Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Requirements and Job Duties of a Retail Sales Associate

Job Descriptions December 24, 2012

A retail sales associate represents the public face of a retail store. Customers rely on retail sales associates to assist them in selecting an appropriate product. A retail sales associate is relied on by their employer in keeping the shelves stocked and maintaining the cleanliness of the sales floor. In this article, we will look at the career path of a retail sales associate and discuss what an aspiring retail sales associate must do in order to pursue their career.

Job Profile of a Retail Sales Associate

A retail sales associate recommends, describes and demonstrates products to customers; thereby helping them buy the appropriate products that they need. A retail sales associate is expected to ring up transactions on a cash register; this requires the ability to use credit card machines, calculators and barcode scanners. Apart from rendering assistance to customers, a retail sales associate’s job involves taking product inventory, stocking shelves, arranging product displays (source: Occupational Information Network (www.onetonline.org)).

Educational Prerequisites for a Retail Sales Associate

While there is no formal educational requirement for those who are interested in becoming a retail sales associate, some employers prefer an aspiring retail sales associate to hold a high school diploma (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)). Sales associates are provided training by retailers; such training can be imparted either through specific seminars or on the job. Coursework typically covers topics such as sales techniques, the company’s policies and its products. Product training in a more comprehensive nature is imparted to retail sales associate that sell technical products.

Prerequisite Skills of a Retail Sales Associate

Often, a retail sales associate work in coordination with other members of a team who are retail professionals; therefore, they need to have the ability to work well with other individuals and must necessarily have exceptional communication skills. Courtesy, efficiency and a tidy appearance are among the commonly expected traits of a retail sales associate. To be more effective in the performance of their duties, a retail sales associate needs to have numeracy skills and must have adequate technology and math skills. Some employers can require sales associates to submit to background checks.

Job Outlook and Wage Information

During the decade from 2008 to 2018, retail sales associates can expect an eight percent job growth according to projections made by the BLS. An increasing population that may lead to growth in retail sales along with a large number of individuals who are leaving the profession are reasons for the optimistic job growth projections for retail sales associates. Merchandise stores are expected to be among the main employers and employment availability are normally temporary or part-time. In May 2010, individuals numbering in excess of four million worked as retail sales associates across the United States. They earned an average hourly wages of $12.02 that roughly translates to $25,000 annually (source: BLS). The average hourly wage ranged from $7.75 (for the bottom 10%) to $18.54 (as pertaining to the top 10%). The highest wages earned by retail sales associates in May 2010 were offered by auto dealers, building contractors, and trailer and auto body manufacturers.

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Online and ground-based program areas include Fashion Marketing and Management and more.
  • Students can study branding, event management, and public relations to help them prepare for a marketing career
  • Course topics include Fundamentals of Business, Brand Strategy, Project Management, and Principles of Market Research
  • Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
  • Classes start on July 9
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Online Courses
4 Program(s) Found
  • Everglades University
  • Earn a Degree in Renewable Energy, Online or On-Campus. Get Info!
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ready to earn your business degree? If you identify with at least one of the statements below, GCU could be a good fit for you!
  • I have worked in the business field for a number of years and want to further my education in order to qualify for promotions, leadership positions, and salary increases.
  • I am graduating from high school and am interested in pursuing a career in a business field, but I first need the skills experience.
  • I am interested in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree in my specialized business area of focus.
  • I want flexible course offerings, such as the option of 100% online, evening or campus classes.
  • I need a university that provides quality educational offerings through academic excellence and real-world relevance. Does this sound like you? Apply today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) 100% online
  • Learn business and leadership skills through case studies and intensive projects, culminating in a capstone course
  • Program designed to teach students key concepts in accounting, financial services, and marketing
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • View Associates, Bachelors or Graduate Degree Programs in Business Near YOU!
  • Enter YOUR Needs and Requirements. Get Matched to the Perfect Campus or Online Degree Programs for You.
  • Free information for Business Administration and Management, Accounting, Marketing and Advertising, Business Information Systems Degree Programs and MORE.
  • Accredited, Flexible Business Administration and Management Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Online Courses
4 Program(s) Found
  • Everglades University
  • Earn a Degree in Renewable Energy, Online or On-Campus. Get Info!
  • Online Courses
3 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
  • We're now Non-Profit.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ready to earn your business degree? If you identify with at least one of the statements below, GCU could be a good fit for you!
  • I have worked in the business field for a number of years and want to further my education in order to qualify for promotions, leadership positions, and salary increases.
  • I am graduating from high school and am interested in pursuing a career in a business field, but I first need the skills experience.
  • I am interested in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree in my specialized business area of focus.
  • I want flexible course offerings, such as the option of 100% online, evening or campus classes.
  • I need a university that provides quality educational offerings through academic excellence and real-world relevance. Does this sound like you? Apply today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • eLearners.com Helps You Find the Right College within Minutes. 100% Free Match to Top Colleges.
  • Get Matched to the Perfect Business Degree Programs from Top Colleges Here.
  • Learn at Your Own Pace and Get Qualified to Pursue a Career You'll Love.
  • Answer a few questions and you are one step closer to enroll in a Top College!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!