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Retail Sales Workers

Retail Sales Workers
Quick Facts : Retail Sales Workers*
2010 Median Pay$20,990
Entry Level EducationLess than high school
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20124,465,500
Job Outlook17% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change739,400

Retail sales workers help customers find products they want and process payments. This can either be in retail merchandise such as clothing and furniture as well as parts and equipment such as car parts.

What Retail Sales Workers Do

  • Greet customers and determine what each customer wants or needs
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers' wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Show how the merchandise works, if applicable
  • Know about current sales and promotions, policies about payments and exchanges, and security practices

Work Environment

Most retail sales workers work in clean, comfortable, well-lit stores. Many sales workers work evenings and weekends. More than one-third of retail salespersons work part time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of retail salespersons is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, since employment of retail salespersons has traditionally grown with the overall economy, and this trend is expected to continue.
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The average hourly wage of retail salespersons was $9.94 in May 2010 and $13.88 for parts salespersons.
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Retail Sales Workers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Retail Sales Workers


Sales Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Retail Sales Workers*
Percent Change in Employment

Retail Sales Workers


Sales Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Retail Sales Workers

Typically, retail sales workers do not need a formal education. However, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
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