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Summary Report for:
41-2031.00 - Retail Salespersons

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

Sample of reported job titles: Bridal Consultant, Clerk, Customer Assistant, Design Consultant, Sales Associate, Sales Clerk, Sales Consultant, Sales Person, Sales Representative, Salesman

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  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

Tasks

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

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Adjustable wrenches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cash registers — Computerized cash registers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Domestic clothing irons — Clothing irons See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Domestic sewing machines — Sewing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Electronic funds transfer point of sale equipment — Electronic funds transfer EFT terminals See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Fluid regulators — Gas consoles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Garment steamer — Clothing steamers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Label dispensers — Price guns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ladders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Magnetic stripe readers and encoders — Credit card processing machines; Magnetic card readers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Point of sale payment terminal — Telecheck processing terminals See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS computer terminals See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Screwdrivers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tape measures See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ticket dispensing machines — Lottery machines See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Gift registry software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Development environment software — Eclipse software * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Human resources software — Exact Software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Point of sale POS software — ICVERIFY software; iQmetrix RQ4 Retail Management System; Plexis Software Plexis POS; TokenWorks Magnetic Card Reader (see all 40 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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 there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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 of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Process sales or other transactions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Gather customer or product information to determine customer needs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Greet customers, patrons, or visitors. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain records of sales or other business transactions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare sales or other contracts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Calculate costs of goods or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Explain technical product or service information to customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Answer customer questions about goods or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advise customers on the use of products or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor work areas to provide security. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Reconcile records of sales or other financial transactions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sell products or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Recommend products or services to customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Arrange delivery of goods or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimate costs or terms of sales. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Purchase stocks of merchandise or supplies. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Demonstrate products to consumers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean work areas. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Review laws or regulations to maintain professional knowledge. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor inventories of products or materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Set up merchandise displays. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Telephone — 99% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 91% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 86% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 44% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 52% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 43% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 73% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 51% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 60% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 34% responded “Extremely competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 32% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 29% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 37% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

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 sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
76   High school diploma or equivalent Help
11   Less than high school diploma
9   Bachelor's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: EC

  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $10.29 hourly, $21,390 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 4,447,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 1,955,700
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "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.

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