Pricing specialists work for retail stores, determining both regular and promotional prices for their store's products. They also address pricing-related inquiries from a number of sources, such as buyers and marketers. This job typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent; however, many employers prefer candidates with at least an associate's degree.
|Required Education||Associate's degree or higher often preferred|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||32% for all market research analysts and marketing specialists*|
|Median Salary (2014)||$49,213 for pricing specialists**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com
Pricing specialists employ pricing strategies that meet their stores' standards, policies and procedures. They ensure that salespeople and marketing employees comply with pricing changes. They also make sure that markdowns and store signage changes are accurately applied in an efficient and timely manner.
Pricing specialists frequently monitor store pricing systems, advertising media and registers for pricing accuracy. They help their stores drive sales, increase profits, meet productivity standards and remain competitive with similar retailers. They also help ensure that customers have smooth and enjoyable shopping experiences.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), market research analysts and marketing specialists, including pricing specialists, are expected to see a 32% increase in jobs from 2012 to 2022, due largely to a heightened emphasis on data and market research to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing plans. Salaries for these specialists can vary, but the BLS reports a median annual income of $60,800 for those workers, as of May 2013. Reports from PayScale.com in December 2014 indicate that pricing specialists made a median salary of $49,213.
Some job duties that pricing specialists may perform include moving merchandise during store promotions to drive sales, directing employees to apply markdowns or make signage changes, executing marketing changes, ensuring that the store is cleaned daily and preventing loss of merchandise. Some pricing specialists are trained in multiple areas so that they can help out in any store department on an as-needed basis.
Leadership duties are common. Pricing specialists may be responsible for ensuring productivity and efficiency of employees, as well as enforcing store policies and procedures. They must frequently communicate with store managers and other departmental leaders to acknowledge successes and solve problems. Because pricing changes need to be made before a store's operating hours, pricing specialists may open the store.
There are usually no formal education requirements for pricing specialists. However, some employers prefer job applicants who hold an associate's degree in any subject. Other employers seek prospective pricing specialists with an associate's degree in business, marketing, finance or a related area. A bachelor's degree in one of these subjects could make job applicants even more competitive and open up the most employment opportunities.
Most employers require that job applicants have previous experience working in retail, and some also require previous experience in marketing. Pricing specialists should have strong communication and customer service skills. They should be comfortable working both within a team and independently. They also should be able to work with computers and be proficient in spreadsheet and database programs, such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access, respectively. Written communication and mathematics skills may be helpful as well.