015||$124,990 -
|Associate (Management Consultant)||McKinsey & Company, Inc. United States||New York, NY||Jan 01, 2015||$124,990 -
|Associate||Goldman, Sachs & Co.||New York, NY||Jul 30, 2015||$124,800|
|Associate||Goldman Sachs Services LLC||Jersey City, NJ||Aug 03, 2015||$124,800|
|Associate||Goldman Sachs & Co.||New York, NY||May 16, 2016||$124,800 -
|Associate||Goldman Sachs Services LLC||Jersey City, NJ||Feb 19, 2016||$124,800|
|Associate||Guggenheim Partners Investment Management Holdings, LLC||New York, NY||Feb 08, 2016||$124,426 -
|Associate||Enosta, Inc.||Irving, TX||Oct 10, 2016||$87,869|
|Associate||Enstoa, Inc.||New York, NY||Jan 09, 2016||$87,868|
|Associate 6||Deloitte Consulting LLP||Houston, TX||Mar 18, 2016||$87,818 -
|Associate 6||Deloitte Consulting LLP||Philadelphia, PA||Jun 01, 2016||$87,818 -
|Corporate Strategy Associate||IBM Corporation||New York, NY||May 23, 2016||$87,751 -
|Associate||Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 05, 2015||$87,693 -
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