What it's really like working as a shop worker

Over 5,500 real shop workers have told us what it’s like working for their employers and what their job is really like:

Read on to see what they say.

Or skip to the bit that matters to you:

A bit of background about working as a shop worker

A shop worker might do lots of different jobs during their shift and are usually responsible for maintaining the store's appearance by keeping it clean and tidy, displaying products and restocking items.

They also spend a lot of time dealing with customers and helping shoppers find what they need and offering advice.

How much do shop workers get paid?

Age Pay range
Under 18 £4.81–10.00
18-20 £6.83–10.10
21-24 £9.18–10.53
25 or older £9.50–11.05

How old do you have to be to work as a shop worker?

You can work in a shop from the age of 16.

During term time, you can work a maximum of 12 hours a week. On Saturdays, you can work a maximum of 8 hours. That’s a full day! 

However, on both school days and Sundays, you are limited to just 2 hours. 

You also cannot work before 7 am and after 7 pm. 

During the school holiday, you can work a maximum of 35 hours a week. 

This includes a maximum of 8 hours Monday to Saturday. 

On Sunday you’re only allowed to work a maximum of 2 hours.

What do shop workers think of their job?

The good 👍

92% of shop workers say they are paid at or above the legal minimum wage.

72% of shop workers are paid above for the average pay for the type of work they do.

75% of shop workers report that they get to take proper breaks.

83% of students report this a shop is a good place to work if you’re studying.

The bad 👎

67% of shop workers say they often feel stressed at work.

78% of shop workers say they wouldn’t get paid if they were sick but scheduled to work.

67% of shop workers say they often feel stressed at work.

Do shop workers get paid breaks?

77% of shop workers say they don’t get paid breaks.

Find a shop worker jobs on Breakroom

Search for shop worker jobs here

Or check out some of the top-rated retail employers


Travis Perkins


John Lewis & Partners

Hotel Chocolat

Data used in this blog post is from 21 September 2022

Published on 21 September 2022