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THE JOB DEMONSTRATORS show new products to the public. "Line" Demonstrators bring out a specific line of products and are hired by a distributor. "General" Demonstrators handle a number of products and work for demonstration market Research firms, temporary personnel agencies, and department stores. Demonstrators usually show small appliances and food items, such as cook ware, knives, or vacuum cleaners. Housewares demonstrators usually work at department stores. Food demonstrators work in grocery stores. Demonstrators set up or check the product display and demonstration area to make sure that the product is attractively presented. They keep the area neat while working and put things away at the end of the demonstration. They explain the product to customers and answer questions. Although demonstrators are not salespersons, they give out discount tickets, product samples, brochures and fliers, and give information to the public about the product to persuade them to buy it. When demonstrating food or cooking products, they prepare and serve food to the public. Demonstrators generally are asked to count the number of their products on the shelves or displays at the beginning and close of day. They keep records of the number of questions received and the number of coupons and products given away, they also note weather conditions or other information that is helpful to the store owner or distributor in deciding if the promotional efforts or products are worthwhile. Demonstrators learn all about the products they are representing. They may train other Demonstrators, or inform general sales personnel about their product line. Based on their experience, the Demonstrator may recommend how to improve the product and provide better service to customers. Some Demonstrators use visual aids such as charts, slides, or films in the demonstration. They may lead tours of plants where a product is made. WORKING CONDITIONS Working conditions depend on where the demonstration is made. Most department stores are well-lit and attractive, with air conditioning. Permanent store employees often have a work area and storage space for their equipment and supplies. Temporary or "line'' Demonstrators work at different locations. They must be strong enough to set up and tear down their demonstrations every day and carry their own equipment and supplies. Food Demonstrators are usually asked to supply a card table, table cloth, crock pot or electric skillet, cooking utensils, and other equipment. The areas designated by the store management for demonstrations may be cold or drafty. On occasion, Demonstrators work outside in a plaza or from a truck that is parked at a temporary site. Most Demonstrators stand on their feet for long hours and work under fluorescent lights. They may sometimes get cuts or minor burns. The work can get boring during slow shopping periods. Customers can be rude or mean at times. Demonstrators working for a specific product line or in a department or specialty store are expected to dress well and be neatly groomed. Food Demonstrators working in grocery stores that are under union contract must join the Retail Clerks Union within 30 days of being hired. EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK Demonstrators are a part of the bigger occupational group of Demonstrators, Promoters, and Models. The California Projections of Employment, published by the Labor Market Information Division of the Employment Development Department, estimates that the number of Demonstrators in California will reach 18,740 by 2005, an increase in new jobs of 6,300 over the number there was in 1993. There will also be an estimated 6,290 job openings due to people retiring or leaving the occupation. Added to the 6,300 new jobs expected, this makes for an estimated total of 12,590 job opportunities through 2005. (These figures do not include self-employment nor openings due to turnover.) One of the reasons for the expected growth is that sales have been found to go up when Demonstrators are used. Also, there has been growth in retail trade due to the rise in California's population. Many job openings in the next few years will also be created by the need to replace workers who leave their jobs. Most employers report it is not difficult to find persons qualified to do this work. WAGES, HOURS, AND FRINGE BENEFITS Wages go from approximately minimum wage to $9.00 an hour and include set-up and take-down time. Union wages are between $8.00 and $8.70 an hour depending on the employer contract. Most contracts provide for a pension contribution. Department stores have a benefits package for permanent employees who work at least 20 hours per week. ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS AND TRAINING Employers look for applicants who can speak well and are able to sell products. Demonstrators should have enthusiastic, outgoing personalities and enjoy working with the public. They are expected to be well groomed. They must be able to organize their work and fill out the required paper work with very little supervision. Employers that hire Demonstrators for a specific line of products may prefer a person who does creative cooking or has other skills that help show off a product. Department stores and distributors provide training to help their employees know their products and selling techniques. ADVANCEMENT Promotional opportunities for Demonstrators are limited. Those working for department stores or distributors may move into sales positions and later to other jobs with the company. Others may choose to become product representatives for cosmetic lines or houseware goods or use the job as a stepping stone to other positions requiring the ability to work with people. FINDING THE JOB People interested in part-time temporary work should register with demonstrator-market Research firms, temporary personnel agencies, or the local retail clerks union. Those interested in permanent part-time employment should apply at department stores, or to the local distributor for a product line of particular interest. Asking Demonstrators how and where they found their job is one way of identifying potential employers for this type of work. Checking ads in the newspaper and registering with a local California Employment Development Department Workforce Services Office are other methods of finding a demonstrator job. ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION American Marketing Association 250 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 200 Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 648-0536 FAX (312) 993-7542 http://www.ama.org/index2.asp RELATED OCCUPATIONAL GUIDES Models No. 144 OCCUPATIONAL CODE REFERENCES DOT (Dictionary of Occupational Titles, 4th ed., Rev. 1) Demonstrator 297.354-010 OES (Occupational Employment Statistics) System Demonstrators, Promoters, and Models 490320 Source: State of California, Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division, Information Services Group, (916) 262-2162.Note: This is NOT a job opening. The purpose of This California Occupational Guide is to provide you with useful information to help you make career decisions. If you are searching for a job, go to:
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