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Build in-demand professional skills for one of Australia’s biggest industries and start a career working with people by studying a retail course.
What do retail graduates do?
Graduates of retail courses may seek employment in a wide variety of operational, management and team member roles in the retail sector. As a retail store worker, you may perform tasks like:
- Assisting customers with queries and advising on product range, price, delivery, warranties, use and care;
- Handling customer complaints and issues;
- Demonstrating and explaining to customers goods and services;
- Selling products, such as clothing, shoes, jewellery, electronic goods, and other personal and household goods;
- Managing customer returns and refunds;
- Taking payment for goods, performing transactions and preparing invoices;
- Managing and rotating stock;
- Displaying and folding product and styling product displays; and
- Wrapping and packaging sold goods.
If you choose to work as a retail manager, you may also be responsible for tasks including:
- Performing customer service activities, including answering questions, providing advice and resolving conflict;
- Assessing and reviewing customer satisfaction with goods and services;
- Observing store compliance with relevant occupational health and safety regulations;
- Determining product mix, stock levels and service standards;
- Ordering, purchasing and managing stock levels;
- Setting prices and determining marketing and advertising strategies;
- Developing business budgets;
- Overseeing and reviewing purchasing and stock control activities;
- Managing, training, recruiting and leading other staff members;
- Managing staff scheduling and performing other administrative tasks.
You’ll thrive working in retail if you:
- Love working with people
- Thrive under pressure
- Enjoy dynamic and unexpected work
- Have excellent customer service skills
- Have excellent time management and organisational skills
- Are a natural leader
- Enjoy problem-solving
- Are highly motivated
- Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Are proactive and efficient
- Can think strategically and exercise sound judgment
- Can speak confidently in public
- Want a people-focused job
- Enjoy flexibility
- Want to get things done
The Australian Government’s Job Outlook describes the retail industry as an extremely large and rapidly growing sector in Australia. Currently employing nearly 800,000 people all over Australia, the sector has been growing in size for the past decade and is likely to continue growing into the future.
Currently employing approximately 552,800 people as general sales assistants, the sector is likely to grow to employ approximately 618,600 sales assistants by 2020. Similarly, the 235,200 people employed as retail managers in Australia will be joined by a further 10,000 managers by 2020, with the sector growing to employ approximately 246,500 people in retail management roles by the end of the decade.
According to PayScale, a retail worker may expect to earn between $16 and $24 per hour, or an annual salary between $23,000 and $48,000, with an annual average salary of approximately $41,000. PayScale notes a low correlation between experience and earning capacity, and states that nearly 70 per of retail workers have less than five years of experience.
You may choose to progress to working in retail management. According to PayScale, a retail manager can expect to earn between $43,000 and $67,000 per year, with an annual average salary of approximately $50,000. While PayScale notes a similarly flat relationship between the work experience and earning capacity of retail managers, it observes that approximately 10 per cent of retail managers have been in their roles for 20 years or more, indicating that people choose to build their careers in retail management.