Retail is one part of the economy that’s basically impossible not to be in contact with—about two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product comes from retail consumption, employing about 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. Whether you’re working or shopping in a store or online, you probably come into contact with the retail industry every day.
With such a huge and growing presence in the labor market—the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 12 percent growth between 2010-2020—you may find a good career fit for you in retail. Here are five popular jobs in this diverse field:
- Retail salespersons are projected to be the second fastest-growing occupation through 2020, adding more than 1 million jobs. This job requires great customer service and product knowledge skills, among others, and could be a great first step in a larger retail career. You can advance by acquiring the Customer Service and Sales Certification from the National Retail Federation.
- It takes highly skilled, trained professionals to manage such a large industry, and retail managers are likewise in demand. You could learn with a sales job or through a company’s training program, but the National Retail Federation also offers a Retail Management Certification.
- Keeping track of all of the products being sold takes special skills, too, making inventory managers an important part of any retail operation at the store or in the warehouse. Working up to a manager’s position could mean earning the Certified Professional in Supply Management credential from Institute for Supply Management.
- Where do all of those products come from? They often get to stores after being acquired by a purchaser—a person responsible for seeing good value and sales potential in products, and acquiring them. People in this role may be certified as purchasing professionals or receive other education in purchasing or supply chain management.
- Loss prevention specialists have the key role of preventing theft and fraud and promoting safety and security in the retail environment. Advancing in this career could mean becoming LPQualified or LPCertified by the Loss Prevention Foundation.