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Sales Associate Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: April 15, 2023

A Sales Associate, or Retail Sales Associate, is responsible for assisting customers throughout the buying process. Their duties include greeting customers when they enter the store, helping customers find specific products or showing them how to use them and ringing up customer purchases on the POS register.

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Sales Associate duties and responsibilities

Sales associate greeting customers in the store. Perhaps a rack of clothing in the background as a silhouette to illustrate the environment.Text reads: "Sample sales associate duties:Welcome customers into the store,Recommend related products to customers,Explain the benefits of various products,Promote special sales & offers"

The primary duty of a Sales Associate is to promote a company’s products or services through excellent customer service. They welcome customers, guide them through the products, answer questions and make sure guests have a pleasant experience. Some common responsibilities of a Sales Associate include the following: 

  • Welcoming customers into the store
  • Staying knowledgeable about our range of beauty and skin products
  • Explaining to customers the best products for their needs
  • Recommending related products to increase customers’ options and enrich the shopping experience
  • Explaining the benefits and functions of products, method of preparation and how to use them to achieve the best results
  • Accepting and processing orders, operate the POS register and resolve returns issues
  • Promoting special sales, offers and awareness of store loyalty program
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Sales Associate Job Description Examples

What does a Sales Associate do?

Sales Associates typically work for retail stores across a range of specialties, including clothing and accessories, technology, beauty, home decor or media and entertainment. They work closely with other Sales Associates to ensure that customers have a positive experience with their business. Their job is to assist customers in finding gifts and other items within their price range while also maintaining the sales goals of their employer. They may also be responsible for purchasing or wearing items sold in their store to be able to describe them to customers in an effective manner.

Sales Associate skills and qualifications

A successful Sales Associate candidate should have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed for their duties in the store. They have to be strong in their customer service, sales and knowledge of the store’s products and services. Depending on the business, the ideal applicant may need a college degree, but most Sales Associate positions only require a high school diploma. Some common Sales Associate qualifications include the following:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • In-depth knowledge of beauty and skin products
  • Excellent sales and communication skills
  • Working knowledge of POS payment systems
  • Valid Class-A driver’s license

Sales Associate Salary Expectations

A Sales Associate makes an average of $11.30 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

Sales Associate education and training requirements

Most Sales Associates need a GED certificate or high school diploma to get hired, but some positions may require a college degree. Candidates with work experience are ideal, but expect to provide extensive on-the-job training. This will allow them to have an in-depth understanding of your products or services, company policies and operational procedures. If the role requires special handling, be sure to provide proper training or list it as a requirement in the job description.

Sales Associates require no certifications or licenses except in a few specialized roles. A great candidate will be an excellent communicator and have exceptional customer service and interpersonal skills. They will also have outstanding sales knowledge, manage their time well and deal with customers professionally.

Sales Associate experience requirements

An experienced Sales Associate should be comfortable interacting with customers and spending long periods walking around the store to answer questions about products or services. They will also understand how to operate point of sale systems and have a working knowledge of bookkeeping to balance registers after their shift. A good candidate is knowledgeable about inventory management and has enough experience to promote your business with confidence.

Sales Associate Job Description Template

We are looking for a result-driven retail Sales Associate to be responsible for all sales job duties, from generating leads to closing sales. Sales Associate duties and responsibilities include working closely with customers to determine their needs, answer their questions about our products and recommend the right solutions. You should be able to promptly resolve customer complaints and ensure maximum client satisfaction. To be successful as a Sales associate, you should stay up-to-date with product features and maintain our store’s visual appearance in high standards. Ultimately, the duties of a sales associate are to achieve excellent customer service, while consistently meeting the store’s sales goals.


  • Ensure high levels of customer satisfaction through excellent sales service
  • Assess customer’s needs and provide assistance and information on product features
  • Welcome customers to the store and answer their queries
  • Follow and achieve department’s sales goals on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis
  • “Go the extra mile” to drive sales
  • Maintain in-stock and presentable condition assigned areas
  • Actively seek out customers in store
  • Remain knowledgeable on products offered and discuss available options
  • Process POS (point of sale) purchases
  • Cross-sell products
  • Handle returns of merchandise
  • Team up with co-workers to ensure proper customer service
  • Build productive trust relationships with customers
  • Comply with inventory control procedures
  • Suggest ways to improve sales (e.g. planning marketing activities, changing the store’s design)


  • Proven work experience as a Retail Sales associate, Sales representative or similar role
  • Basic understanding of sales principles and customer service practices
  • Proficiency in English
  • Basic Math skills
  • Working knowledge of customer and market dynamics and requirements
  • Track record of over-achieving sales quota
  • Hands-on experience with POS transactions
  • Familiarity with inventory procedures
  • Solid communication and interpersonal skills
  • A friendly and energetic personality with customer service focus
  • Ability to perform under pressure and address complaints in a timely manner
  • Availability to work flexible shifts
  • High school degree; BS degree in Marketing or related field would be a plus

Job description samples for similar positions

If you’re looking for candidates for similar roles to the Sales Associate, see our job description templates for related positions:

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Frequently asked questions about Sales Associates

What is the difference between a Sales Associate and a Cashier?

Both Sales Associates and Cashiers work at retail stores to provide assistance to customers, but they do so in different ways. For example, Sales Associates have a less stationary role than Cashiers because they have the responsibility to engage with customers, redesign displays and show customers how to use or style their products. Sales Associates may also help ring up customers in the absence of a Cashier role.

In contrast, Cashiers situate themselves behind the counter in a retail store. Their job is solely to help customers check out and process customer payments. They also count the drawer at the beginning and end of their shifts and process returns. Further, Sales Associates may receive commissions for the sales they make, whereas Cashiers typically receive hourly pay.

What are the daily duties of a Sales Associate?

On a typical day, a Sales Associate starts by restocking displays and ensuring the store’s cleanliness. Throughout their shift, they greet customers, answer their questions and provide demonstrations about how to use a particular product. During downtime, they clean surfaces, restock shelves, take inventory and rework displays. Those working in small shops receive product shipments and work with other staff to unpack and store new products. After closing, Sales Associates walk around the store restocking items and performing cleaning tasks.

What qualities make a good Sales Associate?

A good Sales Associate is someone who has a personable nature. This quality allows them to connect with customers and make them feel comfortable. They enjoy working as part of a team and assist their team members in miscellaneous tasks. Further, a good Sales Associate has a commitment to learning about the products they sell so they can provide customers with accurate, persuasive information. A good Sales Associate also has good social queues and adjusts their communication techniques to enhance their customers’ experiences in their store.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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