Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Aoife Mc Dermott from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:


Aoife Mc Dermott


Department of Education and Skills

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  Aoife Mc Dermott
The most important thing is that you like your subject area! It?s also important to do as well as you can throughout your degree. For example, I applied for PhD scholarship during my final year, so they were looking at my first, second and third year results. Finally, I find that liking people helps a lot.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Occupation Details

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Sales Assistant - Retail

Job Zone

Some of these occupations may require a Leaving Certificate or similar.

Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter clerks, construction laborers, and waiters or waitresses.

€18k > 30 
Retail Assistant / Sales Consultant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 30 
Related Information:
Department Store: 18 - 26
Fashion: 22 - 30
Food / Non - Food Multiples: 20 - 26
Electrical / Pharmaceutical / Telecoms: 20 - 25
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: May, 2014

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Works in a retail shop selling products to customers and helps with the general upkeep of the shop.

The Work header image

The work of a retail assistant varies according to the type of outlet concerned. Many shops can be self-service where the assistant remains seated at a checkout. In department stores and other specialist shops, assistants specialise in selling certain products. Experience as a general sales/retail assistant can lead to a career in retail management.  
Retail assistants are also called shop assistants and they serve customers in shops. They operate cash tills, and take payments from customers for goods purchased. They may have to deal with cash, cheques, and credit or debit cards. Goods may have to be weighed and packed, and sometimes gift-wrapped.  
Retail assistants maintain displays of goods on shelves and check that goods are correctly priced. They also advise or persuade customers on purchases, answer customer queries, or direct customers to the location of a product. They may be responsible for stock control and keeping financial and stock records.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

Retail assistants should always have a neat and tidy appearance, should remain polite and helpful. They should enjoy dealing and working with other people. They should also be able to work on their own initiative and as part of a team.  
You need to be approachable, helpful, friendly and co-operative when dealing with customers. This requires strong interpersonal and communication skills. You need to be patient as you may have to deal with customer complaints and customers being awkward.  
A good general health and fitness is required for this job.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Petrol Service Sales Assistant - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Sales Trainee - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Store Demonstrator - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: National Employment Rights Authority
  Address: Information Services, Government Buildings, O'Brien Road, Carlow
  Tel: (059) 917 8990 Locall: 1890 80 80 90
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: The Sales Institute of Ireland
  Address: 68 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 662 6904
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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So you want to own your own Fashion Boutique?

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Sales, Retail & Purchasing
Fashion & Beauty

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database


Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 33

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