Skip Navigation

Careers in Retail Management


Visit Career Services

Retail services and commodities, which heavily rely on professional, scientific, and technical services, is one of the largest industries and one of the most visible to consumers. Even with the economic downturn, retail has been, and will continue to be, one of the largest industries for employment growth. Many positions in the retail management and commodities field require degrees.

The retail management program provides the basic skills needed to manage a variety of retail organizations effectively by developing skills directly related to the industry. The program is designed to focus on interpersonal, managerial, human resource, leadership, communication, and the critical thinking skills necessary to assess and evaluate management practices in the retail industry. College graduates with related experience, a high level of creativity, strong communication skills, and computer skills generally have the best job opportunities within this market. 

Email Career ServicesOverview

Useful Skills within the Retail Management Field

Decision Making - Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.

Helping - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Listening - Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.

Managing Money - Determining how much money is required to get a job done, allocating those monies, and then accounting for all expenditures.

Managing People - Assigning duties to others, motivating them, and evaluating their performance.

Managing Physical Resources - The ability to make appropriate use of equipment and materials to get a job done.

Managing Time - Allocating and budgeting your time for different tasks so that projects get done when needed.

Persuasion - Persuading, encouraging, and motivating others to accept your ideas.

Problem Solving - Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.

Reading Comprehension - The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.

Reasoning - Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of the reactions of others and understanding why they react the way they do.

Speaking - Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.

Writing and Authoring - Composing and communicating your ideas in written form.



Career Options

To identify what education or training is typical for careers within the retail management field, use the O*Net hyperlinks below and click on “Job Zone.” In addition, seek out the advice of fellow students and alumni working in the industry, using our mentoring program on The Quad (for current students and alumni only) or by speaking with a career coach.

As with all majors, the education you receive serves as a foundation of knowledge that prepares you for what you may face in the professional world. The career field you choose may require additional education or experience.

Administrative Services Manager
Business Teachers, Postsecondary
Chief Executives
General and Operations Managers
Human Resources Managers
Industrial Production Managers
Loss Prevention Managers
Management Analysts

Marketing Managers
Online Merchants
Purchasing Managers
Sales Managers
Sales Representatives
Storage and Distribution Managers
Supply Chain Managers
Transportation Managers

Getting Hired: Government Agencies, Organizations, and Search Engines
There are several government agencies and organizations that seek candidates with degrees in retail management. The list below provides a few places one might find employment specific to this degree.
CVS Health
Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)
Ghirardelli Chocolate
Navy Exchange
Neiman Marcus

Republic National Distributing Company
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA)
Wegmans Food Marekts

While many of the major job search engines, such as or, will have several positions to choose from, those listed below are specific to this field.
National Retail Federation (NRF)
Retail Jobs North America



Keeping Current: Professional Organizations and Associations

Involvement in professional organizations is a great way to stay up-to-date on new technology, tools, and best practices in your field. Professional organizations can also provide great networking opportunities. Below are a few professional organizations you may be interested in.

Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF)
National Retail Federation (NRF)
Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM)
Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)
World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards


Oct. 16-18, 2016
Los Angeles, Calif.

Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition
June 6-9, 2017
Chicago, Ill.

NRF Annual Convention & Expo
Jan. 15-17, 2017
New York, N.Y.

Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association
2017 TBD

Retail Asset Protection Conference
April 9-12, 2017
New Orleans, La.

Retail Supply Chain Conference
Feb. 12 - 15, 2017
Orlando, Fla.

Retail Sustainability Conference
Sept. 27-30, 2016
Washington, D.C.

Shop Industry Summit
Nov. 2-4, 2016
Scottsdale, Ariz. Annual Summit
Sept. 26-28, 2016
Dallas, Texas

World Alliance for Retail Excellence & Standards
April 22-25, 2017
La Jolla, Calif.

Get Connected: Social Media

A login may be required for access to social media.

ALLRETAIL Retail Executive Network - LinkedIn
AMU & APU Retail Management - Facebook, Twitter
National Retail Federation - Facebook
Retail Industry Experts - LinkedIn
Retail Industry Professionals Worldwide - LinkedIn
Retail Management - LinkedIn
Retailers Industry Management Group: Merchandising, Finance, Supply Chain, E-commerce, IT Technology - LinkedIn
The RILA Women in Supply Chain Network - LinkedIn


American Public University System, American Public University, and American Military University are not affiliated with American University or the U.S. Military. American Public University System (APUS) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). © 2016 American Public University System | 111 W. Congress Street, Charles Town, WV 25414 | Toll Free: 1-877-755-2787 | Privacy Policy | Terms