- Sell products and help customers
- You'll need excellent customer service skills & communication skills
- Become a retail manager or set up and run your own independent shop
As a sales assistant, you might work in a supermarket, a department store, a small independent shop or one that's part of a chain.
- Serving and advising customers
- Arranging goods in displays and on shelves
- Rotating and replacing stock
- Promoting extra products
- Taking cash and card payments and making sure the till balances
- Dealing with returns
- Meeting sales targets
You'll usually work up to 40 hours a week. This is likely to include early opening and late closing times, weekends and bank holidays. Seasonal work is common. You'll spend most of your time on the shop floor, but may have some duties in the stockroom.
This role requires excellent customer service skills, communication skills, and maths skills for handling cash and change.
There are no entry requirements, but it will help if you are confident about selling, have a positive, helpful attitude and can get on well with a wide range of customers. Some stores, like mobile phone or DIY shops, may expect you to have good knowledge of their products before you apply.
Employers may ask for some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths. Retail or customer service experience will also be helpful.
You could gain experience by volunteering in a charity shop which would give you an advantage. You can also learn some of the skills you need for this job by doing a Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Retail Skills or a Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Sales Professional.
Alternatively you could get into this job through a retailer intermediate apprenticeship.
With experience you could become a retail manager or departmental manager. You could specialise in customer services or buying merchandise. You could also set up and run your own independent shop.