Retail Salesperson Job Description

Retail salespersons are responsible for selling merchandise, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, or cars in retail establishments.

Retail sales workers should have good communication and interpersonal skills. The best retail salespeople are able to identify a customer’s needs and match them up with the right product.

Additional responsibilities for retail salesperson jobs include:

  • Greeting customers and asking questions to determine their needs.
  • Explaining the differences and benefits of products.
  • Demonstrating the use of a product when needed.
  • Promoting ongoing sales, and ensuring that customers are familiar with exchange policies.

Work Environment and Schedule

Retail sales workers commonly work for clothing stores, automotive parts dealers, car dealerships, book stores, and sporting goods stores. Depending on the employer, they may remain stationary behind a counter, assist customers with products in a specific department, or help throughout the store.

Most retail salespeople will be required to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Between Thanksgiving and the beginning of January, it can be very difficult to take time off as employers need everyone they can get to support the holiday shopping season.

How to Become a Retail Salesperson

The requirements for retail sales jobs vary greatly from position to position. For instance, a clothing store may require no previous experience, but a position as a car salesman will have more advanced education and training requirements.

Most employees in this occupation will be trained on the job, and there are plenty of great opportunities for both entry-level and more advanced candidates.

Required Skills

Above all else, retail salespeople must be able to work well with people. Maintaining a friendly and professional personality and listening well to the customer’s needs are crucial qualities for this position.

Related Occupations

Employment Outlook

There are currently 4,261,600 retail salespersons in the United States, with 195,870 new retail salesperson job openings created each year.

Retail Salesperson jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Retail Salesperson Salaries

Overall Salaries

Retail Salesperson salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most retail salespersons make between $18,100 – $27,800 per year, or $8.72 – $13.36 per hour.

Updated: 05/04/2017

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