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Retail trainers create and implement training programs for retail employees to teach them effective selling and customer service techniques, and explain how to follow all company protocols. Retail businesses of all kinds hire retail trainers for full- and part-time hours during all shifts, including evenings and weekends, based on when the retail stores are in operation. Retail trainers travel to various retail store branches to provide training services throughout a specific geographic region. Retail trainers primarily report to upper-level corporate management supervisors and regional store managers.

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Retail Trainer Duties and Responsibilities

The day-to-day job tasks required of retail trainers vary depending on the number of employees they’re training and the specific company protocols they’re tasked with teaching. However, there are several duties retail trainers perform that are universal:

Plan Orientation Programs

Retail trainers design and implement orientation programs for new employees.

Conduct Training

Retail trainers conduct training sessions with new employees, using various training methods to engage employees, including hands-on and interactive activities.

Know Store Operations

Retail trainers learn all store operations in order to design relevant, effective training and orientation programs for employees.

Evaluate Training Materials

Retail trainers evaluate existing training materials, determining what changes need to be made to keep these materials relevant and updated with all company policies.


Retail trainers collaborate with management staff to get feedback on customer and staff complaints in order to design more effective training materials.

Retail Trainer Skills and Qualifications

Retail trainers are leaders who guide store employees through the training process to help them get comfortable with performing customer service, sales, and other required job tasks. Employers hire retail trainers who have the various skills that are essential to performing this job successfully.

  • Customer service - because retail is a customer-oriented environment, employers look for retail trainers with strong customer service skills to fill this role
  • Sales retail - to train employees in various selling techniques
  • Communication - to speak clearly to employees, keeping them motivated and engaged during the training process
  • Computer skills - most retail businesses use digital cash register systems and other software programs for inventory systems and other store operations
  • Analytical ability - to assess training materials and retail store operations, and devise effective training tools for employees
  • Public speaking - to make training presentations to employees

Retail Trainer Education and Training

Most employers require retail trainers to have past work experience in the retail industry. Rather than work experience, many employers accept candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in business management or a similar field. Candidates who have both, however, will stand out above others applying for the same job. Because retail trainers travel to various branches to perform their duties, a valid driver’s license is also required.

Some training is provided to retail trainers—a short period of time in which they become familiar with the company’s current training techniques and protocols. This training period varies by employer and might last for several weeks. While in training, retail trainers work closely with a senior retail trainer or a management trainer.

Retail Trainer Salary and Outlook

Training and development specialists occupied more than 280,000 jobs in 2016, according to information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number is expected to increase by 11 percent through 2026, a rate that is faster than the national average rate of job growth. In 2017, training and development specialists earned a median salary of $29.00 hourly, $60,360 annually. Training and development specialists plan and implement programs to train employees, performing the same job duties as retail trainers. Data from PayScale shows that retail trainers earn $59,620 median annual income.

Most employers provide full-time retail trainers with basic benefits packages providing major medical healthcare coverage. Sometimes, dental and vision insurance are included. Paid vacation days are typically provided to retail trainers as well. Part-time retail trainers do not usually receive benefits from employers.

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Helpful Resources

Learn sales techniques and customer service skills and peruse job openings, news updates, and other career resources for retail trainers with these books and websites:

National Retail Federation

Visit the NRF website to browse job openings, discover upcoming networking events, read news updates, and find other resources for all retail professionals.

The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource

Read this book to learn effective sales techniques and sales fundamentals. The text includes the 10 commandments of selling and proven ways to make sales, skills that retail trainers can teach to others.

The Sales Association

Find professional development resources for sales professionals at this website, which has a job board, information about certification programs, event dates, and useful selling tips.

Retail Sales & Customer Service Training - Volume 2: Getting Retail Service Right

Learn the merits of various sales techniques with the information in this book, which includes information about advanced selling techniques.

National Association of Sales Professionals

Explore training programs, read articles, and find job opportunities at this website designed for all sales professionals.

The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service

This book provides tips and techniques for delivering great customer service, skills retail trainers need to know.

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