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Become A Parts Specialist

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Working As A Parts Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Getting Information
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Parts Specialist 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 Parts Specialist

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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Parts Specialist Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Parts Counterman 4.8 years
Parts Manager 4.6 years
Parts Advisor 3.7 years
Parts Person 3.4 years
Parts Coordinator 3.2 years
Parts Technician 3.1 years
Parts Specialist 3.0 years
Parts Sales Person 2.9 years
Counter Person 2.6 years
Parts Associate 2.2 years
Parts Driver 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Parts Specialist
Cashier 12.8%
Manager 4.6%
Technician 4.3%
Mechanic 4.0%
Driver 3.0%
Cook 2.6%
Top Careers After Parts Specialist
Cashier 7.6%
Technician 5.8%
Driver 5.4%
Mechanic 4.0%
Manager 3.9%
Owner 3.0%

Do you work as a Parts Specialist?

Parts Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

70.8%

Female

22.3%

Unknown

6.9%
Ethnicity

White

62.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.6%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

85.8%

French

2.4%

Portuguese

1.5%

Mandarin

1.2%

Carrier

1.2%

Hmong

0.9%

Russian

0.9%

Chinese

0.9%

Japanese

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Cherokee

0.6%

German

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.3%

Shona

0.3%

Cheyenne

0.3%

Hebrew

0.3%

Khmer

0.3%

Igbo

0.3%

Thai

0.3%

Bulgarian

0.3%
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Parts Specialist Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

22.0%

University of Phoenix

21.3%

The Academy

6.7%

Ashford University

4.3%

Kaplan University

4.1%

Houston Community College

3.9%

A-Technical College

3.6%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

3.0%

Central Texas College

3.0%

Baker College

2.8%

Illinois Central College

2.8%

University of Northwestern Ohio

2.6%

Salt Lake Community College

2.6%

American InterContinental University

2.6%

Strayer University

2.5%

Lincoln College of Technology - Denver

2.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.5%

Ferris State University

2.5%

Liberty University

2.5%

Arizona State University

2.3%
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Majors

Business

24.2%

Automotive Technology

21.0%

Criminal Justice

7.1%

General Studies

6.7%

Accounting

4.1%

Computer Science

3.9%

Management

3.3%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Information Technology

2.5%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Education

2.5%

Precision Metal Working

2.4%

Medical Assisting Services

2.4%

Psychology

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Nursing

2.2%

Computer Information Systems

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Communication

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

41.8%

Associate

21.3%

Bachelors

20.9%

Certificate

8.0%

Diploma

4.0%

Masters

3.2%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$31,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$16,000
Min 10%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Shaw's Supermarkets
Highest Paying City
Medford, OR
Highest Paying State
Oregon
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does a Parts Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Parts Specialist in the United States is $31,710 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $16,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $61,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Parts Specialist?

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Top Skills for A Parts Specialist

  1. Customer Service
  2. Inspect Parts
  3. Parts Delivery
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided excellent customer service to consumers in a timely and pleasant manor to insure customer satisfaction.
  • Disassemble and clean complete engines* Machine engine blocks and cylinder heads* Inspect parts for excessive wear or damage
  • Provided bilingual customer service through problem resolution, technical diagnostics, parts delivery and warranties.
  • Develop strong business relationships with customers Provides a high level of customer service to maximize automotive parts department sales.
  • Assisted in organization and execution of new warehouse layout to optimize inventory control.

How Would You Rate Working As a Parts Specialist?

Are you working as a Parts Specialist? Help us rate Parts Specialist as a Career.

Top Parts Specialist Employers

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Jobs From Top Parts Specialist Employers

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