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How to become a Retail Sales Associate

Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales associates. Some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or "big-ticket" items, such as electronics or cars.

Most retail sales associates receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.

Retail sales associates typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How to become: Customer Service Representative · Sales Associate · Cashier · Team Member · Sales Assistant
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What skills help Retail Sales Associates find jobs?

  • Automotive diagnostics
  • Basic math
  • Bilingual
  • Cash handling
  • Cashiering
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service
  • Employment & labor law
  • English
  • Hospitality
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Career progression for Retail Sales Associate

Education levels for Retail Sales Associates

Based on the requirements of Retail Sales Associate job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
High school diploma or GED68.3%
Bachelor's degree16.0%
Associate's degree12.8%
Master's degree1.6%
Middle school education1.2%
Doctoral degree0.1%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Retail Sales Associate in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$20,700
4 - 8$23,500
8 - 12$26,000
12 - 16$27,700
16 - 20$28,100
20 - 24$28,700
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Common qualifications for Retail Sales Associates

  • ASE Certification
  • CPR Certification
  • Certified Notary Public
  • Cosmetology License
  • Driver's License
  • Food Handler Certification
  • ServSafe
  • TABC Certified
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