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: Car Salesman, Customer Assistant, Retail Salesperson, Sales Associate, Sales Clerk, Sales Consultant, Sales Person, Sales Representative, Salesman
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.
- Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks ; Sage 50 Accounting
- 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 — Google Drive ; 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
- Project management software — Microsoft SharePoint
- 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.
- Adjustable widemouth pliers
- Adjustable wrenches
- Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
- Cash registers — Computerized cash registers
- Desktop computers
- Domestic clothing irons — Clothing irons
- Domestic sewing machines — Sewing machines
- Electronic funds transfer point of sale equipment — Electronic funds transfer EFT terminals
- Fluid regulators — Gas consoles
- Garment steamer — Clothing steamers
- Label dispensers — Price guns
- Magnetic stripe readers and encoders — Credit card processing machines; Magnetic card readers
- Personal computers
- Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators
- Point of sale payment terminal — Telecheck processing terminals
- Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS computer terminals
- Tape measures
- Ticket dispensing machines — Lottery machines
- 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.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Interacting 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 Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitor 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 of materials.
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.
- 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.”
|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)|
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$13.02 hourly, $27,080 annual|
|Employment (2019)||4,371,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||568,100|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.