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Sales associate jobs are one of the most common entry level positions for Canadians. They involve working for many types of companies in the retail industry, and require strong customer service and communications skills to be successful.
Your main role is to assist customers with questions, help them make purchases, find products, and create a good overall customer experience while in the store. Depending on the company or the type of products or services you are offering, you may require specialized knowledge and training. Sales associate jobs are a great launching point for a career in communications, sales or marketing.
Sales associates typically work in a retail store environment, however, you may also work on the phone or online. Positions may be part time or full time depending on the company, and you can expect to work shifts. Shift times can vary based on company needs and hours of operation. Work during the evening and weekends is common. You will typically report to a supervisor, assistant manager or store manager.
The average salary for sales associates in Canada is about $12 per hour. With experience and a proven track record of sales success, you can make up to $20 per hour with some companies. Having sales experience in a niche market can help you earn more. Many sales associate positions offer incentives and performance bonuses, which will help increase your salary. If you work full time hours, you can make between $20,000 to $35,000 or more per year.
Your day-to-day tasks will largely depend on your specific role with the company. Some positions are more customer service oriented, while others place more emphasis on sales or merchandising. Some of the day-to-day tasks you can expect as part of your job responsibilities include the following:
Sales associates most commonly work in a retail environment. Many of the positions are located in malls, big box stores, and large retail establishments. Sales associate positions are available in all cities across the country. Newer sales associate roles may be available online such as online customer service agents and shopping cart assistant professionals.
Sales associates have strong people skills. When working in a retail environment, you will work primarily with people in a face-to-face environment. Having great interpersonal skills is a key to success. Here are some of the skills that will help you be successful in your job:
Many entry level sales associate positions do not have specific job requirements. More senior or complex sales associate jobs require a high school diploma. Specialized sales roles many require some college education. Any customer service experience, volunteer work, and other training and skills related to sales is an asset and will help you in your job search.
The majority of sales associate positions are entry level positions. They are a great starting point to gain experience in sales and customer