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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 Retail Clerk
Top Careers After Retail Clerk
Hispanic or Latino12.1%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix17.7%
West Virginia University5.3%
Lansing Community College5.3%
McNeese State University4.9%
Palm Beach State College4.5%
San Francisco State University4.2%
Georgia Perimeter College4.2%
Michigan State University4.2%
Western Michigan University4.2%
College of DuPage4.2%
Grand Valley State University3.8%
University of Central Florida3.8%
Central Michigan University3.8%
Grand Canyon University3.8%
University of Washington3.8%
Essex County College3.8%
Grand Rapids Community College3.4%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Retail Salesperson||BH Photo||New York, NY||Apr 03, 2008||$47,625|
|Retail Salesperson||Park Avenue Grocery, LLC||Lakewood, NJ||Jan 27, 2011||$31,555|
|Retails Salesperson||Woolley's Fish Market||Howell, NJ||Dec 30, 2010||$31,555|
|Retail Sales Person||Precision Carpentry||Oceanside, CA||Nov 19, 2009||$31,305|
|Retail Salesperson||Welcome Medical Supplies, Inc.||Garden Grove, CA||Jan 24, 2011||$30,909|
|Retail Salesperson||Welcome Medical Supplies, Inc.||Garden Grove, CA||Mar 30, 2010||$30,908|
|Retail Salesperson||SJK Associates, Inc.||Seattle, WA||May 10, 2015||$30,262|
|Retail Salesperson||Tenacious, Ltd.||Los Angeles, CA||Aug 11, 2015||$29,494|
|Retail Salesperson||Masonryclub, Inc.||CA||Nov 26, 2010||$29,322|
|Retail Salesperson||California Deluxe Windows||CA||Jan 31, 2008||$29,281|
|Retail Salesperson||The Old Arcade Trading Company||Silverton, CO||May 07, 2016||$28,947|
|Retail Sales Person||Productive Electronics LLC||Stone Mountain, GA||May 01, 2015||$28,926 -
|Retail Salesperson, Jewelry||Goldsmith Lambros, Inc.||AK||Apr 01, 2014||$28,675|
|Retail Salesperson||Sisson Inc. DBA Century Auto Sales||Irving, TX||May 13, 2010||$28,371|
|Retail Salesperson||Catfish Charlie's Tropical Fish, Inc.||Firestone, CO||Aug 24, 2011||$27,757|
|Retail Salesperson||Catfish Charlie's Tropical Fish, Inc.||Firestone, CO||Aug 29, 2011||$27,757|
|Retail Salesperson||Hyannis Flea Market Inc.||MA||Apr 01, 2016||$27,569|
|Retail Salesperson||Dick Brooks Honda||Greer, SC||Feb 02, 2010||$27,131|
|Retail Salesperson||Hyannis Flea Market Inc.||MA||Apr 01, 2015||$27,068|
|Retail Salesperson||Chic Fabric Inc.||New York, NY||Nov 15, 2010||$27,000|
|Retail Salesperson||JNJ Citro Corp.||NY||Aug 29, 2008||$26,922|
|Retail Salesperson||JNJ Citro Corp.||NY||Jan 25, 2011||$26,922|
|Retail Salesperson||Lloyd L.Hickman||Ocean View, DE||Dec 10, 2009||$24,647|
|Retail Salesperson||Statesmen Corp||Acton, MA||Jan 30, 2008||$24,293|
|Retail Salesperson||MacKinac Chocolate LLC||Mackinac Island, MI||Apr 15, 2015||$23,374|
|Retail Salesperson||Rolland Hair Trend||Doraville, GA||Oct 14, 2008||$22,790|
|Retail Sales Person||Roland Hair Trend||Doraville, GA||Jan 16, 2009||$22,790|
|Retail Sales Person||The Sharp Shopper Inc.||Monsey, NY||Dec 08, 2010||$21,517|
|Retail Salesperson||Western Depot, Inc.||Seminole, TX||Mar 24, 2009||$21,000|
|Retail Salesperson||Grace of Jehovah Beauty Supply and Salon||Malden, MA||Dec 01, 2015||$20,870|
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