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Career and Education Opportunities for Retail Salesmen in Columbia, Maryland

Retail salesmen can find many career and educational opportunities in the Columbia, Maryland area. About 89,180 people are currently employed as retail salesmen in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 16% to 103,430 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for retail salesmen are expected to grow by about 8.3%. In general, retail salesmen sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, or apparel in a retail establishment.

Income for retail salesmen is about $10 per hour or $20,830 per year on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $9 per hour or $20,510 per year. Incomes for retail salesmen are not quite as good as in the overall category of Sales and Clerical in Maryland, and not quite as good as the overall Sales and Clerical category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a retail salesman, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Retail salesmen usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a retail salesman if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Columbia 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.
  • 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.


Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year program in Retailing and Retail Operations.


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.


Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.