visual merchanidser cropSector Overview

There are many positive benefits to be gained from a career in retail. Retail jobs provide varied and challenging work and the chance to learn valuable skills. If you have ever thought about going into a retail career, then you are considering one of the most under-estimated employment choices out there!

Most people believe that retail is just a steppingstone, an opportunity to obtain people skills before moving into other careers. This is because they don't see the myriad of opportunities that exist beyond the cashier and sales assistant positions of the shop floor. While there are hundreds of different jobs in retail, effectively retail work can be categorized into one of six main roles:


The website is a one stop shop for careers in retail. Whether you are looking to enter into the industry or changing your current role this is the website for you!!!

For more information on occupations, related job tasks and work environment characteristics visit the sites below:

Job Roles

  • Sales Assistant
  • Area/Regional Manager
  • Buyer
  • Department Manager
  • Merchandise Planner
  • Store Manager
  • Visual Merchandiser


  • Certificate I in Retail
  • Certificate II in Retail Services
  • Certificate III in Retail
  • Certificate III in Business to Business Sales
  • Certificate IV in Retail Management
  • Diploma of Retail Leadership

Training Options

These qualifications can either be completed via a Traineeship in retail or through a nationally accredited training course. For more information contact SA Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services or

It is not essential to have formal qualifications in order to work within the industry, however formal training can help build your skills and your career options.

To see a list of SA Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who are approved to deliver retail qualifications click HERE.
Please visit each of the RTOs websites to find out what qualifications they deliver and if they have an office in South Australia.

If you are still at school you can start your retail career through VET in SACE. For more information on what subjects are available check out the VET Recognition register

Personal Characteristics & Skills 

  • Team player
  • Excellent personal presentation
  • Good writing skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Flexibility to deal with unexpected situations
  • Tact and confidentiality
  • Ability to understand regulations and work within rules
  • Caring and compassionate
  • Attention to detail
  • A second language could be an advantage

Industry Entry

Identify a list of retail stores that you would like to work in. Its more fun when your are passionate about what you are selling! You can start out by organising some work experience or if you are keen to earn some money, casual and weekend work is usually available.


RETAIL IS YOUR FUTURE - SA Retail Careers Atlas
SSSA - Careers Snapshot video
The Job I Love - Careers Guide


General Career Links
SA Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services

Industry Links
Australian Retailers Association (ARA)
National Retailers Association (NRA)
Shop, Distributive and Allied (SDA) Employees Association

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