Visual Merchandisers (VMs) play a key role in brand sales strategies by attracting customers into retail settings and maximising sales by creating floor plans and 3D displays that sell the products. Window displays, shop floor, special promotions, shelving layouts and point of sales displays are some of the areas of focus.
While VMs mostly work in fashion and retail settings, there are also opportunities in museums, hotels, airports and other commercial environments.
If you have a great sense of style and a natural flair for colour and design, can work well with anyone and are prepared to work hard, you could make a great career as a VM.
- Creativity and imagination
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Good drawing and design abilities
- Cope with the physical demands of the job
- Work within a budget
- Great communication
- Work well with anyone
- Work long and sometimes antisocial hours
- Develop floor plans, window displays and promotions for approval of management
- Determine floor layout, traffic flow and display points
- Decide which items are to be displayed and how
- Design window or internal displays based on an agreed theme based on brand, season or celebration for example
- Create or buy props, accessories, signs and tickets for constructing displays
- Maintain, store and dismantle displays
- Setting up displays, dressing mannequins, moving fixtures and fittings, and updating displays as required
- Arranging lighting to highlight fixtures, displays and goods
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: High – around 50% of Visual Merchandisers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 42 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Visual Merchandisers’ salary (average) $60,000* per year (source: seek.com.au). *Salaries can vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Stable (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- You will be most of your work indoors.
- More than a third of workers reported regularly working overtime or extra hours (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
Visual Merchandisers are most in demand in these locations:
Many Visual Merchandisers work in metropolitan areas. Most Visual Merchandisers work in the Retail Trade, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industries.
How to become a Visual Merchandiser in Australia
Although formal qualifications are not required to work as a VM, having one can help you get your foot in the door.
Step 1 – Complete Year 10 with a focus on English and Maths.
Step 2 – Consider taking a VET course to build on your skills and experience, such as:
- Certificate III in Design Fundamentals
- Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising
- Diploma of Interior Design
Step 3 – Consider undertaking a university-level qualification to upskill further, such as a Bachelor of Design.
Step 4 – Start working as a Visual Merchandiser, and stay up to date with the latest trends in design and fashion.
Step 5 – Take short courses and workshops to refresh and build on your skills.
Find out more here –
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Find out more about alternative careers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need to go to university to become a Visual Merchandiser?
No – in fact you don’t technically need any formal qualifications to work as a Visual Merchandiser. However, without one you’ll need some great skills and lots of hands-on experience.
Where do Visual Merchandisers work?
Visual Merchandisers generally work in retail settings, such as shopping centres, malls, outlets, and anywhere else there are retail stores.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Visual Merchandiser?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Visual Merchandiser is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Take workshops and short courses that can help you build important skills. There are lots of courses you can take for free and even online.
- See if you can find work experience in retail. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
- Talk to a Visual Merchandiser to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in retail.