Visual merchandiser

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

Annual Salary

£12,000 to £55,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40

Future employment

There will be 2% fewer Visual merchandiser jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You'll usually work in stores' fashion and homeware departments. Your day-to-day tasks will include:

  • designing product displays and floor plans, or following plans from head office
  • drawing designs and plans by hand or computer
  • using space and lighting creatively
  • sourcing materials like models, props, signs and equipment
  • arranging displays and dressing dummies
  • teaching sales staff how to display goods
  • producing brand guidelines so all stores have the same look and feel


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

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course


You can get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship in retail visual merchandising.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Other Routes

There are no set entry requirements, but sales assistant experience could be helpful.

Qualifications in art and design, retail design, or retail skills may also be useful.

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

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

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.

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

£12,000 to £55,000

Starter salary: £12,000 to £16,000

Experienced salary: £20,000 to £25,00

These figures are a guide.

37 to 40

You'll work 37 to 40 hours a week, including evenings.

The job is physically demanding. It involves climbing ladders and lifting goods. Working in shop windows can be hot and cramped.

You could be based at head office or at a store. You could travel to different branches to set up displays.

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 member of the British Display Society to increase your job prospects.

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:

  • creativity and imagination
  • design skills to create product displays
  • technical drawing skills
  • IT skills to use computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • attention to detail
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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