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Career and Education Opportunities for Retail Salesmen in Seattle, Washington

Retail salesmen can find many career and educational opportunities in the Seattle, Washington area. Currently, 87,410 people work as retail salesmen in Washington. This is expected to grow by 13% to 98,830 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. In general, retail salesmen sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, or apparel in a retail establishment.

The income of a retail salesman is about $11 hourly or $23,640 per year on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $9 per hour or $20,510 annually on average. Earnings for retail salesmen are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Sales and Clerical in Washington and not quite as good as general Sales and Clerical category earnings nationally.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as a retail salesman. Given that the most common education level for retail salesmen is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Seattle include:

  • 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.
  • 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

Pierce College at Puyallup - Puyallup, WA

Pierce College at Puyallup, 1601 39th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98374-2222. Pierce College at Puyallup is a small college located in Puyallup, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,101 students. Pierce College at Puyallup has 2 areas of study related to Retail Salesman. They are:

  • Retailing and Retail Operations, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Selling Skills and Sales Operations, less than one year which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has a less than one year program in Retailing and Retail Operations which graduated five students in 2008.

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has a less than one year program in Floriculture/Floristry Operations and Management which graduated eight students in 2008.

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has a less than one year program in Floriculture/Floristry Operations and Management which graduated fourteen students 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.