How to Become a Merchandiser?

Are you thinking of becoming a Merchandiser or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Merchandiser, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Merchandiser job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Merchandiser

Would you like a career as a merchandiser? Are you considering moving into merchandising as a mid-career move? Find out the best ways to become a merchandiser, from the skills you'll need to the job experience you should have. Explore job openings for merchandisers as well as chances to transition into similar fields and opportunities. A merchandiser is someone who combines retail knowledge, creativity, and marketing skills. If you're starting your path towards being a merchandiser, here are four steps that can help you along the way:

Complete high school or get your GED.

The best way to start your merchandising career path is to get experience in the retail industry, and for that, you need a bit of school. Careers in merchandising don't require much formal education, but you should finish high school or get your GED before starting your journey. Some schools offer classes in marketing, business, or home economics; courses like these will help you learn the ins and outs of retail before you graduate. Make sure to take an art course or two, also. Merchandisers need to be creative and have a good eye for detail, which an art course can teach you.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Merchandiser?

85% of people working as a Merchandiser earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Merchandiser?

  • Planogram
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Excellent Communication
  • Meet Deadlines
  • Conducting
  • Written Communication
  • Brochures
  • VERBAL Communication
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Merchandiser in the United States.

Gain job experience.

Get a job in retail once you graduate. You need to build up your retail knowledge before you can move into a merchandiser job. Cashier jobs, stockroom jobs, and customer service jobs will help you develop skills you'll use when you become a merchandiser. Once you're employed at a company, look for internal merchandiser jobs that you can apply for.

If you aren't sure what type of store you'd like to work in, this is a great chance for you to gain work experience in a few locations to see which suits you best. For example, you might focus on clothing, technology, kitchenware, or a big-box store. Start working in an environment similar to the one you'd like your career to be in so that you gain industry knowledge specific to that type of retail.


Consider getting a degree.

While a two- or four-year degree is not necessary for a career as a merchandiser, getting higher education can help you move into more senior roles. Merchandisers need experience in marketing and communication, and a degree can help you stand out from other applicants with similar work experience and job skills.

If a degree isn't something you want, taking a few courses in marketing at a community college can also boost your resume. Understanding the basics of marketing will help you make decisions when deciding how and where to place products in retail environments.


Develop your career.

Once you've landed a job as a merchandiser, your work isn't done. You need to stay updated on industry trends and always look for new ways to display products. Keep working on your communication skills, too, because you'll need to liaise with product development and individual stores.

Merchandiser Career Path


0 - 1Years of Experience
$34K - $45K /yrMost Likely Range
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40% advanced to

Senior Merchandiser

2 - 4Years of Experience
$70K - $111K /yrMost Likely Range
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6% advanced to

Lead Merchandiser

5 - 7Years of Experience
$36K - $51K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Merchandiser Career Path

Junior Merchandiser
Senior Merchandiser
Lead Merchandiser
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Related Careers in the Retail & Food Services Industry

Interested in other Retail & Food Services careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Merchandiser skills. Discover some of the most common Merchandiser career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Visual Merchandiser
13% skills overlap
8% transitioned to Visual Merchandiser