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Become A Sales Assistant

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Working As A Sales Assistant

  • 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

  • $47,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Sales Assistant 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 Sales Assistant

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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Sales Assistant Career Paths

Sales Assistant
Marketing Assistant Account Executive
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Account Executive
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Business Manager
Business Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Marketing Manager General Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Event Coordinator Event Manager
Director Of Marketing And Events
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager Account Executive
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Coordinator Sales Manager Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Specialist Property Manager
Portfolio Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Assistant Marketing Manager General Manager
President/Chief Executive Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Recruiter
Recruitment Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive
Regional Accounts Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Inside Sales Representative Sales Support Specialist
Sales Support Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager General Manager Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Coordinator Office Manager Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Design Consultant
Showroom Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Project Coordinator Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Operations Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Account Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Sales Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Sales Coordinator 2.5 years
Sales Assistant 2.0 years
Sales Internship 0.5 years
Top Careers Before Sales Assistant
Internship 9.3%
Cashier 6.3%
Teller 3.7%
Assistant 3.5%
Volunteer 2.9%
Server 2.7%
Secretary 2.5%
Manager 2.3%
Waitress 2.2%
Top Careers After Sales Assistant
Internship 5.3%
Cashier 4.3%
Assistant 3.3%
Manager 3.2%
Server 3.1%
Teller 2.9%
Volunteer 2.7%

Do you work as a Sales Assistant?

Sales Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

70.9%

Male

26.2%

Unknown

2.9%
Ethnicity

White

58.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.2%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.0%

French

10.6%

Mandarin

8.1%

Chinese

7.6%

Japanese

4.6%

Italian

3.9%

German

3.6%

Portuguese

3.3%

Cantonese

3.1%

Russian

2.5%

Korean

1.9%

Arabic

1.3%

Hindi

1.2%

Polish

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Hebrew

0.7%

Romanian

0.5%

Swedish

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Carrier

0.4%
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Sales Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.1%

Fashion Institute of Technology

10.7%

Fordham University

5.3%

New York University

4.9%

Hofstra University

4.8%

Liberty University

4.8%

Temple University

4.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.3%

Florida State University

4.3%

University of Houston

4.1%

Florida International University

4.1%

Michigan State University

3.9%

University of Central Florida

3.8%

DePaul University

3.8%

University of Arizona

3.8%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.7%

Georgia State University

3.6%

Northeastern University

3.6%

Syracuse University

3.5%

University of Delaware

3.5%
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Majors

Business

28.4%

Communication

9.8%

Marketing

9.0%

Psychology

5.6%

Accounting

5.1%

Finance

4.4%

Management

4.1%

English

4.0%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Graphic Design

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

2.5%

Education

2.4%

General Studies

2.3%

Nursing

2.3%

Public Relations

2.3%

Political Science

2.2%

Hospitality Management

2.1%

Fine Arts

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.4%

Other

24.4%

Masters

10.5%

Associate

10.4%

Certificate

3.9%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Sales Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Sales Assistant Cantor Fitzgerald, LP New York, NY Jun 11, 2012 $135,000
Sales Assistant Bradesco Securities Inc. New York, NY Apr 01, 2010 $95,000
Sales Assistant Bradesco Securities Inc. New York, NY Apr 12, 2010 $95,000
Sales Assistant-Emea Equities UBS Securities LLC New York, NY Sep 10, 2010 $85,842 -
$90,000
Sales Assistant SG Americas Securities, LLC New York, NY Aug 23, 2016 $80,000
Sales Assistant Monte Investments Inc. Sunrise, FL Apr 02, 2008 $68,224
Sales Assistant Monte Investments Inc. Sunrise, FL Jun 16, 2008 $68,224
Sales Assistant SG Americas Securities, LLC New York, NY Sep 16, 2015 $68,000
Credit Derivative Sales Assistant Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. New York, NY May 22, 2010 $68,000
(Equity) Sales Assistant Canaccord Genuity Inc. New York, NY Oct 09, 2016 $65,000
Sales Assistant P&I Team Bartech Group, Inc. New York, NY Sep 12, 2015 $63,215
Sales Assistant Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC New York, NY Jul 23, 2014 $60,000
Sale Assistant Uhlmann Packaging Systems LP NJ Oct 21, 2016 $58,843
Sales Assistant RBS Securities Inc. Stamford, CT Sep 01, 2012 $55,000
Sales Manager Assistant Heaven's Touch, Inc. Cedar Rapids, IA Jan 21, 2009 $54,951
Sales Manager Assistant Heaven's Touch, Inc. Cedar Rapids, IA Jun 12, 2008 $54,951
Bilingual Sales Assistant V. Himark (USA) Inc. Irwindale, CA Sep 22, 2015 $45,914 -
$64,697
Assistant, Sales Random House, Inc. New York, NY Sep 09, 2013 $45,914
Grower Relations and Sales Assistant Pacific Trellis Fruit LLC Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2014 $44,500
Sales Assistant Donni Charm New York, NY Oct 17, 2016 $40,000
Catering Sales Assistant Tastings Inc. New York, NY Aug 01, 2015 $40,000 -
$50,000
Technical Translator/Sales Assistant Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc. New York, NY Sep 19, 2010 $40,000 -
$55,000
Sales Assistant 3.1 Phillip Lim LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $37,000
Sales Assistant Sterling Design San Francisco, CA Dec 15, 2010 $35,479 -
$45,914
NE Region Sales Assistant TV One Broadcast Sales Corporation Westfield, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $35,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Sales Assistant

Average Yearly Salary
$47,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$30,000
Min 10%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Citi
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.1 years
How much does a Sales Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Sales Assistant in the United States is $47,253 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $30,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $73,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Sales Assistant?

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Top Skills for A Sales Assistant

  1. Customer Service
  2. New Merchandise
  3. New Accounts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide excellent customer service and assist departments in store image and merchandise presentation to achieve all company objectives.
  • Performed inventory and processed new merchandise.
  • Generated new accounts by implementing effective networking.
  • Assessed and addressed the needs of the sales floor to ensure all stock is available and brand display standards were met.
  • Manage UPS Corporate Account with any incoming and outgoing correspondence for office to establish and maintain new clients and existing accounts.

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Top 10 Best States for Sales Assistants

  1. North Dakota
  2. South Dakota
  3. Wyoming
  4. New York
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Minnesota
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Idaho
  9. Vermont
  10. Maine
  • (686 jobs)
  • (585 jobs)
  • (314 jobs)
  • (6,081 jobs)
  • (509 jobs)
  • (3,551 jobs)
  • (1,006 jobs)
  • (783 jobs)
  • (294 jobs)
  • (539 jobs)

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