Career Options in Retail
Do you enjoy helping people find products that make them happy? Does the idea of shopping for the best deal appeal to you? If so, a career in retail may suit you. Read more to learn about your career options in the retail industry. Schools offering Retail Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Are My Options for a Career in Retail?
Retail sales take place in various settings, such as flea markets, Internet stores or brick-and-mortar businesses. You can select a retail career based on your passion for a specific product, such as computers or fashion, or choose a more general approach working with a range of products. As with many careers, retail sales opportunities include entry-level and managerial positions, so you have several options when seeking a career in retail.
You may obtain an entry-level position as a salesperson or cashier. Retail salespersons perform a number of tasks depending on the requirements of the retailer. For example, in some retail positions, you will provide customers with basic information about products, retrieve the requested products and assist consumers with trying on or testing products. You might also process transactions. In other establishments, you will need specialized product knowledge, such as in positions that involve selling technology products or automobiles.
You could also serve in a managerial position, such as purchasing or sales management. Purchasing managers, or buyers, oversee the process of selecting and purchasing retail products. In this position, you will make sure your company receives the best bargains for merchandise. You can expect to identify wholesale vendors, negotiate the price for each product and establish a purchasing cycle to meet consumer demand. Sales managers, on the other hand, oversee the functions of a retail store and its employees, which may entail motivating salespersons to improve sales and maintaining inventory.
What Education Should I Pursue?
Entry-level positions in retail sales typically entail only a high school diploma. Most positions provide on-the-job training; however, some positions require you to have specialized knowledge of specific products and experience selling these products. Purchasing and managerial positions may require a bachelor's degree at minimum. You might choose to earn a degree in business, economics or another applicable major.
What Can I Expect to Earn?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that retail salesperson earned on average $25,000 annually in 2010 (www.bls.gov). In the same year, sales managers earned on average $114,110 per year, while purchasing managers earned on average $100,600 per year.
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