Retail salespersons (NOC 6421)

About this job

Retail salespersons sell, rent or lease goods and services directly to consumers.

See what a day in the life of this job is like—watch WorkBC’s Career Trek video about this occupation.

Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

People in this occupation:

  • prepare sales, rental or leasing contracts and/or take payment for services or goods using a cash register
  • can be responsible for maintaining sales records and tidying the store, creating display counters and stocking shelves
  • work in small, medium and large organizations, including stores and other retail businesses and wholesale businesses
  • are polite, friendly and patient
  • should be self starters who can interact well with customers
  • need to be able to explain and answer questions about the products or services they are selling
Common job titles
  • automotives sales consultant
  • bookseller
  • clerk, sales and rental (retail)
  • salesperson, electronics
  • salesperson, entertainment
  • salesperson, fabric / fur / leather
  • automotives sales consultant
  • bookseller
  • clerk, sales and rental (retail)
  • food preparer / deli cook- grocery store
  • sales advisor - retail
  • sales assistant


Annual provincial median salary


Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
  • Low

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report


Retail salespersons and sales clerks perform some or all of the following duties:

  • greet customers and discuss the goods or services offered for purchase, rental or lease
  • tell customers about the use and care of merchandise, and provide advice concerning specialized products or services
  • explain merchandise in detail to customers (i.e., distinctions between models, manufacturers' specifications, available financing options, details of associated warranties, etc.)
  • describe sales promotions or policies regarding payment and exchanges
  • estimate or quote prices, credit terms, trade-in allowances, warranties and delivery dates
  • prepare merchandise for purchase, rental or lease
  • set up sales, rental or leasing contracts
  • take cash, cheque, credit card or automatic debit payments and operate a cash register
  • create displays and stock shelves
  • keep sales records for inventory control
  • run computerized inventory record keeping and re-ordering systems
  • bag, wrap and/or package purchases
  • order or ship goods
  • may do sales transactions through internet-based electronic commerce
  • may specialize and give expert advice on interior decorating, home entertainment systems, computers and other products and services

Work environment

Retail salespersons and sales clerks typically work indoors, though some sales (i.e. car sales) involve working outdoors. Hours tend to be irregular but flexible. Employees often work weekends, evenings and holidays.

Workers typically stand for long periods and may need permission to leave the sales floor. They spend most of the day working directly with the public, answering questions and selling goods and/or services.

Staff may have to stay after closing to clean and organize the sales floor for the next day. Some workers may lift and package or bag heavy products.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

Some positions require little or no prior knowledge (i.e. salesperson in a toy store), while others (i.e. car salesperson) require a lot of training to make sure staff are knowledgeable about the product(s) they are selling. Other training may include:

  • secondary school graduation
  • on-the-job training, which can range from one-on-one instruction in small stores to official training programs in large chain stores
  • additional training may be provided for products that are expensive and/or specialized (i.e. car sales, computer sales)


  • Social
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Motor Coordination
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Numerical Ability
  • Spatial Perception
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Adult Special Education
  • Esthetics/Skin Care

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
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Mainland / Southwest
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North Coast & Nechako
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Vancouver Island / Coast
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Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Career paths and resources

Career paths

With additional training or experience, progression to a store manager or retail supervisor is possible. Depending on the size of the company, progression to a regional/provincial manager is possible. In some retail companies it is also possible to move into team training positions.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.