What Is the Job Description of a Retail Sales Associate?

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Retail sales associates work on the floor in a retail store, asking customers questions and recommending product solutions. Sales associates are common in department stores, category specialists and specialty retailers. In addition to selling activities, associates may spend time restocking shelves, organizing products, cleaning and operating cash registers.

Most retail sales associates work full-time, but some work part-time. While helpful, a person does not typically need formal education to get an associate job. Some retailers do require a high school diploma. In some environments, such as an auto dealership, sales associates need product knowledge and possibly prior experience. Successful associates who demonstrate leadership abilities may gain promotions to store-level management.