Retail salespersons (NOC 6421)

About this job

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

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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)
  • food preparer / deli cook - grocery store
  • sales advisor - retail
  • sales assistant


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.

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.