What is the retail industry?

The Australian retail industry is the second largest sector of our country’s workforce, with approximately 9.5% of the working population employed in a retail position. Retail consists of an array of stores, warehouses and businesses that provide goods and services to consumers. This can be pretty much anything, including clothing and accessory stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores and auto supply stores.

However, retail doesn’t only consist of shops. Warehouses and distribution centres are also considered an important part of the retail sector. Businesses don’t need to have a physical store in order for it to be considered retail. Online stores and the popularity of online shopping has increased drastically over the past few years, widening the online shopping space.

Retail workers are at the frontline of this busy industry, right until the point of sale. Some types of retail workers include:

  • Sales assistants
  • Customer service representatives
  • Retail supervisors
  • Retail managers
  • Team leaders
  • Regional managers and other senior leaders

What degree is best for retail?

Although a retail course isn’t necessarily required to land a job in the retail industry, it’s a great way to gain expertise and prepare yourself for the workforce. Completing training in retail at an RTO will show potential employers that you are willing to learn and put in your best effort.

There are a range of retail qualifications varying at different levels, so you can enrol in retail training best suited to your level of knowledge. Two popular retail courses that are commonly completed include a Certificate III in Retail Training (SIR30216) and a Certificate IV in Retail Management (SIR40316). There are study options available for every learner, allowing learners to complete their retail course online, blended or in-person.

The Certificate III in Retail Training (SIR30216) is great for those who wish to work in the customer service area of retail. This retail course will teach you how to:

  • Engagingly interact with customers
  • How to execute sales
  • Duties and responsibilities daily store operations
  • How to exceed store goals and expectations

If you dream of a career in retail management, a Certificate IV in Retail Management (SIR40316) is the perfect pathway there. After completing this comprehensive retail training course, you will be able to manage a retail store, warehouse or distribution centre. This course is recommended for those with retail knowledge already, who wish to upskill or further their career.

If you’re after entry level retail qualifications, the Certificate I in Retail Services (SIR10116) and the Certificate II in Retail Services (SIR20216) are perfect beginner courses. These are great for any learner who is still in high school and wants to complete a VET qualification, or for anybody seeking a course covering the basics of retail.

Alternatively, the Diploma of Retail Leadership (SIR50116) is ideal for those who are seeking upper management retail positions. This course is one step above the Certificate IV in Retail Management, and will prepare learners for an upper-management position. People who work in senior leadership in the retail sector sometimes obtain a higher education qualification, such as a bachelor degree.

What jobs can I get from a retail course?

A retail course can lead to a range of career opportunities across this large industry. Some of these job titles include:

  • Customer service representative
  • Customer service manager
  • Retail store manager
  • Retail sales assistant or sales associate
  • Team leader
  • Account manager
  • Buyer
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Retail warehouse worker or picker and packer


Is retail a good career?

A retail career is a rewarding pathway for anybody who loves social interaction, working in a team and satisfying customers’ needs by selling useful products and services. Working in a retail position often means socialising with unique individuals for hours every day, so retail workers need to be interpersonal and have good sales skills to thrive in the industry.

How do I become a retail manager?

Although no formal education is required to become a retail manager, taking a retail course is strongly recommended. A Certificate IV in Retail Management or a Diploma of Retail Leadership are two retail training courses that will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge required to excel in this position. You can study retail courses online, making it easier than ever to achieve your retail qualification while maintaining your current lifestyle.

How long is a retail management course?

The Certificate IV in Retail Management (SIR40316) can take any time from 12 months to two years to complete, depending on whether you decide to study full-time or part-time. Retail courses have online, in-person and blended study options are all available, allowing you to choose a retail course that best suits your lifestyle.