The retail industry is one of the largest employers in the United States. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), about 29 million Americans work in retail. This includes a range of positions from part-time workers to full-time corporate employees.
When you throw suppliers and other ancillary services into the mix, the industry supports around 42 million jobs. However, part-time workers make up a significant amount of clothing store employees — making up about a third of the workforce. If you’re looking for a part-time retail job, you’re in demand.
There are many reasons an individual might seek part-time retail employment. Maybe you’re looking to make some money while in school or just seeking supplemental income during COVID. Part-time work can also offer a more flexible schedule, as well as temporary seasonal career opportunities.
If you’re looking for work, check out some of the most common part-time retail job types and how to find them.
If you’ve never held a job before, the role of a cashier is a good entry-level position. Often, you’ll be hired based on your soft skills such as personality, ability to follow directions, and willingness to stand for several hours at a time, as well as your perceived ability to do basic math and work a register. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median hourly wage for this position is $11.37.
In this role, you could find yourself working anywhere that goods or services are sold. This could range from grocery stores and restaurants to retail shops, concession stands, school stores, and gas stations.
The tasks you’ll take on will include assisting customers and ringing out their purchases by processing payments using a cash register. You might be asked by the sales manager or assistant manager for additional business needs, like figuring out discounts and ringing in special sales. At the end of a shift, you might also be asked to count the register and organize receipts. Likely, you’ll also be responsible for organizing and stocking the front end of your store.
There are several ways to learn about available cashier positions. Check bulletin boards at schools, community centers, and libraries. Also, check classified ads in your local newspaper. If you have a specific store you’d like to work for, check their website for job listings. An online job search platform like Joblist is a good source for these roles.
Retail Sales Associate
As a retail sales associate, your job is to assist customers with the rest of the sales team as they shop to help provide a positive customer experience. There is a range of areas you might choose to work in, such as luxury items, specialty products, or mid-market and lower-end goods. The median salary for this position is $24,200 per year.
Not only do you need to understand your market and the products you’re selling but you also need to be a people person who enjoys working closely with customers. You need to demonstrate patience as they make decisions about their purchases or if they’re upset for any reason.
You can often find these jobs posted directly on businesses’ websites or through word of mouth from current team members. Another good place to look for a retail salesperson position is on Joblist, where you can search based on criteria you specify.
Customer Service Sales Associate
You’ll find that larger stores, particularly department stores like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, will have a dedicated customer service sales associate on-site, while other retailers hire customer service representatives to work out of a call center. In both scenarios, your job will be to assist customers, answer any questions they might have about your store or products, and help them resolve any problems they’re having.
This store associate job description requires excellent interpersonal skills and a pleasant disposition. You likely won’t be dealing with people when they’re at their happiest, so patience is key. In this role, critical thinking is important as you’ll be tasked with trying to quickly and efficiently solve problems.
To work in customer service, employers will likely expect you to have some previous experience either as a cashier or retail associate. The median hourly pay for this position is $16.69.
If you’ve been working as a cashier or salesperson for a while, you might be promoted to customer service. You can also learn about these jobs through community bulletins, both digital and at community centers. Be sure to check online job boards like Joblist for customer service jobs in your area.
If you work in inventory, you work more with the store’s products than with people. In this role, you’ll likely be responsible for unloading shipments as they arrive and organizing them in your stockroom. You’ll also add these materials into your store’s inventory system for tracking and auditing purposes. You might also be responsible for placing orders for low-inventory items and keeping the shelves stocked.
To become an inventory stocker, you need to have good critical thinking and organizational skills. Physically, you’ll need to be able to lift and carry heavy items. You’ll also need good communication skills since you’ll not only be communicating with your co-workers but with vendors, as well.
On average, an inventory associate makes a mean hourly wage of $12.35. To find this type of work, your best bet is checking local job fairs, advertisements in local newspapers, job listings for specific shops, and searching by ZIP code on online job sites like Joblist.
A retail merchandiser is part of a store’s inventory department. In addition to assisting with inventory, they’re also tasked with creating attractive and compelling merchandising displays for products on the sales floor. They’re even in charge of setting up visual promotions for merchandising sales and other specials throughout the store.
This is another position that requires good organizational skills and excellent communication, as you’ll be communicating with your team frequently. If you’re working with a large corporation, you’ll probably hear from corporate headquarters about visual displays frequently. At the heart of the job, though, are design skills and a good eye for aesthetics.
For this role, many employers like to see that you’ve had some inventory or other retail experience. And the mean hourly rate for a visual merchandiser is $14.59.
If you want a job as a visual merchandiser, consider getting an entry-level position first and working your way up. If you have some experience, you can search online job boards, job fairs, or hiring websites for specific retail stores.
When working with a retail buyer as an assistant, you’ll help with assessing the products and quantities needed for your shop and will assist with purchasing them. You’ll need excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills to excel in this role.
This isn’t an entry-level position. Some retail experience will be required to be a buyer’s assistant position, as it is a higher-paying job. Assistant buyers make a median $33.46 per hour.
To find these roles, check industry or online job boards, networking groups, or job fairs.
A product demonstrator is an individual hired to showcase a specific product in-person at a store. Usually, you’re hired directly by the company that makes the product or a third-party marketing company that sends you into these shops.
This is a role that truly relies on an individual’s personality — you need to be outgoing, personable, and able to talk to anyone. Often, you’re there to provide samples or show how an item works. You also need to be knowledgeable about the item you’re representing.
These part-time roles typically pay a mean hourly wage of $15.99. Usually, these roles can be found through websites like Joblist, temp agencies, and recruiters.
As a retail security guard, your job is to patrol the store and surrounding property. You’ll also need to monitor for shoplifters and individuals breaking store policies. Additionally, you’ll need to inform violators that they’re breaching policies and, occasionally, restrain trespassers and shoplifters. In these cases, you’ll need to connect with applicable law enforcement and the store manager. As you go higher up the chain, you might also be involved in internal audits and investigations.
To be a retail security guard, you’ll need to be physically fit and appreciate store policies. This position comes with a median hourly pay of $14.29. While some larger corporate stores might hire you outright for this position, it’s best to go through a security firm.
Let Joblist Help Find the Right Retail Job for You
If you’re looking for a part-time or full-time retail job that best suits your needs, let Joblist help with your hunt. Searching for work is never fun, but we’re here to make the experience a bit easier. Whether you live in Dallas or New York City, Joblist searches the internet for job alerts that match your personalized location, preferences, skills, and experiences. Launch your new career today by browsing part-time retail job openings online!