Retail Associate Salary

An average Retail Associate in the United States can expect to take home roughly $9.07 per hour. Earnings sit near $7.71 per hour on the lower side but can approach $12.25 on the higher side. While the company and geography impact pay for this group, career duration is the most influential factor. Though the majority of Retail Associates do not report high levels of job satisfaction, most are moderately content with their role. Some workers in this field — more than half — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by roughly a third and dental plans are enjoyed by approximately one-fourth. Female Retail Associates make up most of the survey respondents at 71 percent. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$7.71 - $12.25
MEDIAN: $9.00

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National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
Hourly Rate
$7.71 - $12.25  
Hourly Tips
$9.24 - $21.21  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$0.00 - $812  
$0.00 - $2,550  
Profit Sharing
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$16,066 - $26,510  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Sep 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 445
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Job Description for Retail Associate

Retail associates work in department stores, supermarkets, sporting goods stores, and other retail environments. Generally, they provide support to customers, work to meet sales goals, and offer additional items to customers ("upselling" products and services as required by their employer). They must answer customer questions and help resolve concerns in a timely and friendly manner. Additionally, retail associates help ensure display areas are neat, and they may also double as a cashier in smaller stores.


Retail Associate Tasks

  • Attend special training of products/services to understand the product features, trends or styles of the products/services.
  • Sell the organization's products/services to new or established customers typically via walk-in business.
  • Process payment for products or service, may maintain customer preference records.
  • Assist the customer in selecting products/services, answer questions and check for stock and availability.

Common Career Paths for

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Many Retail Associates move into a Retail Store Manager role, and folks who currently hold that position report a much higher median income of $40K per year.

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Popular Employer Salaries for

Ross Stores, Inc, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, Macy's, Inc., Kohl's Department Stores Inc, and Target Corporation are among the top companies that take on many Retail Associates. Salary cannot be beat at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, where median pay comes to $20K. The range seems somewhat confined, however; the lower end sits at $17K, and the higher end is not far away at $27K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Ross Group, Inc, JCPenney, and Macy's, Inc., where Retail Associates typically earn around $19K, $19K, or $18K, respectively.

Ross Stores, Inc, Target Corporation, and Macy's, Inc. are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($17K, $18K, and $18K respectively).

Popular Skills for

Retail Associates report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Customer Service, Cash Handling, Retail, and Sales are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Sales. Most people experienced in Cash Handling also know Retail.

Pay by Experience Level for

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Retail Associates do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $19K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $20K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $21K in this role. Retail Associates who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $23K.

Retail Associate Reviews

What is it like working as a Retail Associate?

Retail Associate in Denton:
Pros: They are very flexible, you are treated like family, very nice coworkers, fairly easy work.
Cons: The customers, we work a lot of holidays, and it would be nice if the pay was a little better. It's not terrible though, I think it's pretty reasonable. The upper management needs some work, but it's not that bad.

What is it like working as a Retail Associate at Macy's, Inc.?

Retail Associate in Bellevue:
"High stress on holiday time; low hourly wage; low work hours."
Pros: Meet different kinds of people everyday;

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Experience Affects Salaries

up arrow 22%

National Average

Skills That Affect Salaries

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Cash Handling
up arrow 1%


National Average

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Rated 3 out of 5
based on 75 votes.


71 %
29 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 33% dental benefits Dental: 27%
vision benefits Vision: 22% employee benefits None: 66%