Careers Involving Shopping

Jobs for People Who Like Spending Someone Else's Money.

Woman walking in the mall with her hand full of shopping bags.
••• Daly and Newton / Getty Images

Do you like shopping but don't have an unlimited amount of money to spare? Fortunately, some people have the opposite problem: they have financial resources but no desire to make their own purchases. You can actually get paid to purchase things without spending a dime of your own cash. Take a look at these six careers involving shopping, but with other people's money instead of your own.

1. Interior Designer

How would you like to choose furniture, paint, rugs, and accessories without spending a penny of your own money? If you've ever lamented the fact that you have but one home to decorate (and limited resources to do it) you may enjoy working as an interior designer. Many homes and businesses can benefit from your sense of style.

  • Required Education / Training: Certificate, associate's degree, or a bachelor's degree
  • Median Annual Salary (2018): $53,370
  • Number of People Employed (2018): 75,400
  • Projected Employment (2018-2028): 4% growth—the average growth of all occupations is 5%

2. Architect

Instead of choosing the furnishings for the inside of a home or business, perhaps you'd enjoy designing the building itself. As an architect, you would make decisions regarding a building's style and function. You would also specify materials to be used in its construction.

  • Required Education / Training: Bachelor's or master's degree in architecture which can take between five and eight years depending on the program you choose
  • Median Annual Salary (2018): $79,380
  • Number of People Employed (2018): 133,900
  • Projected Employment (2018-2028): 8%growth—the average growth of all occupations is 5%

3. Event Planner

You may love entertaining but how many parties can you throw? After all, you're not made of money. Did you know you can actually earn a living by throwing other people's parties? In addition to arranging private parties, an event planner also coordinates corporate events like business meetings, trade shows, and conventions. If you worked in this occupation, you would have to select venues and hire caterers and entertainers.

  • Required Education: While some people who work in this field do not have a college degree, many employers prefer to hire those who have a degree in hospitality or a related major.
  • Median Annual Salary (2018): $49,370
  • Number of People Employed (2018): 134,100
  • Projected Employment (2018-2028): 7%—the average growth of all occupations is 5%

4. Travel Agent

Do you dream of traveling the world and then awaken to the fact that you have neither the free time or the money to do that? You could become a travel agent and plan vacations for other people. While the Internet makes it simpler for people to make their own travel plans, there are many individuals who prefer to have professional help. Regardless of how easy it is to book travel online, it still takes time, a resource that sometimes is in as short supply as money for many people. Besides, travel agents know how to find all the good deals.

  • Required Education: While only a high school diploma is required for this occupation, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have some formal training.
  • Median Annual Salary (2018): $38,700
  • Number of People Employed (2018): 78,800
  • Projected Employment (2018-2028): -6%—the average growth of all occupations is 5%

5. Retail Buyer

What occupation can be more about spending someone else's money than this one? Retail buyers purchase merchandise—including clothing, shoes, accessories, electronics, and toys—on behalf of retail stores for resale to customers. Buyers are employed in many industries and the requirement and salary ranges will vary by the industry. The information presented is based on an average of all buyers, purchasing managers, and purchasing agents.

  • Required Education: HS Diploma or Bachelor's degree depending on the industry and the size of the organization
  • Median Annual Salary (2018): $67,600
  • Number of People Employed (2018): 503,900
  • Projected Employment (2018-2028): -6%—the average growth of all occupations is 5%

Gig Economy Personal Shopper

Personal shoppers fall under the category of gig economy workers. This means you are contracted to work on an as-needed basis. Data for this category of workers is hard to come by, but the BLS shows about 7% of these workers are independent contractors and may account for up to 4% of all workers in the field. As an example, a Mystery Shopper typically earns between $5 and $20 per trip

Personal shoppers work gigs for people who don't have time or physical ability for shopping—or they don't enjoy the whole shopping experience. These clients will be relying on your expertise to help make their lives easier. 

As a personal shopper, you get to choose items—clothing and accessories, giftware, and even groceries—for other people. Of course, you can't buy what you would like, but rather what you think your clients would want—based on the information you gather from them.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,  Occupational Outlook Handbook and Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor,  O*NET Online.