Mother and son paying cashier at supermarket

Differences between Verkäufer/in in Einzelhandel and Einzelhandelskaufmann/frau

Mother and son paying cashier at supermarket

Germany generally offers numerous Ausbildungen and some can be hard to differentiate. One such example is Verkäufer/in in Einzelhandel also named Verkäufer/in  and Einzelhandelskaufmann/frau.

At a glance, duties of a Verkäufer/in in Einzelhandel and those of an Einzelhandelskaufmann/frau seem pretty similar but in reality, they are two professions with separate training needs and responsibilities.

Both of these involve working in retail, trying to translate this to English pretty much gives the equivalent of salesperson or retailer. But that doesn’t give a clear picture on what each of these do.


  • Both involve working directly with clients who buy your product
  • Involves advising clients on the products
  • Requires one to be friendly and have good people skills
  • Requires you to be well informed on the products being sold at that shop
  • Both have no legal requirement to hold a schulische Abschluss, meaning drop-outs may also sign up for either of these

Verkäuferin and Einzelhandelskauffrau may sometimes take up the same jobs and even share similar duties. During the Ausbildung, they actually have the exact same tasks, though the Verkäufer graduate earlier.

If you aren’t looking to work directly with clients, then none of this is for you, though you might have a bit of hope with the Einzelhandelskaufmann/frau.

For those looking out for leadership positions, the option is to train as an Einzelhandelskauffrau, while those with a bias to sales and customer service should consider training as Verkäuferin

However, the main difference in duties is that the Einzelhandelskauffrau are more  Verkäuferin on the other hand tend to do a lot of the manual work of organising products in the isles and arranging them on shelves in the stores.

Differences between Verkäufer/in in Einzelhandel and Einzelhandelskaufmann/frau

The main difference between the two professions is primarily the training period and subsequent compensation.

Job DescriptionMay take up accounting tasks but don't have to. Mainly involved in the practicalities of running a store from arranging shelves, being a cashier, organising the warehouse and taking stock.Mainly nvolved in accounting, bookkeeping, paperwork and making purchase orders. They also have a higher probability of joining management and can also work as an accounts officer.
Length of Training2 years may be reduced to 12 or 18 months3 years may be reduced to 2 or 2.5 years
Course ContentHave a very short module involving accounting. This is basically the first step of becoming an Einzelhandelskaufmann/frauFocus largely on accounting. Though the Ausbildung tasks are very similar
Requirements to start the AusbildungHas no requirement for a "schulische Abschluss". But according to BiBB, 50% hold a Hauptschulabschluss; 30% hold a Realschulabschluss and 20% hold no "schulische" AbschlussAlso has no requirement for a "schulische Abschluss". Majority (50%) however hold a Realschulabschluss, 30% hold a Hauptschulabschluss and 20% hold no "schulische" Abschluss.
Gross Income during the Ausbildung1st year - €550-730
2nd year - €590-820
1st year - €550-950
2nd year - €590-1050
3rd year - €710-1200
Start Income after Ausbildung 1470 bis 1800 Euro1500 bis 2200 Euro
Self-Employment Their training doesn't allow them to register for self-employment/selbstständigkeitcan own, register and run a business, by registering for self-employment in the Handelsregister

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