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What Retail Sales Workers Do
Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts, (called parts salespersons). Both groups help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.
Retail sales workers generally do the following:
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.
The following industries employed the most retail salespersons in 2010:
How to Become a Retail Sales Worker
Typically, retail sales workers do not need a formal education. However, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent.
The median hourly wage of retail salespersons was $9.94 in May 2010. The median hourly wage of parts salespersons was $13.88 in May 2010.
Employment of retail salespersons is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment of parts salespersons is expected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Many workers leave this occupation, which means there will be a large number of job openings. This large number of job openings combined with the large size of the occupation should result in many employment opportunities.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
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