Retail Salespersons

(NOC 6421)

in All Sales and Service

Retail salespersons sell, rent or lease a range of technical and non-technical goods and services directly to consumers. They are employed by stores and other retail businesses, as well as wholesale businesses that sell on a retail basis to the public.

Job Outlook

Good

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  • Estimate decline sharply employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 35 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Sales and Service

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 5260 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline significantly over the next few years, which will limit the number of new opportunities available (yet overall job prospects are still considered good due to other factors). With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Retail Salespersons may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

The median employment income for 33% of Retail Salespersons who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $30,414. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$11.87

Median

$20.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,694

Minimum

$14,508

Median

$44,416

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$10.70

Minimum

$12.50

Median

$21.17

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,949

Minimum

$16,629

Median

$45,086

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Retail salespersons sell, rent or lease a range of technical and non-technical goods and services directly to consumers. They are employed by stores and other retail businesses, as well as wholesale businesses that sell on a retail basis to the public.

Job duties

Retail salespersons perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Greet customers and discuss type, quality and quantity of merchandise or services sought for purchase, rental or lease.
  • Advise customers on use and care of merchandise, and provide advice concerning specialized products or services.
  • Estimate or quote prices, credit terms, trade-in allowances, warranties and delivery dates.
  • Prepare merchandise for purchase, rental or lease.
  • Prepare sales, rental or leasing contracts and accept cash, cheque, credit card or automatic debit payment.
  • Assist in display of merchandise.
  • Maintain sales records for inventory control.
  • Operate computerized inventory record keeping and re-ordering systems.
  • May conduct sales transactions through Internet-based electronic commerce. // Retail salespersons may specialize and act as consultants in home entertainment systems, computers and other products and services.

Sample job titles

  • convenience store clerk
  • floral arranger - retail
  • motor vehicle salesperson
  • pharmacy clerk
  • retail sales associate
  • retail sales clerk
  • retail salesperson
  • sales and rental clerk
  • sales greeter
  • store clerk

Skills

For this work, you should have good interpersonal and communication skills. Patience, tact, and enthusiasm are important. You must always be alert to the customers' needs and be as helpful and efficient as possible. Basic math skills and product knowledge are also needed. Knowledge of another language, especially French, is an asset. Demonstrated sales ability and product knowledge are usually required for retail salespersons who sell complex or valuable merchandise, such as automobiles, antiques, or computers.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school may be required.
  • A university degree or college diploma may be required by some employers.
  • Specific subject matter courses or training may be required.

Other considerations

Many positions are filled by part-time employees, who are required to work in the evenings and on weekends. Hours of work will depend on the needs of the employer. Earnings vary throughout the year due to the fact that retail salespersons are often employed part-time and have their hours increased or decreased according to sales levels. Also, wages are often supplemented with sales commissions. People in these jobs must be on their feet for long periods of time. Technical or sales training programs may be provided by employers. Progression to retail supervisory positions is possible with additional training or experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

16,115

employed in 2016

49.9%

employed full-time

4.3%

self employed

59.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
40.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
34.9

median age

Compared to: All Sales and Service

102,605

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

6.2%

self employed

60.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
39.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37

median age

Where will I likely work?

48.5%

Halifax

16.2%

Northern

12.9%

Cape Breton

12.0%

Annapolis Valley

10.4%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

84.0%

Retail Trade

3.7%

Wholesale Trade

2.5%

Information, Culture & Recreation

1.5%

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Leasing

1.2%

Food and Beverage Product Manufacturing

What is the age of Employment?

35.7%

15-24

16.3%

45-54

15.4%

25-34

14.7%

55-64

12.3%

35-44

5.6%

65+

Compared to: All Sales and Service

35.7%

25-34

28.6%

35-44

21.4%

55-64

Top levels of education

46.0%

High school

$14,269 median annual income
18.4%

College certificate or diploma

$17,832 median annual income
16.4%

Less than high school

$8,323 median annual income
11.2%

Bachelor's degree

$16,784 median annual income
5.0%

Trades certificate

$21,890 median annual income

Compared to: All Sales and Service

40.4%

High school

$12,982 median annual income
19.9%

College certificate or diploma

$19,514 median annual income
18.8%

Less than high school

$9,486 median annual income
10.0%

Bachelor's degree

$20,807 median annual income
8.0%

Trades certificate

$18,797 median annual income

Education & training

There is no information to display in this section

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Retail Council of Canada
1255 Bay Street, Suite 800
Toronto, ON M5R 2A9
Tel: (416) 922-6678
Fax: (416) 922-8011

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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