Market trader


Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Five year job forecast


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

You would sell goods and services to customers from a stall or barrow on the street or in an indoor or covered market. You could sell anything from food to clothes to services like mobile phone repairs.

You’d need to negotiate to buy goods for your stall from a wholesaler and set your prices so you can make a profit.

Depending on what you’re selling and where you work, you would:

  • Go to a wholesale market early in the morning to buy fresh produce
  • Visit other suppliers or warehouses to buy goods
  • Unload your van and set up the stall
  • Stand at the stall, advertise what you are selling and encourage customers to buy
  • Weigh or measure produce
  • Take people’s money and give them their change
  • Pack up the stall at the end of the day
  • See how much you have sold and whether you need to get replacement stock
  • Keep records of the goods you have bought and sold

You’d need to keep up to date with trading laws and regulations.

Working conditions


Your hours may vary, but you’ll usually start between 5am and 7am and finish your day around 5.30pm. Saturday is the busiest day of the week, and many craft markets and farmers’ markets are also open on Sundays. You may be based at one market or work at different markets on different days. As you’ll be self-employed, it’s up to you to decide how many days you want to work, so part-time work is common. However, market managers will expect you to turn up on your agreed days.


You’ll be on your feet for long periods, often outside, and you’ll need to lift and carry goods.


A driving licence and van is usually required and you’ll spend time travelling to buy and collect goods for the stall.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Positive attitude
  • Taking responsibility
  • Negotiating
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Networking
  • Compromising
  • Building relationships
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role.

Useful subjects

Most employers value English, maths and social subject. However, most market traders are self-employed, so business, accounting and ICT subjects may be of just as much value.

You will also need

  • A driving licence
  • Public liability insurance

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that develop customer service and sales skills such as Skills for Work Retailing (SCQF level 5).

You may need to obtain a special trading licence and a stall/market pitch.