Retail is the selling of goods or services. It can cover everything from clothes, groceries, sporting equipment, white goods, phones and personal goods. Working in this sector is a great way to enter the workforce, with career progression available into roles such as a retail manager or operations manager.

The different industries you could be employed in include food and beverage, household goods, clothing and footwear, newspaper and book, recreational goods and pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry retailing.

What does this industry cover?

Retail sales can be in virtually any industry and you may work in a physical location such as a store, warehouse or office that has visual displays and walk in customers. You may work in online retail sales and have customers from all over the world.

Community Pharmacy includes selling pharmaceuticals, cosmetics or toiletries, but within a pharmacy setting customers may be looking for drug information, clinical intervention and preventative care. A wider range of services may be more evident if working in a regional area.

Wholesale traders sell or on-sell goods to businesses and sometimes the end consumer, such as hardware, building and garden supplies, or electrical and plumbing supplies.

Job hunting information

Employers want staff with good communication, organisational, creative, time management and teamwork skills. Many employers are willing to train up staff who are new to the sector. Skills developed working in retail are transferrable across many industries, giving a good headstart for further career progression.

Despite retail being a large workforce, retail managers are in demand. The retail services sector is predominantly comprised of small businesses, although there are many large companies that have large exposure.

Most businesses in this industry need a good social media presence and strong digital technology use.

If you are considering a pathway into work it would be best to approach employers directly, they will often have signs in their shop windows advertising for staff. Also check the websites of large retail businesses, as they will typically have recruitment information on their site.

Information for further research

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a medium to large industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2019, commencements were: 9580

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2019 in this industry have remained stable, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a large sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has remained stable.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is low to medium.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

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