Sales Associate

About the job: Overall employment of retail sales workers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. However, turnover is high among retail salespersons, which means there will be a large number of job openings. This, combined with the large size of this occupation, should result in good job prospects for qualified workers.

Where will you work: At retail stores or auto car dealers

What will you do: Retail sales workers help customers find products they want and process customers’ payments. There are two types of retail sales workers: retail salespersons, who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles; and parts salespersons, who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts

How to Become A 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.

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.

Job skills / requirements:

  • 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.

Industry: Customer service, retail

Minimum age: Generally 16+

Expected wage: $14 / hour.

Similar name: Sales Representative, Sales Person, Sales Clerk, Customer Assistant

Related jobs: Cashier, Customer Service Representative

O-NET Online Reference
41-2031.00 – Retail Salespersons
41-2022.00 – Parts Salespersons

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