Sales and operations employees are the face of the retail industry. These professionals interface with customers on an often daily basis and perform job functions like sales associate, cashier, store stock associate and stock receiver. Working in a retail position focused on sales and service requires good people skills, problem-solving skills, the ability to work well with others and a calm demeanor. Most retailers promote from within. Some employees use these entry-level positions as a starting point for a career in the retail industry while others find a great, career-long home in these entry-level positions.
  • There usually are no formal education requirements for this type of work, although a high school diploma or the equivalent is often preferred. A college degree may be required for management trainee positions, especially in larger retail establishments.
  • Large retail businesses usually prefer to hire college graduates as management trainees, making a college education increasingly important. However, motivated and capable employees without college degrees still may advance to administrative or supervisory positions in large establishments.

Did you know...

The Monday-through-Friday, 9-to-5 workweek is the exception rather than the rule in retail trade. Most salespersons work evenings and weekends, particularly during sales and other peak retail periods.
Employers look for people who enjoy working with others and who have tact, patience, a neat appearance and the ability to communicate clearly.