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Top 11 Sales Clerk Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for sales clerks, including information on their requirements, benefits, and areas of focus.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for sales clerks in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge in the field. They also give employers confidence that the clerk has the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful at the job. Certifications can also provide a competitive edge when applying for jobs, as they show that an individual is dedicated to their profession and has taken steps to improve their skillset. Additionally, certifications may be required by certain employers and can open up more opportunities for advancement within a company.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Sales Clerks and explains how they can help to further a sales clerk's career.

What are Sales Clerk Certifications?

Sales clerk certification is an industry-recognized program designed to provide sales clerks with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in their profession. Sales clerk certification programs typically include a variety of topics such as customer service, product knowledge, sales techniques, communication skills, and more. The certification can be obtained from a variety of organizations and provides clerks with a way to demonstrate their commitment to their profession.

This type of certification can help sales clerks in several ways. By demonstrating that they have taken the time to learn the skills necessary for success in their profession, they are often viewed more positively by employers and customers alike. Furthermore, having a certification shows that the individual has taken initiative and has invested in their own professional development. Having this type of recognition can also give individuals an edge when it comes to promotions or job searches. Finally, having this type of certification may also result in higher pay or better benefits from employers who recognize the value of certified employees.

Pro Tip: Take the time to research and understand any sales clerk certification requirements for your area. Different states, provinces, and municipalities may have unique requirements that must be followed in order to legally work as a sales clerk. Make sure you are familiar with all of the necessary steps to ensure you can get certified properly.

Related: What does a Sales Clerk do?

Top 11 Sales Clerk Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Sales Clerks today.

1. Certified Professional Salesperson (CPS)

Certified Professional Salesperson (CPS) is a professional certification program for sales professionals. It is designed to recognize and reward the knowledge, skills, and abilities of experienced sales professionals. The CPS certification is offered by the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP).

It takes approximately six months to complete the CPS certification program. To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as customer service, sales strategies, negotiation techniques, and business development. Applicants must also demonstrate their commitment to ethical practices in selling.

To get started on the CPS certification process, applicants must first apply online with NASP. Once accepted into the program, applicants will receive a study guide and access to online resources that will help them prepare for the exam. Applicants are then required to take an in-person or virtual proctored exam at a testing center approved by NASP.

The cost of becoming a Certified Professional Salesperson varies depending on whether you choose to take an in-person or virtual proctored exam. An in-person proctored exam costs $395 USD while a virtual proctored exam costs $295 USD. There may also be additional fees for books or other materials needed for the program.

2. Certified Sales Professional (CSP)

Certified Sales Professional (CSP) is a certification program for sales professionals. It is designed to provide sales professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in their field. The CSP certification is offered by the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP).

The CSP certification requires applicants to complete an online course and pass a final exam. The course covers topics such as customer service, sales techniques, communication strategies, and more. The course typically takes around 8-10 weeks to complete.

To get the CSP certification, applicants must first register with NASP and pay the required fee of $395. After registering, applicants will receive access to the online course materials and can begin studying for the exam. Once they have completed the coursework, they must take and pass the final exam in order to earn their CSP certification.

The cost of obtaining a Certified Sales Professional (CSP) certification is $395 USD.

3. Certified Sales Associate (CSA)

Certified Sales Associate (CSA) is a certification program designed to give sales professionals the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their field. The certification program focuses on sales fundamentals, customer service, communication, and other key areas of sales. It is designed for those who are new to the field or have some experience but need additional training.

The CSA program typically takes about 4-6 months to complete depending on the individual’s learning pace. It consists of online courses and exams that must be completed in order to earn the certification. The courses cover topics such as customer service, communication skills, product knowledge, sales processes, marketing strategies, and more.

In order to get certified as a CSA, an individual must first register with the National Association of Certified Sales Professionals (NASP). After registering with NASP, individuals can then purchase the course materials from NASP or from any other approved provider. Once purchased, individuals can begin studying for their CSA exam at their own pace.

The cost of becoming a Certified Sales Associate varies depending on where you purchase your course materials from. Generally speaking it can range anywhere from $100-$500 USD depending on what type of material you purchase and how long it takes you to complete the program.

4. National Retail Federation's Certified Retail Associate (NRA-CRA)

The National Retail Federation's Certified Retail Associate (NRA-CRA) is an industry-recognized certification program designed to recognize retail professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the retail industry. The NRA-CRA is a comprehensive certification program that covers all aspects of retailing, including customer service, merchandising, human resources, operations management, and more.

The NRA-CRA program consists of two components: an online course and an exam. The online course is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive overview of the retail industry and its related topics. The course includes modules on customer service, operations management, merchandising strategies, human resource management, financial analysis, and more. Participants must complete the online course before taking the exam.

The exam for the NRA-CRA consists of 100 multiple choice questions that cover all aspects of retailing. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete the exam. To be eligible for certification as a Certified Retail Associate (NRA-CRA), applicants must pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher.

To obtain your NRA-CRA certification you must register for both the online course and exam through the National Retail Federation's website at www.nrf.com/certification/cra/. The cost for both components is $349 USD plus applicable taxes and fees. Once you have completed both components successfully you will receive your official NRA-CRA certificate in 6–8 weeks via mail or email.

5. Certified Professional in Retail Management (CPRM)

Certified Professional in Retail Management (CPRM) is a professional certification program that provides retail professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their field. It is offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. The CPRM certification recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the highest level of expertise in retail management, operations, customer service, and merchandising.

The CPRM program consists of three levels: Associate, Professional, and Master. Each level requires successful completion of exams that cover topics such as store operations, customer service, inventory management, marketing and promotion, financial management, personnel management, and more.

The Associate level exam can be taken online or at an NRF-approved testing center and takes approximately two hours to complete. The Professional and Master exams must be taken at an NRF-approved testing center and take approximately four hours each to complete.

The cost for taking the Associate exam is $250 for NRF members or $350 for non-members. The cost for taking the Professional exam is $400 for NRF members or $500 for non-members. The cost for taking the Master exam is $500 for NRF members or $600 for non-members.

To become certified as a CPRM you must pass all three levels of exams within five years of starting your program. Once you have successfully completed all three exams you will receive your official CPRM certificate from the NRF which will be valid for five years before renewal is required.

6. National Association of Sales Professionals' Certified Sales Manager (NASP-CSM)

The National Association of Sales Professionals’ Certified Sales Manager (NASP-CSM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of sales managers. The NASP-CSM program is designed to provide sales managers with the tools, resources, and recognition they need to be successful in their roles.

The NASP-CSM certification requires completion of a three-day course that covers topics such as sales process management, customer relationship management, team building and leadership, and sales performance management. Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive the NASP-CSM designation.

The cost for the three-day course varies by location but typically ranges from $1,500 to $2,500. Participants must also pay an additional fee for the exam which is required for certification. The exam fee is usually around $200.

Once all requirements are met, it typically takes about two weeks for participants to receive their official NASP-CSM certificate.

7. Professional Retail Store Manager Certification (PRSM)

Professional Retail Store Manager Certification (PRSM) is a certification program designed to help retail store managers develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in their role. The program is offered by the Professional Retail Store Managers Association (PRSMA).

The PRSM certification consists of three levels: Certified Professional Retail Store Manager (CPRSM), Advanced Certified Professional Retail Store Manager (ACPRSM), and Master Certified Professional Retail Store Manager (MCPRSM). Each level requires different qualifications and experience.

To obtain the CPRSM certification, applicants must have at least two years of retail management experience, complete an online course, pass an exam, and submit a portfolio demonstrating their skills. The ACPRSM requires five years of retail management experience, completion of an advanced course, passing an exam, and submission of a portfolio demonstrating their advanced skills. The MCPRSM requires seven years of retail management experience, completion of a master's-level course, passing an exam, and submission of a portfolio demonstrating their mastery-level skills.

The cost for the PRSM certification varies depending on the level you are applying for. The CPRSM costs $395; the ACPRSM costs $595; and the MCPRSM costs $795. All fees include access to courses, exams, and portfolios.

It typically takes about 6-12 months to complete all requirements for each level of PRSMA certification.

8. American Marketing Association's Certified Professional Marketer in Retailing (CPMR)

The Certified Professional Marketer in Retailing (CPMR) is a professional certification program offered by the American Marketing Association (AMA). The CPMR certification is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of expertise in retail marketing and management. It is an ideal credential for those seeking to advance their careers or demonstrate their commitment to excellence in retailing.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain criteria, including having at least two years of full-time experience in retail marketing and/or management; earning a minimum of 60 hours of continuing education credits related to retail marketing; and passing the CPMR exam. The exam covers topics such as retail strategy, customer service, merchandising, market research, pricing strategies, and more.

The process typically takes 6-12 months to complete depending on the individual’s experience and availability for study. To get started, individuals should first register with the AMA online. After registering, they will be provided with access to the CPMR Study Guide which outlines all requirements for certification and provides helpful resources for preparing for the exam.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on whether or not you are an AMA member. For members, it costs $495 USD; for non-members it costs $595 USD. This fee includes registration fees as well as access to the CPMR Study Guide and Exam Prep Course.

9. International Council of Shopping Centers' Certified Shopping Center Manager (ICSC-CSM)

The International Council of Shopping Centers’ Certified Shopping Center Manager (ICSC-CSM) is a professional certification that recognizes an individual’s expertise in shopping center management. The ICSC-CSM is the only professional designation for shopping center managers and is recognized worldwide as a mark of excellence in the field.

To qualify for the ICSC-CSM, individuals must have at least three years of shopping center management experience, complete an application and pass a written exam. The exam consists of four sections: Financial Management, Leasing & Marketing, Operations & Maintenance, and Professionalism & Ethics.

The exam takes about two hours to complete and can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing location. The cost of the exam is $150 USD plus applicable taxes and fees. Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals will receive their ICSC-CSM certification which is valid for three years.

10. National Retail Federation's Certified Merchandise Planner and Allocator (NRF-CMPA)

The National Retail Federation’s Certified Merchandise Planner and Allocator (NRF-CMPA) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of retail professionals who are responsible for planning and allocating merchandise. The NRF-CMPA certification is a way for employers to identify qualified individuals with the expertise needed to plan, forecast, and allocate merchandise.

To become certified, applicants must have at least two years of experience in merchandise planning or allocation in a retail environment. They must also successfully complete an online exam which covers topics such as inventory management, forecasting, assortment planning, pricing strategies, and more. Once the exam has been completed, applicants will receive their NRF-CMPA certification.

It typically takes about 8 weeks to get your NRF-CMPA certification after you submit your application. The cost of the program is $299 USD plus applicable taxes.

11. American Society of Customer Service Professionals' Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR).

The American Society of Customer Service Professionals (ASCS) Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in customer service. It is designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively serve customers in today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing business environment.

To become an ACSR, applicants must meet the following requirements:

1. Have at least two years of customer service experience;

2. Have completed at least 30 hours of customer service training;

3. Pass an online exam administered by ASCS; and

4. Submit a written application for review and approval by ASCS.

Once approved, applicants will receive their ACSR certificate and be listed on the ASCS website as an accredited customer service representative. The certification is valid for three years, after which time applicants must reapply for renewal.

The cost to apply for the ACSR designation varies depending on the type of membership you have with ASCS, but typically ranges from $50 - $150 USD.

Do You Really Need a Sales Clerk Certificate?

Sales clerk certificates are not mandatory for any job, but they can be quite beneficial in certain circumstances. If you are looking to become a sales clerk at a retail store, having a certificate can show employers that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to perform the job duties. The certificate can also demonstrate that you have taken the time to complete the necessary training and understand customer service best practices.

In many cases, employers prefer candidates with some kind of sales clerk certification because it shows that they have gone through an education program specifically designed for retail clerks. This type of certification can provide employers with peace of mind knowing that their new employee has the right skills to properly interact with customers, create successful sales strategies, and appropriately handle cash register transactions.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a sales clerk certificate depends on your individual situation and career goals. If you are looking to move up in the retail industry or get your foot in the door of a competitive store, having a certification could make all the difference. However, if you simply want to work part-time at a local store or do some entry-level work in retail, then it may not be necessary for you to get certified. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if getting certified is worth your time and money.

Related: Sales Clerk Resume Examples

FAQs About Sales Clerk Certifications

1. What is a Sales Clerk Certification?

Answer: A Sales Clerk Certification is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the sales clerk field.

2. How do I become certified as a Sales Clerk?

Answer: To become certified as a Sales Clerk, you must typically complete an approved training program and pass an examination administered by a recognized certifying organization.

3. What are the benefits of becoming Sales Clerk Certified?

Answer: Benefits of becoming Sales Clerk Certified include increased job opportunities, higher pay, and improved customer service skills.

4. Is there an expiration date for my Sales Clerk Certification?

Answer: Yes, most certifications have expiration dates, so it’s important to keep up with recertification requirements to maintain your certification status.

5. Where can I find more information about Sales Clerk Certifications?

Answer: You can find more information about Sales Clerk Certifications at professional organizations such as the National Association of Certified Professional Clerks (NACPC). Additionally, many employers offer on-the-job training programs that can help you prepare for certification exams.