Too often, retail is seen as a temporary fix instead of a stepping stone to a lucrative and fruitful career. Retail is a challenging field that gives workers numerous skills that can be used to help them move up to more advanced positions in retail, or to positions of power in other industries. There are numerous career paths for retail workers to pursue using the experience and skills they gain from sales associate, cashier and warehouse positions. If you currently work in retail and find that you enjoy aspects of this field, here are four of the top career paths for retail workers:
1) Retail Management
Retail managers oversee sales, staff and the day to day operations of a retail store. This is one of the most common career paths for retail workers. Beyond just the management of a single store, retail managers’ career paths can also take them to district and regional positions that allow them to manage multiple stores. The top position in this career path would be overseeing all stores for the company. While some stores require a bachelor’s degree to hold a retail manager position, if you work hard in an entry-level retail position you can often become a manager with just a high school diploma. Some of the most important skills for retail managers include the ability to lead effectively, being a strong decision maker, communication skills and a knack for analyzing sales data. The salary for career paths in retail management typically ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 per year.
2) Retail Buying
Retail buyers decide what goods to carry in stores and how much of each item the store will need. In order to perform this job effectively, retail buyers must pay close attention to the store’s inventory, customer preferences, sales trends and what defines the store’s brand overall. Career paths for retail workers in buying involve working with wholesalers and suppliers on a regular basis to keep stores thoroughly stocked. Exceptional sense in style, analytical skills and a knack for paying close attention to detail are key skills for being a retail buyer, and a bachelor’s degree is typically required. Retail buying career paths garner an average annual salary of about $45,000 but if you have a high level of experience you can make up to $100,000 per year.
With the jump in online shopping that has taken place over the past couple of years, more and more e-commerce and information technology jobs are popping up in many retail chains across the United States. Furthermore, technical skills are a must for maintaining cashier and inventory systems in retail stores. Career paths for retail workers in e-commerce are a great option for those with retail experience that are also familiar with technology and the web and have an interest in marketing. Retail workers that have jobs in e-commerce can expect to make between $50,000 to $60,000 per year, and up to $100,000 if you hold a position such as director of e-commerce.
4) Supply Chain Management
Retail supply chain management is an excellent option for those that have experience in warehouse and driver positions for retail companies. A supply chain manager’s job is to oversee every aspect of the retail supply chain, from raw materials to manufacturing to delivery to returns and exchanges. The main goals of career paths in this field are to keep inventory costs low and fulfilling the demand for products the store provides. Some of the important skills a supply chain manager should have are project management, accounting and familiarity with legal terms (since they handle a lot of contracts). Career paths for retail workers in supply chain management pay an average of between $85,000 and $90,000 annually, and a bachelor’s or master’s degree is often preferred.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.