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Career and Education Opportunities for Retail Salesmen in Vancouver, Washington

Retail salesmen can find many career and educational opportunities in the Vancouver, Washington area. There are currently 87,410 working retail salesmen in Washington; this should grow 13% to about 98,830 working retail salesmen in the state 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 $11 per hour or $23,640 yearly on average in Washington and about $9 per hour or $20,510 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. 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 Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree as a retail salesman. The most common level of education for retail salesmen is a high school diploma or GED. 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 Vancouver 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

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has 2 areas of study related to Retail Salesman. They are:

  • Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, associate's degree.
  • Retailing and Retail Operations, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Pioneer Pacific College - Wilsonville, OR

Pioneer Pacific College, 27501 SW Parkway Ave, Wilsonville, OR 97070-9296. Pioneer Pacific College is a small college located in Wilsonville, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,123 students. Pioneer Pacific College has an associate's degree program in Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations which graduated nine students in 2008.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has a less than one year program in Retailing and Retail Operations which graduated one student in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has 2 areas of study related to Retail Salesman. They are:

  • Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations, one to two year.
  • Retailing and Retail Operations, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Selling Skills and Sales Operations which graduated one and four 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

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

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.