Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services

Wholesale, Retail and Personal Services covers the following sectors:


Beauty Services


Community Pharmacy




Funeral Services




Retail Services

Industry overview

These sectors make a very significant contribution to the Australian economy, which is often overlooked.

Retail, for instance, is the largest private employer in Australia, employing 1,240,600 people or 10.7 per cent of the total workforce. The sector also employs the largest proportion of 15-24 year old workers. As a result, retail is the launching pad for a large percentage of the workforce, equipping them with skills that they can use throughout their career.

The wholesale sector employs 403,800 people and in 2013-14 accounted for four per cent of our GDP.

Community pharmacies play a key part in the healthcare system providing advice on preventative health measures and disease monitoring, which eases the burden on the broader health care system. They play a particularly important role in regional communities where there is often a shortage of health care providers.

There are 55,900 people employed as hairdressers and 28,500 people working as beauty therapists in Australia as at November 2013, with both occupations predicted to grow over the coming years.

Florists employed 4,700 people at November 2013. This is projected to grow 8.7 per cent to 5,100 people by November 2018.

Both the floristry and funeral services industries provide employment for mature age workers. For example, the median age of funeral service employees is 53—significantly higher than the median age of employees across all occupations at 40.

Industry training

Nationally recognised training for the wholesale, retail and personal services industries is covered by the following training packages:

Industry sector

Retail services, wholesale and community pharmacy

Hairdressing and beauty services


Funeral services


There is an extensive range of roles in these sectors. They include:

Wholesale and retail

  • Area/Regional Manager
  • Buyer
  • Department Manager
  • Retail Service Assistant
  • Store Manager
  • Visual Merchandiser

Community pharmacy

  • Dispensary Assistant
  • Pharmacy Assistant
  • Pharmacy Supervisor

Hairdressing and beauty services

  • Hairdresser
  • Salon Manager
  • Salon Assistant
  • Session stylist
  • Trichologist  
  • Beauty Therapist
  • Nail Technician


  • Florist
  • Floristry Studio Manager
  • Floristry Assistant

Funeral services

  • Crematoria operator
  • Embalmer
  • Funeral Director
  • Funeral Director's Assistant
  • Gravedigger
  • Mortuary Assistant

Find out more about careers in the wholesale, retail and personal services industries.