The 18 Best Careers in the Retail Industry

Illustration of a woman hanging clothes on racks in a store

Retail is a popular industry for many jobseekers. For some, it’s a great opportunity to work in their favourite store and get the latest gear before anyone else does; for others, particularly those who are just starting their career, it’s a great way to gain some valuable skills that will carry them through their professional journey.

So, if you’re interested in working in the retail sector and you’re a great communicator, you’ve come to the right place! Here we’ll walk you through the 18 best and highest-paying retail jobs.

1. Beauty consultant

Average salary: $34,090 / £18,090

Are you trained in beauty and want to share your knowledge with others? Whether you’re a makeup artist or a skincare specialist, you can work in retail and help customers find the best products for their skin. The best part? You get to demonstrate your skills by offering a personalised consultation throughout the day.

2. Visual merchandiser

Average salary: $45,890 / £20,320

If you like organising things and have a good eye for detail, then you’re more than equipped to become a visual merchandiser. While you’re on the job, you’ll be responsible for dressing storefronts and interiors, display tables and even shelves by following brand guidelines. That said, you’ll have the freedom to add your own twist while styling the retail store.

3. Buyer

Average salary: $55,310 / £27,190

If you prefer a head office role, you could consider becoming a retail buyer. Within this position, you’ll be responsible for purchasing popular products, negotiating prices with vendors, ordering the inventory and arranging any deliveries. To perform well in this role, you’ll need to be very organised and confident to organise the sales.

4. Store assistant

Average salary: $30,520 / £17,120

As a store assistant, you’ll spend most of your time on the shop floor helping customers, organising the merchandise and working on the cashier. To do well, you’ll need great communication skills, good stamina and a lot of patience. That said, higher education isn’t a necessity when it comes to applying for this job.

5. Customer service representative

Average salary: $38,850 / £18,930

As a customer service representative, you’ll usually be in charge of handling customer queries or complaints. Depending on the industry, this could be an online role (talking to clients by chat) or on the telephone. To do well, you’ll need to have a lot of empathy and genuinely care about helping customers.

6. Store manager

Average salary: $48,860 / £24,420

If you like to take charge and delegate tasks, you’d succeed as a store manager. To bag this role, you’ll need experience working in retail. That said, if you have a relevant business degree, it could be advantageous and help boost your chances of securing a graduate role.

7. Retail HR assistant

Average salary: $67,380 / £35,750

Do you like managing people but don’t want to work on the shop floor? No problem! As a HR assistant, you can make sure no one is slacking off the job from the comfort of an office. When working in retail, you’ll generally be involved with discrepancies of staff not meeting their hours, stealing and straying from company policy. A business degree is usually required when applying for a role within HR.

8. Branch manager

Average salary: $58,220 / £43,990

If you want to work in banking, you can consider becoming a branch manager. Within this role, you’ll evaluate loan applications, arrange rotas, manage staff and implement bank policies to ensure that everyone is working correctly.

9. Pharmacist

Average salary: $119,270 / £90,120

Although this role is in retail, you’ll need to go to medical school if you plan on administering medicine. As a pharmacist, you’ll be responsible for arranging prescriptions, preparing instructions and offering advice on emergency medical solutions.

10. Cashier

Average salary: $23,650 / £17,870

A cashier can be found in any retail store, whether it’s a petrol station, supermarket or clothing shop. Your general duties in this role will include opening and closing the register, scanning items, and helping pack customers bags. In such a customer-facing role, you’ll need to have an excellent attention to detail and be able to think on your feet.

11. Advertising manager

Average salary: $63,630 / £48,080

If you’re skilled in marketing and PR, you could consider a role in advertising. Day-to-day duties of an advertising manager will ensure that you’re driving both online and offline traffic, hitting sales targets, and growing the business’s brand awareness.

12. Security guard

Average salary: $29,710 / £22,450

When it comes to retail shops, there will be times when things get a little out of hand, which is where a security guard comes in. As a security guard, you’ll be responsible for monitoring customer and employee behaviour, with the ability to step in and take control when someone is looking too suspicious.

13. Cleaner

Average salary: $27,430 / £20,730

A cleaner is responsible for maintaining the hygiene level of the shop floor. While some small businesses make their sales assistants perform cleaning duties, larger stores will usually hire a professional cleaning service.

14. Stock taker

Average salary: $27,570 / £20,830

If you’re detail-oriented and love working with lists, you could consider becoming a stock taker. Within this role, you’ll check inventory and tick off or make note of what is in stock. You will also replenish and reorganise shelves as you see fit – a great job for someone who doesn’t like much human interaction!

15. Retail warehouse worker

Average salary: $28,710 / £21,690

Like a stock taker, a retail warehouse worker is also responsible for taking stock, as well as packing and shipping goods. To work in this role, you’ll need a great attention to detail to be able to pick out items and work through your list in a fast and effective manner.

16. Social media manager

Average salary: $50,990 / £38,530

If you’re trained in digital marketing and have a way with words, you could become a social media manager for your favourite retail brand. The best part? You get to become the voice of the brand and spend your day scanning social media sites!

17. Loss prevention manager

Average salary: $53,150/ £40,170

Loss prevention specialists monitor cash-handling and prevent shoplifting. They’re generally trained to follow loss control policies and are responsible for greeting customers, checking bags and inspecting security footage.

18. Logistics coordinator

Average salary: $65,980 / £49,860

If you’re good at organising and delegating, you could become a logistics coordinator. In this role, you’ll orchestrate the movement of stock to stores. You’ll need to ensure that the right store collects the correct products, keep track of inventory and order stock.

So, whether you’re starting your career, considering a change or looking for a side gig, these jobs can help you find the right retail career. They can even be the steppingstone to securing a better position at one of the top retail companies. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that one of these positions can be the start to a long and rewarding career in the retail sector.

Which of these jobs attracted your attention the most? Let us know in the comments section below!


Salaries are intended as a guide and vary depending on employer and level of experience.

Salary information is based on data compiled and published by a variety of sources, including the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, PayScale and the National Careers Service.