There are no specific qualifications needed for the role of Sales Assistant, although a good standard of education such as some GCSEs will sometimes be asked for.
There are diplomas and other various college courses available in Retail which can only help if this is your chosen career path, although experience is worth more than qualifications in this profession. There are a few options to gain some basic experience in retail. You could start off in a part time position whilst in education, or volunteer for a local charity store which will give you some basic retail skills in organising stock and handling payments.
If your experience in retail is minimal, then think about what transferable skills you have from activities outside of work such as organising youth groups or charity events. These are people based activities requiring organisation, team work and a positive attitude and those skills are needed for a career in Retail.
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A Sales Assistant may carry out a range of duties in a retail environment including greeting customers and answering any queries they have. A Sales Assistant will order stock, handle payments, receive deliveries and keep the shop clean and tidy; often arranging stock and adhering to the health and safety guidelines.
A Sales Assistant will generally ensure that the customer has a good shopping experience, and is expected to remain cheerful at all times. A Sales Assistant will be working with a variety of different people whether it is the store’s team or the customers coming through the door.
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A Sales Assistant will typically work shift patterns operating on a weekly or fortnightly rota. This is very likely to involve some weekend working and some evening working.
Skills and Training Development
Excellent customer service skills will be essential for this role, so an open and friendly approach is key. The ability to multi task within a team environment without getting flustered will also be a great skill to have, along with problem solving skills because customers may present you with all different types of queries.
There are a variety of development opportunities which can lead to promotion to Supervisor, Store Manager and eventually Area Manager positions for those who really want to progress in their career in retail. There are usually management courses available through your employer and they will be looking for staff who are competent and enthusiastic.
The starting salary for a Sales Assistant would typically be around £11,000 although this would rise with more experience. An experienced Sales Assistant can earn up to £25,000 particularly in bigger cities.