Industries

retail

Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships and Work Experience

Retail


From butchery, to sales executives or shop managers, the retail industry encompasses a huge amount of opportunities are available to you. You could work to meet customer’s needs, ensure a supermarket has enough fresh produce for the week or even have a management position in head office – this is a varied and dynamic sector.

Industry Summary

We love retail in the UK. Instore or online, it’s safe to say that as a nation we really know how to shop until we drop (all of our money). It’s a massive industry, with 290,000 retail businesses providing jobs to over three million people and generating over £360 billion a year – that’s larger than the combined economies of Portugal and Denmark.

From serving customers on the shop floor, managing whole teams of people, designing your own fashion line or even be the person managing an entire department store, there are a huge range of opportunities out there to suit everyone. It’s safe to say that those who think a career in retail is limited to the shop floor are incredibly wrong.

For some people, working in retail may be a good part-time job whilst you study or as a way to re-enter the work force, others make an entire career out of it to great success. From its very nature, retail is incredibly fast-paced, working to respond to, and predict, the ever-developing demands of its customers.

 

What options can I take for a career in retail?

 

Work Experience

Work experience is widely available in the retail industry – nearly everyone you know will have spent at least some time working in the sector. However, work experience isn’t limited to a part-time job working the shop floor. In reality there is a huge availability of roles, from roles in logistics to purchasing or even marketing. Work experience is highly recommended, as some positions in the retail industry can be competitive. Not only can you get a feel for whether you enjoy the job, but you’ll also prove to employers that you’re motivated and have the skills to do well in your role.

Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!

 

Apprenticeships

As an apprentice in retail, your role will depend heavily on your employer. However, it is safe to say that this is an excellent opportunity if you wish to pursue a career in this industry. Not only will you gain experience in the workplace, working alongside experienced professionals in the field, but you’ll also be working towards your qualification to give you a good theoretical understanding of the wider sector. All of this while being paid a salary! Here are some possible retail apprenticeships that you could consider:

  • Level 2 – Retailer
  • Level 3 – Retail Team Leader
  • Level 4 – Retail Manager

Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!

 

Degree Apprenticeship

A degree apprenticeship in retail is definitely a worthwhile option to consider as it will open up a number of opportunities for you. Not only will you be gaining experience in the job, but you will also be able to gain your degree with all of your university fees being paid for by your employer. You’ll have both the practical know-how and the theoretical knowledge that will give you the perfect chance to pursue a career in the retail industry.

  • Level 6 – Retail Leadership – degree

Is a degree apprenticeship up your street? We’ll help you know!

 

University

You could opt to study retail as a university degree. This is a great opportunity if you’d like to gain some independence and learn all the theoretical knowledge that you’ll need about the industry so you can apply this to your job once you graduate. You’ll be able to choose the units you study which means you could specialise in the areas of the retail industry that most fascinate you. Here are potential degrees in retail that you could study:

  • Retail Management BA (Hons)
  • Business and Retail Management BSc (Hons)
  • Marketing with Retail Management BA (Hons)
  • Retail, Marketing and Management (Hons)
  • Retail Business Management BA (Hons)

Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!

 

Graduate Jobs

An impressive amount of widely recognised brands run retail graduate schemes or offer jobs to graduates straight out of university. These can be available in a variety of functions, from purchasing, digital e-commerce and supply chain specialists. It’s not necessary to have a retail degree as this industry has roles that suit a huge range of degree-backgrounds, including law, business and IT. Graduate schemes are available in many retail-related areas and are set up by employers to train their recruits in the workplace and prepare recent graduates for particular roles.

Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!

 

Other routes

There are plenty of routes into the retail industry, this is one that does not require a huge amount of qualifications unless you have a particular role in mind. Many people in the retail sector opt to join and work their way up through the organisation to great success.

Start your search for your career in retail

Career Progression, Discover Your Future

Shopkeepers and proprietors – wholesale and retail

Work Description

Shopkeepers and proprietors in this unit group co-ordinate, direct and undertake the activities in the running of small, independent retail and wholesale establishments.

Qualification

There are no formal academic entry requirements. A range of management and leadership courses in retail is available, in addition to NVQs/ SVQs in at Levels 2, 3 and 4.

Job Tasks

defines the market position for the business, decides what to sell, forecasts demand and develops the brand image of the business; determines staffing, financial, material and other short- and long-term requirements; oversees staff training, rotas and the allocation of work; provides information about merchandise to staff and customers and ensures customer complaints are appropriately dealt with; ensures that adequate reserves of merchandise are held and orders new stock as required; maintains financial and other shop records and controls security arrangements for the premises; authorises payment for supplies received and decides on vending price and credit terms; examines quality of merchandise and ensures that effective use is made of advertising and display facilities.

Related Jobs

Agent, news Agent, newspaper Bookseller, antiquarian Chandler Cheesemonger Clothier Clothier and outfitter Confectioner and tobacconist Dealer, accessories, motor Dealer, antique Dealer, antiques Dealer, art Dealer, book Dealer, car Dealer, cattle Dealer, game Dealer, livestock Dealer, motor Dealer, pig Dealer, poultry Dealer, sheep Dealer, stamp Dealer, store, marine Dealer, tyre Dealer Distributor Draper Factor, coal Factor, motor Fruiterer Furnisher Furrier Greengrocer Grocer Haberdasher Hatter Holder, stock, steel Hosier Hosier and haberdasher Ironmonger Jeweller, retail Jeweller Keeper, stall, book Keeper, store, drug Keeper, store, general Licensee Manager Mercer Merchant, agricultural Merchant, builders' Merchant, coal Merchant, fish Merchant, glass Merchant, potato Merchant, timber Merchant, wine Milliner Newsagent Numismatist Off-licensee Outfitter Owner, centre, garden Owner, shop, butcher's Owner, shop, florist Owner, shop, retail Owner, station, filling Owner, station, petrol Owner, store, drug Owner, store, general Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Owner Philatelist Retailer, fashion Retailer, fish Retailer Seedsman Seller, book, antiquarian Seller, eBay Seller, map Shopkeeper Shopkeeper Specialist, book, antiquarian Stationer Stockholder, steel Supplier Tailor, merchant Tobacconist Trader, eBay Trader, motor Trader Vendor, horsemeat Victualler, licensed Wholesaler 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Sales and retail assistants

Work Description

Sales and retail assistants demonstrate and sell a variety of goods and services in shops, stores, showrooms and similar establishments.

Qualification

No minimum academic qualifications are required although some employers may require GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically provided on-the-job. Apprenticeships and NVQs/SVQs in Retail Operations are available at various levels.

Job Tasks

discusses customer requirements, including type and price range of goods/services desired; advises customer on selection, purchase, use and care of merchandise and quotes prices, discounts and delivery times; advises customer making major purchase on credit terms and arranges finance as appropriate; receives full or partial payment, checks validity of form of payment, writes or prints bill, receipt or docket and packages merchandise for customer; arranges and replenishes goods on display stands, undertakes stock checks and assists with the receipt of deliveries from suppliers into the stock room; handles returns and deals with customer complaints.

Related Jobs

Adviser, customer Adviser, fashion Adviser, sales Adviser, service, customer Agent, cleaner's, dry Agent, dyer's Agent, laundry Agent, receiving, laundry Assistant, away, take Assistant, bakery Assistant, bookseller's Assistant, bookstall Assistant, centre, garden Assistant, confectioner and tobacconist Assistant, confectioner's Assistant, counter Assistant, customer Assistant, dairy Assistant, dairyman's Assistant, dealer's Assistant, delicatessen Assistant, draper's Assistant, floor, shop Assistant, florist's Assistant, fruiterer's Assistant, furrier's Assistant, grocer's Assistant, haberdashery Assistant, jeweller's Assistant, kiosk Assistant, mercer's Assistant, merchant's Assistant, NAAFI Assistant, newsagent's Assistant, off-licence Assistant, office, post Assistant, office, sub-post Assistant, operations Assistant, pawnbroker's Assistant, perfumer's Assistant, poulterer's Assistant, retail Assistant, room, sale Assistant, room, show Assistant, sales Assistant, seedsman's Assistant, service, customer Assistant, service, customer Assistant, services, customer Assistant, shop Assistant, stall, book Assistant, stationer's Assistant, store Assistant, stores Assistant, takeaway Assistant Assistant Associate, customer Associate, retail Associate, sales Athlete Attendant, kiosk Attendant, room, show Attendant, stores Bookseller Boy, programme Colleague, Asda Consultant, beauty Consultant, bridal Consultant, carpet Consultant, cosmetics Consultant, fashion Consultant, food Consultant, furniture Consultant, perfumery Consultant, sales Counsellor, beauty Counterhand Counterhand Counterman Counterman Cutter, cheese Dairyman Executive, sales, retail Fitter, shoe Hand, bacon Hand, first Hand, provision Help, part-time Helper, part-time Inspector, NAAFI Member, cast Member, team, customer Member, team Newsboy Operative, kiosk Operator, kiosk Player, team Receiver Salesman, bread Salesman, butcher's Salesman, counter Salesman, fish Salesman, fish and fruit Salesman, fish and poultry Salesman, fishmonger's Salesman, indoor Salesman, market Salesman, meat Salesman, milk Salesman, motor Salesman, retail Salesman, shop Salesman, showroom Salesman, television Salesman, TV Salesman, warehouse Salesman Salesman Seller, book Seller, book Seller, fish and chips Seller, programme Server Shopper, personal Stylist, personal Worker, retail Worker, shop Worker, shop Worker, shop 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Retail cashiers and check-out operators

Work Description

Retail cashiers and check-out operators accept payments from customers and give change in respect of sales or services.

Qualification

There are no minimum academic requirements although some employers may require GCSEs/S grades or relevant experience. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/SVQs in Retail Operations are available at Levels 1 and 2.

Job Tasks

records cost of each item on cash register or by use of bar code reader and totals the amount to be paid; receives cash, cheque or debit or credit card payment, checks validity of form of payment, gives change and issues receipts for purchase; debits customer’s account in respect of purchases or services; monitors fuel taken by self-service customers or refuels vehicle if required; maintains transaction records as requested.

Related Jobs

Adviser, customer Assistant, cash and wrap Assistant, check-out Assistant, forecourt Assistant, garage Assistant, general Assistant, petrol Assistant, sales, forecourt Assistant, sales, petrol Assistant, sales, supermarket Assistant, sales Assistant, scanner Assistant, scanning Assistant, shop, forecourt Assistant, station, petrol Assistant, supermarket Assistant, till Attendant, forecourt Attendant, garage Attendant, petrol Attendant, pump, petrol Attendant, pump Attendant, station, filling Attendant, station, petrol Attendant, station, service Cashier, check-out Cashier, forecourt Cashier, sales Cashier, shop Cashier, station, petrol Cashier, supermarket Cashier Cashier Cashier Cashier Cashier Checker-out Clerk, check-out Clerk, EPOS Clerk, scanner Clerk, scanning Controller, EPOS Member, team, customer Operative, check-out Operator, cash and wrap Operator, check-out Operator, consol Operator, console Operator, EPOS Operator, scanner Operator, scanning Operator, till Pumpman Refueller Salesman, forecourt Salesman, petrol 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Pharmacy and other dispensing assistants

Work Description

Pharmacy and other dispensing assistants work under the supervision of pharmacists or other relevant health professionals to dispense drugs and medicines, issue pre-packaged prescriptions, sell over-the-counter medication, dispense spectacles and contact lenses and other related products.

Qualification

Entrants usually possess GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically received on-the-job, supplemented by study towards vocational qualifications. NVQs/ SVQs are available in relevant areas and at various levels, and apprenticeships may be available.

Job Tasks

checks received prescriptions for legality and accuracy and confirms patients’ or customers’ details; maintains records of prescriptions received and drugs issued; checks stock levels, rotates stock, orders new stock from supplying companies and ensures that products are stored appropriately; arranges displays of merchandise; relays information to customers under the direction of pharmacist or other health professional; carries out sales transaction, wraps and packages goods.

Related Jobs

Adviser, healthcare Adviser, optical Adviser, sales, optical Assistant, care, health Assistant, chemist's Assistant, chemist's Assistant, counter, medicines Assistant, counter, pharmacy Assistant, counter Assistant, counter Assistant, dispensary Assistant, dispenser's Assistant, dispensing, optical Assistant, dispensing, pharmacy Assistant, dispensing Assistant, dispensing Assistant, healthcare Assistant, lens, contact Assistant, optical Assistant, optician's Assistant, optometrist’s Assistant, pharmaceutical Assistant, pharmacist's Assistant, pharmacy Assistant, sales Assistant, shop, chemist’s Consultant, optical Dispenser, chemist Dispenser, pharmacy Dispenser Officer, technical, assistant 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Vehicle and parts salespersons and advisers

Work Description

Vehicle and parts salespersons and advisers sell new and used vehicles to the general public, and vehicle accessories and parts to garages, vehicle dealerships and the general public.

Qualification

There are no formal academic requirements for entry but some employers may ask for GCSEs and/or some previous relevant work experience. Apprenticeships may be available in some areas. Vehicle salespersons generally require a full, clean driving licence.

Job Tasks

discusses customer’s requirements, advises on most appropriate vehicle, explains its features and arranges test drive; negotiates sale price including any ‘trade-in’ and extra accessories, works out finance arrangements and completes sales paperwork; carries out pre-delivery inspection and formal hand-over of vehicle to customer; updates stock record, orders new vehicles from manufacturer, buys in used cars; receives orders for parts by phone, email or in person and checks availability on stock record; obtains parts from store or orders from suppliers; organises delivery of parts and handles payment; orders new supplies, arranges storage and updates stock records.

Related Jobs

Adviser, parts Adviser, sales, car Adviser, sales, vehicle Assistant, parts Assistant, sales, vehicle Consultant, sales Coordinator, parts Executive, sales, car Executive, sales, fleet Executive, sales, vehicle Man, parts, vehicle, motor Operative, parts, vehicle Partsman Representative, sales, parts Representative Salesman, car Salesman, parts Seller, car Technician, parts 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Shelf fillers

Work Description

Shelf fillers receive incoming goods from storage, check them for damage and place them on the appropriate shelves in the store.

Qualification

There are no minimum academic entry requirements. Some on-the-job training may be provided.

Job Tasks

selects goods from storeroom and checks for any damage; checks store layout or written instructions to determine the appropriate shelf location for the goods; prices goods by machine and fills shelves with goods; monitors depletion of stocks and re-fills shelves as required.

Related Jobs

Adviser, customer Assistant, display, evening Assistant, display Assistant, display Assistant, floor Assistant, food, fresh Assistant, general Assistant, grocery Assistant, night Assistant, operations Assistant, produce Assistant, provision Assistant, provisions Assistant, replenishment Assistant, stock Assistant, stock Colleague, Asda Controller, ambient Controller, replenishment, ambience Displayman Filler, night Filler, shelf Filler, shop Filler Hand, display Handler, stock Member, team, customer Merchandiser, evening Merchandiser Packer, shelf Replenisher Runner Stacker, shelf Stacker Stocker, shelf Stockist 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

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