A senior sales assistant can often be found working in a retail store. Generally experienced in sales, they are responsible for overseeing other sales assistants working on the shop floor. They delegate daily duties to more junior members of staff, offer advice and assistance to customers, and operate the cash register, according to Sheffield University.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many sales work supervisors gain knowledge of the industry through work experience. No formal educational requirements are needed to become a senior sales assistant. Most senior sales assistant obtain previous work experience as a sales assistant or customer service adviser before being promoted to the role of senior sales assistant. Many employers also offer some form of on-the-job training, which involves learning company procedures and customer service skills.
Sheffield University notes that senior sales assistants should be able to work using their own initiative but must be able to follow instructions from senior staff members. Since senior sales assistants work directly with members of the public, they should also possess strong communication skills. The ability to get along well with and clearly instruct others, and possession of good judgment skills are also important, according to the BLS. At times, a senior sales assistant may address customer complaints; therefore, she should be able to work well and keep calm under pressure.
The responsibilities of a senior sales assistant vary depending on the company and level of personal responsibility he is given. Sheffield University notes that typical day-to-day tasks may include working alongside management to develop product ideas, monitoring stock amounts, attaining customer satisfaction, meeting sales targets and overseeing the store in the manager’s absence. Typically, the role involves balancing working on the shop floor with offering support to the store manger.
The BLS notes that employment growth amongst sales supervisors is expected to be slower than average, with the industry only growing by 5 per cent until 2018. This is due to more responsibility being given to sales workers and the industry growing at a slow rate. Job openings in the future will become available as existing senior sales assistants progress to management roles, leave the labour force or transfer to other industries.
Salaries given to senior sales assistants vary greatly depending on the level of personal experience, industry and location. According to Payscale, the average hourly wage of a senior sales assistant in July 2010 was £5.70. The lowest earners received on average £4.70 per hour whilst the highest earners received £7.50 per hour in July 2010.