Merchant Careers

All of us buy our needs from stores. We get food, raw ingredients, household items, clothing, and other items from a variety of stores. Sometimes, we even get our goods from weekend markets, directly from the sellers. This is where we can even talk to the sellers and maybe even haggle a bit. It might be an old term, but these sellers may be called merchants.

Merchants, in the most basic sense, sell goods. They offer us what we need in exchange for money. This is how they earn a living. While it may sound very straightforward, there are a lot of things that merchants need to consider. They need to account for the cost of raw materials. They also need to scope their competitors' pricing. They also need to ensure that their products are appealing.

This is a very interesting career, especially if you have an entrepreneurial mindset. Just make sure that you are also passionate about this because you need to be in it for the long run.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a merchant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $36.99 an hour? That's $76,941 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -2% and produce -105,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Merchant Do

There are certain skills that many merchants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed persistence, selling skills and math skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a merchant, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.9% of merchants included communication, while 6.1% of resumes included product development, and 5.5% of resumes included customer service. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the merchant job title. But what industry to start with? Most merchants actually find jobs in the retail and finance industries.

How To Become a Merchant

If you're interested in becoming a merchant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 56.8% of merchants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.7% of merchants have master's degrees. Even though most merchants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a merchant. When we researched the most common majors for a merchant, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on merchant resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a merchant. In fact, many merchant jobs require experience in a role such as customer service representative. Meanwhile, many merchants also have previous career experience in roles such as cashier or sales associate.

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Average Salary
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
Job Openings

Merchant Career Paths

Top Careers Before Merchant

10.7 %

Top Careers After Merchant

7.5 %

Merchant Jobs You Might Like

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Merchant

Merchants in America make an average salary of $76,941 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $127,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $46,000 per year.
Average Salary
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Best Paying Cities For Merchants

Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range69k - 141k$99k$98,991
Bellevue, WA
Salary Range61k - 119k$85k$85,211
Springfield, MA
Salary Range59k - 120k$85k$84,777
Chesapeake, VA
Salary Range58k - 116k$83k$82,660
Coral Gables, FL
Salary Range51k - 105k$74k$73,948
Teaneck, NJ
Salary Range51k - 104k$74k$73,600
Springfield, MO
Salary Range51k - 103k$73k$73,148
Bowling Green, OH
Salary Range49k - 102k$71k$71,268
Rochester, MN
Salary Range49k - 98k$70k$69,751
Aurora, IL
Salary Range47k - 97k$68k$68,101
Rochester, NH
Salary Range47k - 96k$68k$67,942
Aurora, CO
Salary Range47k - 93k$67k$66,789
Huntsville, TX
Salary Range46k - 95k$67k$66,528
Bellevue, NE
Salary Range46k - 91k$65k$65,294
Jackson, MI
Salary Range45k - 93k$65k$64,975
Charleston, WV
Salary Range45k - 91k$65k$64,783
Charlotte, NC
Salary Range44k - 89k$64k$63,614
Columbia, SC
Salary Range44k - 89k$63k$63,461
Jackson, MS
Salary Range44k - 90k$63k$63,373
Bowling Green, KY
Salary Range44k - 89k$63k$63,270

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth
Brilliant Earth
Merchant (Product Category Manager)
Harbor Freight Tools USA, Inc.
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Merchant Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Merchant. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Merchant Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Merchant resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Merchant Resume Examples And Templates

Merchant Demographics



55.2 %


41.7 %


3.1 %



60.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.2 %

Black or African American

8.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


53.2 %


9.4 %


6.0 %
Show More Merchant Demographics

Merchant Education



56.8 %


16.7 %

High School Diploma

16.2 %

Top Colleges for Merchants

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
Show More Merchant Education Requirements

Online Courses For Merchant That You May Like

New Product Development - develop your own new product

New product development is essential for the survival of many companies in the Hi-Tec sector, as well as other sectors. The percentage of sales of successful business organizations tied to the successful Introduction of new products and services is high. However, the failure rate of new products development projects is also high and therefore there is a need for a methodology based on a well-designed process as well as tools and techniques to manage New Product Development (NPD) projects. Since...

New Product Development
edX (Global)

An effective process for conceiving, developing and launching new products or services is critical to becoming competitive in most industries. This course includes key concepts like new product development strategy, types of product development strategies and steps. This course involves (a) Organizational integration of the work of functional specialists, industrial designers, and other key participants within the firm. (b) Reducing the time-to-market while meeting cost and quality targets. ...

Customer Insights: New Product Development Orientation

This course is the first in the Customer Insights and New Product Development (CIPD) specialization. It will introduce learners to the tools and process of gathering customer insights for identifying and developing new product opportunities. Through an integrated set of five modules and hands-on project experiences, learners will acquire the knowledge and skills to turn their ideas gained from understanding customer needs into innovative new products...

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Full Time
Part Time

Top Skills For a Merchant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.9% of merchants listed communication on their resume, but soft skills such as persistence and selling skills are important as well.

  • Communication, 11.9%
  • Product Development, 6.1%
  • Customer Service, 5.5%
  • Market Research, 5.4%
  • Financial Goals, 4.9%
  • Other Skills, 66.2%
  • See All Merchant Skills

Best States For a Merchant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a merchant. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, California, Hawaii, and Washington. Merchants make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $94,674. Whereas in California and Hawaii, they would average $88,560 and $85,821, respectively. While merchants would only make an average of $84,044 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Massachusetts

Total Merchant Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Ohio

Total Merchant Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Merchant Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Merchants

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Top Merchant Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ merchants and discovered their number of merchant opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Costco Wholesale was the best, especially with an average salary of $87,639. Cargill follows up with an average salary of $89,889, and then comes Trader Joe's with an average of $55,904. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a merchant. The employers include None, None, and None

1. Costco Wholesale
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2. Cargill
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3. Trader Joe's
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4. Abercrombie & Fitch
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5. Levi Strauss & Co.
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6. Best Buy
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Updated August 18, 2021