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Career Profile: Retail Salespersons

Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 3,835,000 people employed as retail salespersons in the United States. The median annual salary is $27,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $19,740 per year and senior employees earn approximately $44,570 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Ticket, arrange, and display merchandise to promote sales.
  • Inventory stock and requisition new stock.
  • Exchange merchandise for customers and accept returns.
  • Watch for and recognize security risks and thefts and know how to prevent or handle these situations.
  • Place special orders or call other stores to find desired items.
  • Clean shelves, counters, and tables.
  • Maintain records related to sales.
  • Open and close cash registers, performing tasks such as counting money, separating charge slips, coupons, and vouchers, balancing cash drawers, and making deposits.
  • Greet customers and ascertain what each customer wants or needs.
  • Recommend, select, and help locate or obtain merchandise based on customer needs and desires.
  • Estimate quantity and cost of merchandise required, such as paint or floor covering.
  • Rent merchandise to customers.
  • Estimate cost of repair or alteration of merchandise.
  • Prepare sales slips or sales contracts.
  • Estimate and quote trade-in allowances.
  • Bag or package purchases and wrap gifts.
  • Help customers try on or fit merchandise.
  • Sell or arrange for delivery, insurance, financing, or service contracts for merchandise.
  • Compute sales prices, total purchases, and receive and process cash or credit payment.
  • Prepare merchandise for purchase or rental.
  • Answer questions regarding the store and its merchandise.
  • Maintain knowledge of current sales and promotions, policies regarding payment and exchanges, and security practices.
  • Demonstrate use or operation of merchandise.
  • Describe merchandise and explain use, operation, and care of merchandise to customers.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
3,835,000
Annual Openings:
524,500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
-1%
Annual Salary Range:
$19,740 - $44,570
Education Requirements:
Some high school