Retail Supervisors supervise and coordinate the activities of retail sales workers.
Also known as: Checkout Supervisor or Sales Department Supervisor.
Retail experience is usually needed to work as a Retail Supervisor. Some workers have a certificate III or IV in retail supervising or managing.
ensuring that customers receive prompt service and quality goods and services
responding to customers' inquiries and complaints about goods and services
planning and preparing work schedules and assigning staff to specific duties
interviewing, hiring, training, evaluating, dismissing and promoting staff, and resolving staff grievances
instructing staff on how to handle difficult and complicated sales procedures
examining returned goods and deciding on appropriate action
taking inventory of goods for sale and ordering new stock
ensuring that goods and services are correctly priced and displayed
ensuring safety and security procedures are enforced
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to decline
- is likely to reach 35,600 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 70% of people employed as Retail Supervisors work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 4 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,195 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,069
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,389
Median hourly earnings are $31, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Retail Supervisors||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Retail Supervisors||All Jobs Average|
Around 44% of Retail Supervisors live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Retail Supervisors is 33 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 58% of the workforce. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Retail Supervisors||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.3||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Retail experience is usually needed to work as a Retail Supervisor. Some workers have a certificate III or IV in retail supervising or managing.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Retail Supervisors||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||3.1||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||15.1||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Retail Supervisors who provide good customer service, have strong people skills, are organised and well presented. Employers also value responsible and trustworthy managers.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Reading work related information.
52%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Teaching people how to do something.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
50%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Looking for ways to help people.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
50%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
45%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Using maths to solve problems.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
77%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
61%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
60%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
59%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
49%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
37%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
37%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
33%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
33%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
28%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
25%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
23%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Read and understand written information.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
See details that are far away.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
43%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
67%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
67%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
64%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
63%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
63%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
62%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
57%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
55%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
54%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
53%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
52%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
52%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
51%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
51%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
50%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
50%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.
49%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
46%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
34%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Talk on the telephone.
97%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
94%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
Talk with people face-to-face.
92%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Work with people in a group or team.
89%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
89%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
89%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
84%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
83%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
Work to strict deadlines.
81%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
80%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
79%Walking and running
Spend time walking and running.
78%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
76%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
73%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 41-1011.00 - First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers.