Retail and Sales Degrees

Career summary: Retail Sales Workers

Average Salary


National Average, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook


-2% job growth by 2028, which is below average

Earn a degree in retail and sales from an accredited college


Retail and sales original

Why would I want a degree in retail and sales?

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Job Description

What does a salesperson do?

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and determine what each customer wants or needs
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers’ total purchases and accept payment
  • Know about current sales and promotions, policies about payments and exchanges, and security practices


How much do retail and sales workers make?

The median hourly wage for retail salespersons was $15.24 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half of the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.89, and the top 10 percent earned more than $26.97.

Career Outlook

How popular are retail and sales jobs?

Employment of retail sales workers is projected to grow -2 percent from 2018 to 2028, slower than the average for all occupations. Competition from online sales will lead to employment declines in brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Career Path

How do I become a retail or sales worker?

Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially those who sell technical products or “big-ticket” items, such as electronics or cars.

Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learning Format



Retail and Sales Schools (2)

CollegeAmerica Request Info >
Purdue Global Online Request Info >

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