Retail is a tough business. If you’re working in the retail industry, odds are you’re in a customer-facing position, fighting the good fight for low pay and working lousy hours. Those crazy hours and exhausting days can make it hard to move on. Planning a school schedule, for example, can be all but impossible if you don’t know what time you’re scheduled for work two days out. For these reasons, retail jobs are usually dubbed dead-end — but that doesn’t have to be the case.
In-demand and high-paying retail jobs
While retail jobs are, typically, a drag, you can still get into the industry and make a solid career out of it. The trick is to get off of the sales floor — unless you’re selling something big like houses, boats, or cars. If you’re stuck at the mall, in other words, you might be staring at a dead-end. That said, there are several high-paying and fulfilling career paths in the retail industry that may be a good fit for you.
A report from CareerCast outlines seven of those jobs, and they start at an average salary of $60,000 per year. So, if you like the industry and want to progress? Aiming for one of these jobs is probably the thing to do.
Here are seven jobs identified by CareerCast as high-paying and high-growth in the retail industry.
7. Wholesale sales rep
- Annual median salary: $60,530
- Growth outlook: 6%
The retail world is littered with sales reps. And those are the jobs that you typically want to avoid. They have lousy pay, lousy hours, and require a lot of face-to-face time with customers. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s tough. If you can get into the wholesale game, though, you can earn more and probably get by relatively stress-free. These jobs tend to pay more than $60,000 per year and the growth outlook going forward is positive.
Next: A job for those of you who like to think a bit more strategically.
6. Market research
- Annual median salary: $62,560
- Growth outlook: 23%
Now we’re getting into some of the deeper retail positions — jobs that are in the retail industry, but not necessarily in retail outlets. Working in market research is a good example. Businesses need people to conduct market research, and if you’re in-house, you can find ways to increase sales and target new customers. These jobs pay pretty well, too, with median annual salaries topping $62,000 per year. And it’s an expanding role, too.
Next: There’s no reason to be a “starving” artist in the retail industry?
5. Multimedia artist
- Annual median salary: $65,300
- Growth outlook: 10%
Need to tap into your inner-artist? You can do it in the retail sector. Like every other type of business, retailers need graphic and multimedia artists. You may be designing clothes, in-store displays, logos, or a number of other things. The point is that it’s an industry like any other, and it needs some creativity to keep things chugging along. The pay’s not too bad either, with median annual salaries landing at more than $65,000.
Next: Can you speak logistics? This is the job for you.
- Annual median salary: $74,170
- Growth outlook: 7%
Just what in the hell is a logistician? It’s someone who specializes in the science of logistics, naturally. That means that you’re working in and with supply chains — it’s the art of getting things from one place to another. This is especially important in the retail industry, as stores need product, and product needs to find a path from factories to warehouses and eventually, to stores themselves. As far as pay? You can earn nearly $75,000 as a logistician.
Next: You can stay on your social accounts all day and get paid for it.
3. Social media manager
- Annual median salary: $95,450
- Growth outlook: 11%
Again, a job that exists in every industry imaginable. Social media managers do play a special role in the retail sector, though. Perhaps more so than most other industries. As a social media manager, you’re working as a marketer. Your job is to get people excited about your company’s products through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For some, it’s a dream job. For others? A nightmare. But for $95,000 per year, most people will take it either way.
Next: Digging into the data can fetch you big bucks.
2. Data scientist
- Annual median salary: $111,270
- Growth outlook: 16%
You don’t really think of data science as something that’s closely integrated with the retail sector, but you’d be wrong. Data science is, in fact, used by pretty much every sector these days. Retail is no different. Like market researchers, digging through the data and creating models can open up new markets, lead to new products, and help businesses focus their marketing efforts. And the pay is downright astronomical compared to a minimum wage retail job at more than $111,000 per year.
Next: Perhaps the highest paying job in retail — besides being an executive.
1. Online sales manager
- Annual median salary: $117,960
- Growth outlook: 7%