Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Retail Salesmen in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for retail salesmen in the Chicago, Illinois area. Currently, 182,450 people work as retail salesmen in Illinois. This is expected to grow 11% to 202,660 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for retail salesmen, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.3% over the next eight years. Retail salesmen generally sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, or apparel in a retail establishment.

A person working as a retail salesman can expect to earn about $9 hourly or $20,380 yearly on average in Illinois and about $9 hourly or $20,510 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Retail salesmen earn less than people working in the category of Sales and Clerical generally in Illinois and less than people in the Sales and Clerical category nationally.

There are eight schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a retail salesman, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Retail salesmen usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a retail salesman if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Retail Salesman

Retail Salesman video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, retail salesmen sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, or apparel in a retail establishment.

Retail salesmen greet clients and ascertain what each customer wants or needs. They also describe products and explain use, operation, and up keep of products to clients. Equally important, retail salesmen have to recommend and help locate or obtain products on the basis of customer needs and desires. They are often called upon to maintain knowledge of current sales and promotions, policies regarding payment and exchanges, and security practices. They are expected to answer questions regarding stores and their products. Finally, retail salesmen ticket, arrange and display products to advance sales.

Every day, retail salesmen are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for retail salesmen to inventory stock and requisition new stock. They are often called upon to watch for and recognize security risks and thefts, and know how to inhibit or handle these situations. They also demonstrate use or operation of product. They are sometimes expected to make ready sales slips or sales contracts. Somewhat less frequently, retail salesmen are also expected to estimate cost of repair or modification of product.

and maintain records pertaining to sales. And finally, they sometimes have to describe products and explain use, operation, and up keep of products to clients.

Like many other jobs, retail salesmen must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Advertising Agent. Sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time. May obtain leases for outdoor advertising sites or persuade retailer to use sales promotion display items.
  • Cage Cashier. Exchange coins and tokens for patrons' money. May issue payoffs and obtain customer's signature on receipt when winnings exceed the amount held in the slot machine. May operate a booth in the slot machine area and furnish change persons with money bank at the start of the shift, or count and audit money in drawers.
  • Cashier. Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. Usually involves use of electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. Often involved in processing credit or debit card transactions and validating checks.
  • Insurance Agent. Sell life, property, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.
  • Product Demonstrator. Demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product. May sell demonstrated merchandise.
  • Rental Counter Clerk. Receive orders for repairs, rentals, and services. May describe available options, compute cost, and accept payment.
  • Retail Sales Manager. Directly supervise sales workers in a retail establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Sales Team Manager. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers. May perform duties, such as budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Technical Service Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of post-secondary education.
  • Telemarketer. Solicit orders for goods or services over the telephone.
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Retail Salesman Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has 2 areas of study related to Retail Salesman. They are:

  • Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated eight, three, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Selling Skills and Sales Operations, less than one year which graduated 14 students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has 2 areas of study related to Retail Salesman. They are:

  • Floriculture/Floristry Operations and Management, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Selling Skills and Sales Operations, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated five and five students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated three students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has 4 areas of study related to Retail Salesman. They are:

  • Floriculture/Floristry Operations and Management, less than one year and one to two year which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, less than one year which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Retailing and Retail Operations, less than one year which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Selling Skills and Sales Operations, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-three and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year program in Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations which graduated one student in 2008.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Retailing and Retail Operations which graduated five students in 2008.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has 2 areas of study related to Retail Salesman. They are:

  • Floriculture/Floristry Operations and Management, less than one year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Selling Skills and Sales Operations, associate's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

McHenry County College - Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County College, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012-2761. McHenry County College is a medium sized college located in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,374 students. McHenry County College has 2 areas of study related to Retail Salesman. They are:

  • Floriculture/Floristry Operations and Management, less than one year which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Selling Skills and Sales Operations, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated seven, three, and one students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Professional SalesPerson: Whether you're an experienced sales professional looking to take your career to the next level, or new to sales and looking to accelerate your learning curve and income, becoming a NASP Certified Professional SalesPerson (CPSP) will help you get there.

For more information, see the National Association of Sales Professionals website.

Automotive Sales Professional: This is a tremendous opportunity for everyone who has an interest in automotive sales to become a knowledgeable, ethical and customer-focused trained individual and enjoy great career success.

For more information, see the National Automobile Dealers Association website.

National Professional Certification in Sales: The Certification was designed to capture the core Sales duties for a broad range of entry-level through first-line supervisory positions across the sales and service industries.

For more information, see the National Retail Federation Foundation website.

LICENSES

NEW VEHICLE DEALER (CLASS A - NON-COMMERCIAL, CLASS B - COMMERCIAL)

Licensing agency: Illinois Secretary of State Dealer Licensing
Address: Capitol Building, Room 213, Springfield, IL 62756

Phone: (217) 782-7817
Website: Illinois Secretary of State Dealer Licensing

RETAIL CLERK/GIFT SHOP SALESPERSON

Licensing agency: Illinois Gaming Board
Address: Willard Ice Building, P.O. Box 19474, Springfield, IL 62794-9474

Phone: (312) 814-4700
Website: Illinois Gaming Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.