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Visual merchandiser

Visual merchandisers design eye-catching product displays and store layouts to encourage sales.

Annual Salary

£19,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 38 a week

You could work: evenings;

Future employment

There will be 1.5% fewer Visual merchandiser jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • design product displays and floor plans, or follow plans from head office
  • draw designs and plans by hand or on computer
  • use space and lighting creatively
  • source materials like models, props, signs and equipment
  • arrange displays and dress dummies
  • teach sales staff how to display goods
  • produce brand guidelines so all stores have the same look and feel

Working environment

You could work at a store.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, hot and cramped.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • a specialised distance learning course

You could do a college course before looking for a trainee job with a retailer. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fashion Retail
  • Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Visual Merchandising
  • Level 4 Diploma in Merchandising for Fashion Retail
  • Level 4 Diploma in Visual Merchandising

Some people get into visual merchandising after doing art and design courses like fashion design or textiles.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
For more information

You may be able to gain relevant experience and qualifications through an intermediate retailer, an assistant buyer-merchandiser or retail supervisor higher apprenticeships.

You could get involved with visual merchandising and use your experience to get onto a specialist course or into trainee roles.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could start as a retail worker and take on more responsibility for displays and merchandising as your experience grows.

Direct application

You may be able to apply directly for jobs if you have retail experience and can show enthusiasm and a flair for display design.

Other routes

You can do a Certificate in Display and Visual Merchandising through the British Display Society. This is a distance learning course and could help whether you're working in retail or looking for your first job.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could become a member of the British Display Society for professional development and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about working in visual merchandising from the Fashion Retail Academy.

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With experience, you could progress to team leader, then visual merchandising manager.

You could also move into retail, exhibition or interior design, or set up your own business creating one-off displays.

You could become a freelance visual merchandiser and work for lots of different companies on a consultancy basis.

You can find out more about working in visual merchandising from Creative Choices and the Fashion Retail Academy.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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