How to become a market trader

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could do a college course, which may help if you're setting up your own business. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Business Start Up
  • Level 2 Certificate in Preparing to Set Up in a New Business

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route.

More Information


You could start by working on a stall part time or at car boot sales. You'll learn on the job from experienced traders, sharing their knowledge and watching their sales methods. Once you've got experience, you could apply to set up your own stall.

Direct Application

You can contact your local council for information on how they let their market stalls, licensing requirements and how to apply. For example, you may have to rent a stall on a casual basis before you can apply for a permanent pitch.

More Information

Career tips

Do your research on what sells well. You may have an advantage if you're offering something different from other traders.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the National Market Traders Federation for advice and training to support your business.

Further information

You can get more advice about becoming a market trader and setting up your business through the National Market Traders Federation.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have insurance

Depending on where you work, you’ll need to apply to your local council for:

If you're selling food, you'll need to:

You'll usually need a driving licence and your own car or van.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a typical day you might:

  • visit suppliers to buy products and agree prices
  • unload your van and set up your stall
  • encourage customers to buy
  • take money for goods and give out change
  • keep records of goods bought and sold
  • pack up your stall at the end of each day
  • stocktake

Working environment

You could work on a market stall.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

You could expand your business by taking on staff and starting up new stalls.

You could also move into market management.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a market trader right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Certificate in Skills for Retail

  • Start date: 01 November 2020
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

Certificate in Skills for Retail

  • Start date: 01 October 2020
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Get help using this service

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