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Market trader

Alternative titles for this job include Stall holder, street trader

Market traders sell goods such as food, clothing and crafts and offer services like mobile phone repairs.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

44 to 46 variable

You could work

in your own business managing your own hours

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Market trader

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • training with a business organisation


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

Courses include:

  • Level 1 Award in Principles of Business Start Up
  • Level 2 Award in Setting Up Your Own Business
  • Level 2 Certificate in Aspects of 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 licensing rules and how to apply for one of their market stall. For example, you may have to rent a stall on a casual basis before you can apply permanently.

Other Routes

You could contact your local further education college as they may run short self-employment courses. They can also direct you to community organisations in your local area that help people who want to start their own business.

If you're 18 to 30 years old, you may be able to find help and support to set up a business through the Prince's Trust.

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.

You can find useful short courses and free resources to help you start your own business on sites like:

Professional and industry bodies

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

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • the ability to work well with others
  • persuading and negotiating skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • 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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

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
  • work out if you need to buy more stock to sell

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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

You could also move into market stall lettings and management.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

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

Level 2 Certificate Business Start-Up Online

  • Start date: 07 October 2024
  • Location: Huntingdon

Certificate in Creating a Business Start-Up

  • Start date: 26 September 2024
  • Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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