Sales assistant apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipworking towards this rolevolunteeringapplying directly
You can learn some of the skills you need for this job by doing a:
- Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Retail Skills
- Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Sales Professional
You'll usually need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course.
You could get into this job through a retailer Level 2 apprenticeship. You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent.
You could apply for permanent jobs after getting some experience from a temporary job in a store at busy periods, like Christmas, or a weekend job.
Getting experience volunteering in a charity shop will give you retail skills and could lead into paid work.
You can apply directly for jobs. Employers may ask for some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths. Retail or customer service experience will also be helpful. It will help if you:
are confident about selling
have a positive, helpful attitude
can get on well with a wide range of customers. Some stores, like mobile phone or DIY shops, may expect you to have good knowledge of their products before you apply.
Sales assistant apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- sensitivity and understanding
- persuading and negotiating skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to be over 18 to sell alcohol and other restricted goods
Sales assistant apprenticeships - what you'll do
In this role you could:
- serve and advise customers
- unpack and sort new stock deliveries
- arrange goods in displays and on shelves
- rotate and replace stock
- promote products
- take cash and card payments and make sure the till balances
- deal with customers wishing to return items, refund payments and log details manually or electronically
- meet sales targets
keep the store clean and tidy
You could work at a store, in a stock room, at a garden centre or at a garage.
Your working environment may be physically demanding and crowded.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression - Sales assistant apprenticeships
With experience you could become a retail supervisor, manager or departmental manager.
You may be able to gain further qualifications for these roles through higher level Apprenticeships like a retail leadership degree apprenticeship.
You could specialise in customer services, visual merchandising or buying. You could also set up and run your own independent shop or stall.