Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.
Sample of reported job titles: Car Salesman, Customer Assistant, Retail Salesperson, Sales Associate, Sales Clerk, Sales Consultant, Sales Person, Sales Representative, Salesman
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Greet customers and ascertain what each customer wants or needs.
- Recommend, select, and help locate or obtain merchandise based on customer needs and desires.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks ; Sage 50 Accounting
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Google Drive ; Microsoft SharePoint
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Microsoft Dynamics ; Salesforce software
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; FileMaker Pro; Gift registry software; Microsoft Access
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
- Development environment software — Eclipse IDE
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — IBM Notes ; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Oracle PeopleSoft ; SAP
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; SmugMug Flickr (see all 5 examples)
- Human resources software — Exact Software
- Instant messaging software — Blink; GroupMe
- Internet browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Apple macOS ; Handheld computer device software; Microsoft Windows ; Palm OS
- Point of sale POS software — iQmetrix RQ4 Retail Management System; Plexis Software Plexis POS; The General Store; TokenWorks Magnetic Card Reader (see all 37 examples)
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video conferencing software — Google Meet
- Video creation and editing software — YouTube
- Web page creation and editing software — Facebook ; LinkedIn ; Social media sites
- Word processing software — Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
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- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs.
- Greet customers, patrons, or visitors.
- Recommend products or services to customers.
- Maintain records of sales or other business transactions.
- Process sales or other transactions.
- Set up merchandise displays.
- Calculate costs of goods or services.
- Answer customer questions about goods or services.
- Review laws or regulations to maintain professional knowledge.
- Reconcile records of sales or other financial transactions.
- Prepare sales or other contracts.
- Advise customers on the use of products or services.
- Demonstrate products to consumers.
- Explain technical product or service information to customers.
- Monitor inventories of products or materials.
- Purchase stocks of merchandise or supplies.
- Estimate costs or terms of sales.
- Assist customers with product selection.
- Package materials or products.
- Monitor work areas to provide security.
- Arrange delivery of goods or services.
- Sell products or services.
- Clean work areas.
- Arrange services or reservations for patrons.
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- Contact With Others — 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 44% responded “Some freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 47% responded “Very important results.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 59% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 43% responded “More than half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 39% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 29% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 27% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|63||High school diploma or equivalent
|19||Less than high school diploma|
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Interest code: EC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$13.02 hourly, $27,080 annual|
|Employment (2020)||3,835,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Little or no change|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||524,500|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- National Automobile Dealers Association
- National Retail Federation
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Retail sales workers
- Retail Industry Leaders Association
- Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
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