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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: Sales Associate, Sales Consultant, Sales Clerk, Sales Person, Customer Assistant, Clerk, Sales Representative, Design Consultant, Salesman, Bridal Consultant

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Greet customers and ascertain what each customer wants or needs.
  • Describe merchandise and explain use, operation, and care of merchandise to customers.
  • 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.
  • Answer questions regarding the store and its merchandise.
  • Prepare sales slips or sales contracts.
  • Maintain knowledge of current sales and promotions, policies regarding payment and exchanges, and security practices.
  • Maintain records related to sales.
  • Demonstrate use or operation of merchandise.
  • Place special orders or call other stores to find desired items.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
Domestic sewing machines — Sewing machines
Electronic funds transfer point of sale equipment — Credit card processing machines; Electronic funds transfer EFT terminals
Point of sale payment terminal — Telecheck processing terminals
Ticket dispensing machines — Lottery machines

Technology used in this occupation:

Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks software
Human resources software — Exact Software
Point of sale POS software — ICVERIFY software; iQmetrix RQ4 Retail Management System; Plexis Software Plexis POS; TokenWorks Magnetic Card Reader
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Microsoft Word

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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.
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.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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

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Abilities

Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
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.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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.
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.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

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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.
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.
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.
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.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Work Context

Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

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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
11   Less than high school diploma
  Bachelor's degree

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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.
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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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
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.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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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.
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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Related Occupations

27-1023.00 Floral Designers
27-3012.00 Public Address System and Other Announcers
31-9095.00 Pharmacy Aides
35-3011.00 Bartenders Bright Outlook
39-6012.00 Concierges Bright Outlook
41-1011.00 First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers Bright Outlook
41-2021.00 Counter and Rental Clerks Bright Outlook
41-2022.00 Parts Salespersons
43-3071.00 Tellers Bright Outlook
43-4081.00 Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $10.15 hourly, $21,110 annual
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
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 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

Find Jobs
for Retail Salespersons

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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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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