Retail Salespersons

risk level
Based on 303 votes
-0.2 %
by year 2032
or $16.19 per hour
as of 2023

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Automation risk

66% (High Risk)

High Risk (61-80%): Jobs in this category face a significant threat from automation, as many of their tasks can be easily automated using current or near-future technologies.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Persuasion

  • Negotiation

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

User poll

73% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted that it's probable this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 66% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Retail Salespersons will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Slow growth relative to other professions.

The number of 'Retail Salespersons' job openings is expected to decline 0.2% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Very low paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Retail Salespersons' was $33,680, or $16 per hour

'Retail Salespersons' were paid 29.9% lower than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 3,684,740 people employed as 'Retail Salespersons' within the United States.

This represents around 2.4% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 41 people are employed as 'Retail Salespersons'.

Job description

Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.

SOC Code: 41-2031.00


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Joon (Highly likely) says
Will this reflect or have separate section that is post ChatGPT?
What was originally seen as a roadblock is no longer valid, and the threat of replacement was already high even prior to the advent of ChatGPT
May 05, 2023 at 03:41 PM
David (No chance) says
Not likely. People can't corner an automated system and force it to pay attention to them while they talk about irrelevant and inappropriate things, brag about their medical issues (in graphic detail), and list the types of antipsychotic medications they are currently prescribed.

In addition, the general public doesn't have the aptitude to operate technology which is the better part of a century old. We've all seen the threats, and they don't hold water because after utilizing automated systems for a few decades, retailers are ditching them in favor of employees. Walmart is a great example because they are actively removing these systems (don't try to argue, just look it up).
Jan 12, 2022 at 07:21 PM
Nico (Highly likely) says
Because of the pandemic and all.
Feb 03, 2021 at 12:06 PM
Richard says
The world is changing exponentially year over year. Things that took 20 years to be developed and brought to market now can be developed in just a fraction of the time. Society is driven by innovation and technology and the economy is vastly dominated by data driven statistics. AI is more advanced than the world actually realizes. The IOT is already in production and just standing by for the regulations to be incorporated, then that will pull out all the stops. I give it 2-3 years tops before automation disrupts every industry whether society is ready for it or not.
Jul 25, 2020 at 01:50 AM
Richard Dumas (Highly likely) says
The entire retail industry is fallen by the waste side and being disrupted by eCommerce. Amazon has dominated the retail space over the last decade and is expanding exponentially year over year with no signs of slowing down. The retail industry will need to adapt to the new way that people want to do business.
Jul 25, 2020 at 01:41 AM
Joel Vitug says
People will always need that human connection, there are plenty of us that needs to touch, see, and feel the product, sometimes even taste the product. There are going to be a place for AI and robotics, with this in some aspects will make our jobs more efficient and productive. We are social beings, we have learned that through this Covid-19 pandemic, people need people even in sales.
May 14, 2020 at 03:38 PM
Ali (Highly likely) says
Well it depends what we're talking about here. If we're talking about people who stock shelves the whole times then absolutely but there're are some places where we cant really replace them yet.
Nov 27, 2019 at 01:45 PM
Marge (Highly likely) says
Ease of online sales will surely doom retail storefronts, especially the sales reps. It already is. I work in cellular and literally sell the very devices people use to online shop and price check. Sorry 'bout that.
Aug 07, 2019 at 01:56 AM
Viviane Paraschiv says
Because people still go in stores (talking here about fashion here) for a personal connection. Might be more automated for consumer goods but not that sure it will be 92% automated
Mar 28, 2019 at 12:10 PM
Lee Springer says
Amazon Prime Wardrobe, Blackcart, and thousands of other companies represent the current projected 92%. You're correct in estimating that the 'current' population would prefer to shop in store. You must realize in 10 years the customer market will be completely different than it is now.
Shopping malls are shutting down, New shopping stores launch online with only 4% hitting a store front.
It's safe to say that retail shopping is doomed as a career/job.
May 29, 2019 at 06:37 PM

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