The South Australian retail industry employs 110,200 people, which is just 13.7% of the State’s workforce.

Most people working in this industry work in a retail store, pharmacy or supermarket, and a proportion also sell cars and car parts or work in petrol stations.

There is employment available everywhere in South Australia, but as most South Australians live in the metropolitan area, that’s where you can expect to find most of the jobs.

Job openings for skilled workers

Retail manager

Sales representative


Quick facts about this industry

  • There is a balance of full-time and part-time work in this industry, although people who sell cars are more likely to be working full-time.
  • Most workers do not have a qualification, but if you want to get ahead a qualification is highly recommended.
  • There are slightly more women working in the industry than men.
  • People are generally younger than those in other industries.
  • You need to be motivated, helpful, accurate with money, and enjoy talking with people.
  • Some salespeople work on a commission basis, which means that they are paid for each item they sell, and others are paid a set wage regardless of how many items they sell.
  • Retail managers earn from $600 to $1,200 per week. Full-time cashiers or sales assistants generally earn between $400 and $600 per week, and between $800 and $1,000 per week for retail managers. Technical sales representatives and assistants earn slightly more than other salespeople — between $1,500 and $2,000 per week.

School options

Ask your Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator at school for information about doing vocational education during the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), including the Training Guarantee for SACE (or equivalent) students. Visit the VET section of the SACE website for training options in:

  • Retail services

Vocational qualifications include:

  • Certificates I and II in Retail Services
  • Certificate III in Retail 
  • Certificates II - IV in Community Pharmacy, and Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy Dispensary 
  • Certificates III - IV in Floristry
  • Certificates II - III in Automotive Sales
  • Certificate IV in Retail Management
  • Diploma of Retail Leadership

See courses related to this industry.

University disciplines include:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human resource management
  • Management
  • Marketing

Explore university courses offered in South Australia, including courses from:

For more information about university courses visit South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) or for information about student satisfaction visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Apply to study

For application information at South Australian universities and some TAFE SA courses visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

For subsidised training enrolment information, see Enrolling in subsidised training.

For more information, call the Infoline on 1800 673 097.

Occupations in this industry


The retail industry is responsible for the display and sale of new or used goods to consumers for personal or household consumption. This includes motor vehicles, fuel and food, and other forms of store-based retail.

The industry has seen a rapid reduction in the number of department stores and a rise in supermarkets and shopping centres.

More recently there has also been a rise in convenience shopping, online trading and franchising.

Operating a successful retail business requires more than a good product range and pricing. Profitable retailers must be familiar with issues such as employee relations, tenancy issues, marketing, training and the psychology of sales.


Floristry is a specialist area of retail sales that combines creativity with retail skills. Florists design and prepare floral arrangements such as bouquets, sprays, wreaths and vases of flowers. They also organise the storage, sale and delivery of floral arrangements.

Key occupations

Other occupations in this industry include:

Automotive parts interpreter, checkout operator and cashier, florist, general sales assistant, information communication technology, sales assistant or professional, model and sales demonstrator, motor vehicle and caravan salesperson, newsagent, pharmacy sales assistant, retail buyer, service station attendant, street vendor, ticket salespeople, tyre fitters and repairer and visual merchandiser.

Related industries for these occupations

Useful links


Career information has been sourced from government publications. See data sources for more information.

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