When you see soap detergents arranged in colorful patterns, and aisle displays with promotional banners and shelf tags, it's often the work of field merchandisers. They work for manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, ordering products for stores, stocking shelves and ensuring products are arranged according to store plans. If you want to work as a field merchandiser, contact consumer product, beverage and greeting card companies, which are most likely to need your services. Average annual salaries are usually above $35,000 per year.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary for a field merchandiser was $38,000 in 2013, according to the job website Simply Hired. Requirements for the job usually include a high school education, dependable transportation and the ability to lift 30 to 50 pounds, as cases of products can be quite heavy. You also need strong interpersonal skills, as you will be communicating with retail store general and department managers. Time management skills are required because you'll likely need to complete assignments in multiple stores each day.
Salary by State or District
Average salaries for field merchandisers can vary significantly by state or district. Some of the highest salaries, ranging about $60,000 per year, were in the District of Columbia, according to Simply Hired. If you worked in Massachusetts and New York, you would earn $46,000 and $45,000 per year, respectively. And in Colorado, your income would be closer to the national average at $40,000 annually. Field merchandisers in Pennsylvania and South Carolina made somewhat less -- $37,000 and $33,000 per year, respectively.
Field merchandisers, as other professionals, earn more with experience. If your base salary is $40,000 per year when you start and you get 3 percent raises two years in a row, you would be making $42,436 annually. These are just merit increases. You might increase your salary exponentially after a few years by accepting a job with a larger manufacturer, as they typically have bigger budgets for merchandisers. Geographical location is another factor in field merchandiser salaries, as it costs more to live in states such as New York and Massachusetts.
Most field merchandisers work with outside or retail sales departments. Therefore, your number of job opportunities are likely commensurate with these professions. That said, jobs for wholesale and manufacturing sales reps and retail sales workers are expected to increase 16 and 17 percent, respectively, over the decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is about average. Consider contacting independent companies that sell products for multiple companies in industries like consumer products, as more manufacturers are using these companies to sell their products.