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Become A Consumer Sales Associate

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Working As A Consumer Sales Associate

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Consumer Sales Associate Do

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Duties

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:

Retail salespersons work in stores where they sell goods, such as books, cars, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, lumber, plants, shoes, and many other types of merchandise.

In addition to helping customers find and select items to buy, many retail salespersons process the payment for the sale, which typically involves operating cash registers.

After taking payment for the purchases, retail salespersons may bag or package the purchases.

Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This includes counting the money in the register and separating charge slips, coupons, and exchange vouchers. They may also make deposits at a cash office.

For information about other workers who receive and disburse money, see the profile on cashiers.

In addition, retail salespersons may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays.

For some retail sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail sales workers need special knowledge or skills. For example, those who sell cars must be able to explain the features of various models, manufacturers’ specifications, different types of options on the car, financing available, and the details of associated warranties.

In addition, retail sales workers must recognize security risks and thefts and understand their organization’s procedures for handling thefts—procedures that may include notifying security guards or calling police.

Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts. Most work in either automotive parts stores or automobile dealerships. They take customers’ orders, inform customers of part availability and price, and take inventory.

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How To Become A Consumer Sales Associate

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.

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Consumer Sales Associate Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Sales Person 2.2 years
Sales Consultant 2.2 years
Sales Assistant 2.1 years
Inside Sales Agent 2.0 years
Cellular Sales 1.8 years
Sales Expert 1.8 years
Sales Associate 1.6 years
Sales Trainee 1.1 years
Top Careers Before Consumer Sales Associate
Cashier 18.3%
Internship 4.2%
Volunteer 2.9%
Supervisor 2.6%
Manager 2.3%
Waitress 2.2%
Server 2.2%
Associate 1.9%
Top Careers After Consumer Sales Associate
Cashier 12.3%
Associate 4.9%
Manager 3.9%
Server 3.3%
Internship 2.9%
Driver 2.9%
Supervisor 2.7%

Do you work as a Consumer Sales Associate?

Average Yearly Salary
$84,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$45,000
Min 10%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$156,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Ferrara Candy
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Consumer Sales Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Consumer Sales Associate in the United States is $84,929 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $45,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $156,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Consumer Sales Associate?

Have you worked as a Consumer Sales Associate? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Consumer Sales Associate.

Top Skills for A Consumer Sales Associate

  1. Customer Service
  2. Product Knowledge
  3. New Merchandise
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Promoted to assistant store manager with accountability for commercial and consumer sales and leading customer service personnel.
  • Exhibited exemplary product knowledge and ability to resolve problems.
  • Created a successful marketing plan targeting local small businesses and implemented through use of letters and phone calls.
  • Train new hires and set hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly sales goals to achieve annual plan.
  • Assist with inventory, display, merchandising and placement of stock on sales floor, stock rotation and mark-downs.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Consumer Sales Associates

  1. North Dakota
  2. South Dakota
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Wyoming
  5. Washington
  6. Vermont
  7. Hawaii
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Alaska
  10. Maine
  • (460 jobs)
  • (388 jobs)
  • (521 jobs)
  • (265 jobs)
  • (2,738 jobs)
  • (305 jobs)
  • (497 jobs)
  • (1,084 jobs)
  • (200 jobs)
  • (585 jobs)

Consumer Sales Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

44.9%

Male

43.9%

Unknown

11.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

French

8.3%

Chinese

5.6%

German

5.6%

Hindi

5.6%

Italian

5.6%

Filipino

2.8%

Vietnamese

2.8%

Cantonese

2.8%

Hmong

2.8%

Tagalog

2.8%

Mandarin

2.8%

Navajo

2.8%
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Consumer Sales Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.4%

Jackson State University

7.3%

State University of New York College at Buffalo

6.4%

Ashford University

5.5%

New York University

4.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.5%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.5%

University of Texas at San Antonio

4.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.5%

University of Kentucky

4.5%

Kaplan University

4.5%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.6%

University of Nebraska at Omaha

3.6%

Trident Technical College

3.6%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.6%

Illinois State University

3.6%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.6%

Texas State University

3.6%

University of Central Oklahoma

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

29.1%

Communication

7.2%

Psychology

6.9%

Marketing

6.6%

Accounting

5.6%

Finance

5.1%

Management

4.8%

Health Care Administration

3.9%

General Studies

3.4%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Nursing

3.1%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Graphic Design

2.9%

Medical Assisting Services

2.6%

Education

2.4%

Information Technology

2.3%

Law

2.1%

Computer Science

1.9%

English

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.7%

Other

29.8%

Associate

11.2%

Masters

10.4%

Certificate

5.2%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.3%
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Top Consumer Sales Associate Employers

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