How to Become a Personal Shopper: Career Info & Requirements

Explore the unique role of a personal shopper. Read on and get insights on career information, educational requirements and salary facts to determine if this is the right fit for you. Schools offering Fashion Design & Merchandising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Personal Shopper: Career Information at a Glance

Personal shoppers are usually frontliners in a retail store. They are the first point of contact for both old and new customers. In this article, you will learn more on how to become a personal shopper, the requirements and salary information.

Education Field of StudyHigh school diploma or equivalent for retail salespersons
Licenses and/or Cerfications Online certifications available
Training Required On-the-job training
Key ResponsibilitiesProvide expert advice to clients and assist them with their needs; build a list of loyal customers and communicate with them daily; upsell new products and services
Job growth (2016-2026) 2% decline for retail sales workers (slower than average)*
Annual Median Salary (2019) $38,000 yearly; $11.53 hourly**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Are the Educational Requirements and Do I Need Training?

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for a career as a personal shopper. Prior experience in the field of customer service or any related field involving customer relations is beneficial but not required. There are personal style and fashion online courses offered by fashion schools and consulting organizations available to those who want to enhance their career as a personal shopper.

What Certification Is Required?

Being certified as a personal shopper will give you an edge in terms of knowledge and training in the field. Several organizations such as International Association of Personal Shoppers (IAPO) and Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) offer these certifications that will provide tools and techniques in honing your skills as a personal shopper. Being certified will also improve your image as a professional personal shopper.

What Are the Key Responsibilities?

Personal shoppers provide personalized assistance to customers to help meet their needs. You are responsible in building a client base of loyal shoppers who shop regularly in the store, as well as promoting lasting relationships to new customers. As a trusted consultant, you will be giving personalized attention to your clients by catering to their specific needs and giving them advice on the best products based on their style, goals, interests and budget. You will also regularly communicate with your clients regarding new fashion trends, products and services and try to upsell them.

What Career Options Do I Have?

You can start working as an entry-level personal shopper in a retail store. From there, you can gain enough experience in building your own client base. Some start as part-time personal shoppers while others go full-time. Once you have built your own contacts list, you can work as a freelance personal shopper. With the advent of online shopping resources like StitchFix and Amazon, you can also create your own online business as a personal shopper.

How Much Is the Salary and Where Can I Work?

The average salary for a personal shopper is $38,000 per year or $11.53 per hour, according to Payscale.com. You can work in one retail store or different fashion outlets as a personal shopper, whether full-time or part-time. If you want to have more flexibility in your hours, you can also work as an online personal shopper.

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