Jobs in Demand: Retail Salespersons

grocery store display

As the largest and most common job in the state, Retail Salespeople are seemingly always in demand. Nearly 85,000 people are employed as Retail Salespeople, working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic to help customers find and purchase the products they need. Though many retail workers were laid off temporarily in March and April, many have come back to work as retailers have re-opened.

There are many job duties, skills and knowledge that make a good Retail Salesperson, including preparing merchandise for purchase or rental, maintaining knowledge of products and sales, and operating cash registers to complete financial transactions.  Retail sales is incredibly customer-focused, so knowing how to interact with people, such as answering their questions about products or handling a complaint, is very important. 

Though it is the largest, retail sales is also among the lowest paying jobs in the state, with wages being around $10.60 per hour for entry level workers. However, as they gain experience and knowledge, wages also go up, including a median wage of $12.72 per hour. Half of all retail salespeople earn between $11.34 and $16.02 per hour.

With many retail establishments either remaining open during the pandemic or re-opening after restrictions were lifted, there is a high amount of demand for retail salespersons.  According to DEED’s 4th Quarter 2019 Job Vacancy Survey, there were 6,490 job openings for retail salespersons throughout the state, with a median wage offer of $12.37 per hour. Employers have been increasing wage offers in order to attract new workers, and some may also be offering hazard pay to retain workers as well.

Not only are there plenty of job openings for those considering a job or career as a retail salesperson, obtaining employment is actually fairly easy to do. According to DEED’s Educational Requirements for Occupations, the vast majority of these jobs have no formal requirements – not even a high school diploma is necessary. In fact, many retail workers are teenagers looking for work while still in high school. Jobs in retail are also great flexible jobs for those who are already working another job and wanting a second source of income.  The part-time nature of these jobs – about 60% of job vacancies were part-time – can also be an appealing characteristic, as it may allow workers to set their own schedule to fit their busy lives.     

If you are interested in more information about opportunities in retail sales jobs, check out Jobs in Demand here on the website for wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

Need help developing your job search strategy, updating your resume or preparing for interviews? Contact staff at a CareerForce location near you!