Sales and retail assistants


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Sales and retail assistants demonstrate and sell a variety of goods and services in shops, stores, showrooms and similar establishments.


No minimum academic qualifications are required although some employers may require GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically provided on-the-job. Apprenticeships and NVQs/SVQs in Retail Operations are available at various levels.

Typical tasks

  • discusses customer requirements, including type and price range of goods/services desired;
  • advises customer on selection, purchase, use and care of merchandise and quotes prices, discounts and delivery times;
  • advises customer making major purchase on credit terms and arranges finance as appropriate;
  • receives full or partial payment, checks validity of form of payment, writes or prints bill, receipt or docket and packages merchandise for customer;
  • arranges and replenishes goods on display stands, undertakes stock checks and assists with the receipt of deliveries from suppliers into the stock room;
  • handles returns and deals with customer complaints.

Common job titles

Attendant, room, show
Salesman, warehouse
Assistant, fruiterer's
Assistant (retail trade)
Assistant, dairy (retail trade)
Assistant, services, customer (retail trade)
Operative, kiosk (retail trade)
Helper, part-time (retail trade)
Player, team (retail trade)
Salesman, milk (retail trade)
Worker, retail
Assistant, bookstall
Hand, first (retail trade)
Assistant, seedsman's
Salesman, fish and fruit
Consultant, food (retail trade)
Assistant, off-licence
Counterhand (wholesale, retail trade)
Hand, bacon
Salesman, TV
Assistant, sales
Associate, sales (retail trade)
Hand, provision
Associate, customer (retail trade)
Assistant, newsagent's
Counterman (retail trade)
Assistant, florist's
Consultant, fashion (retail trade)
Salesman, meat
Assistant, furrier's
Seller, fish and chips
Salesman, market (wholesale trade)
Assistant, haberdashery
Salesman, fish and poultry
Attendant, stores (retail trade)
Assistant, centre, garden
Member, team (retail trade)
Agent, laundry
Boy, programme
Operator, kiosk (retail trade)
Seller, book
Adviser, service, customer (retail, wholesale trade)
Assistant, bakery (retail trade)
Assistant, draper's
Salesman, indoor
Agent, cleaner's, dry
Assistant, confectioner's
Consultant, bridal (retail trade)
Assistant, away, take
Consultant, beauty (retail trade)
Salesman (building construction)
Seller, programme
Assistant, operations (retail trade)
Worker, shop
Assistant, merchant's
Assistant, service, customer (wholesale trade)
Assistant, stall, book
Salesman, butcher's
Salesman, counter
Assistant, shop
Help, part-time (retail trade)
Salesman, shop
Assistant, stationer's
Seller, book (Stationery Office)
Adviser, sales
Consultant, furniture
Agent, receiving, laundry
Assistant, grocer's
Associate, retail
Assistant, NAAFI
Shopper, personal
Assistant, takeaway
Consultant, cosmetics
Counsellor, beauty (retail trade)
Assistant, stores (retail trade)
Consultant, carpet (retail trade)
Stylist, personal (retail trade)
Assistant, dairyman's (retail trade)
Assistant, office, sub-post
Assistant, store (retail trade)
Assistant, bookseller's
Assistant, customer (retail trade)
Assistant, confectioner and tobacconist
Assistant, pawnbroker's
Salesman, bread (retail trade)
Newsboy (bookstall)
Assistant, office, post
Assistant, retail
Counterhand (take-away food shop)
Consultant, sales (retail trade)
Assistant, counter
Cutter, cheese
Assistant, perfumer's
Adviser, customer (retail trade)
Salesman, showroom
Assistant, jeweller's
Salesman, television
Member, cast (retail trade)
Server (take-away food shop)
Attendant, kiosk
Salesman, motor
Dairyman (retail trade)
Assistant, room, show
Assistant (take-away food shop)
Salesman, fish
Assistant, kiosk
Consultant, perfumery
Member, team, customer
Assistant, room, sale (wholesale, retail trade)
Salesman, retail
Assistant, service, customer (retail trade)
Receiver (laundry, launderette, dry cleaning)
Assistant, poulterer's
Inspector, NAAFI
Worker, shop (take-away food shop)
Salesman, fishmonger's
Counterman (take-away food shop)
Agent, dyer's
Worker, shop (retail trade)
Assistant, floor, shop (retail trade)
Assistant, delicatessen
Assistant, mercer's
Assistant, dealer's (wholesale, retail trade)
Fitter, shoe (retail trade)
Salesman (retail trade)

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.