Personal Shoppers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Take classes in home economics to develop budget and consumer skills as well as learn about fashion and home design. If the class offers a sewing unit, you will learn about tailoring, and you can develop an eye for clothes sizes. Math, business, and accounting courses will prepare you for the administrative details of the job. English composition and speech classes will help you develop the communication skills you'll need for promoting your business and for advising clients about their wardrobes.

Postsecondary Training

Personal shoppers do not need formal training; however, to succeed you will need to excel at networking and sales. Many people working as personal shoppers have had experience in other areas of business. They have worked as managers in corporations or have worked as salespeople in retail stores. If you have never owned a business before and choose to be a self-employed personal shopper, classes or seminars on starting a business would be helpful. These classes will help you to devise a business plan and learn about the pros and cons of starting a business. The Small Business Administration ( offers many free or low-cost classes and resources for aspiring business owners.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no specific certification or licensing requirements for personal shoppers; however, those wishing to increase their marketability and enhance their credibility with potential clients may choose to pursue voluntary certification through the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) or the Personal Shoppers Association (PSA).

The AICI offers three levels of certification: certified image consultant, certified image professional, and certified image master. Each certification level requires proof of experience in the field, training, and passing an exam.

The PSA offers the certified personal shopper (CPS) designation. Those wishing to have CPS at the end of their name must sign the PSA code of ethics, provide proof of three years in business, be a premium member in good standing of PSA, complete the approved PSA continuing education classes, fill out an application, and pay an application fee.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Personal shoppers gain experience by helping friends and family shop for the most flattering and affordable clothing or finding the perfect gift. Use the Internet, catalogs, and in-store visits to gather information about products. 

Personal shoppers must have stellar interpersonal skills, and understand fabrics and fashion. Those who wish to go into business for themselves must be able to network and build their clientele base, while rewarding current customers for their loyalty.

Sales experience is helpful and a personal shopper should be perceptive to the needs of clients. Personal shoppers in business for themselves will also need entrepreneurial skills.