Retail Salespersons – Many Job Opportunities in the Rogue Valley

by Ainoura Oussenbec

September 6, 2018

Some job seekers feel intimidated by any notion of sales jobs, thinking most jobs in sales require hard selling and are commission only. By not considering sales at all, they may be missing out on valuable opportunities. Almost 12 percent of all jobs in the Rogue Valley are sales related, and most of them are salary based. Many employers appreciate some background in sales on applicants’ resumes because it means training and experience in customer service. Customer service is among the key skill sets required in a great variety of jobs and needed in many businesses.

The largest occupational group in sales jobs is retail salespersons with 4,232 jobs in Jackson and Josephine counties. Job openings in this category are ubiquitous almost year around and available in a variety of businesses in both urban and rural settings. Other sales related jobs are cashiers, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, and parts salespersons.

Local Wages for Retail Salespersons Are Higher than in Portland

The majority of retail jobs pay close to minimum wage as a start, and the industry overall is not known for very high earnings. However, experienced workers can earn above average wages, for instance in hardware, appliances, and parts stores, and in management positions.

Retail trade is among the three largest employers in the Rogue Valley, along with health care and social assistance, and leisure and hospitality. Retail businesses can range from large chains to small mom-and-pop stores located all around the Valley. Small stores tend to go through changes and churning, similar to the tourism industry, with new entrepreneurial ideas tested all the time.

Unlike tourism related and many other jobs, local average wages for retail salespersons are actually higher in the Rogue Valley than the statewide average and many other regional averages around the state. Currently, the average wage for retail salespersons in the Rogue Valley is $15.02 per hour, compared with $14.67 statewide, and $14.88 in the Portland Metro area.

Young job seekers or people who want to re-enter the labor market could consider sales jobs as a vehicle for developing valuable skills and gaining real life experiences. A job candidate who can show they helped dozens of customers daily and solved many different problems for them may stand out for employers in other industries. There are some people with customer service skills who may find their true calling in retail sales. They will enjoy plenty of job opportunities anywhere they go, rewarding careers serving people, and maybe even have a chance to start their own business.

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