Retail Associate Salary

Retail Associates in the United States take home an average $9.05 per hour. Earnings sit near $7.65 per hour on the lower side but can approach $12.45 on the higher side. While the specific employer and location 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. While some workers in this profession — more than half — do not have any health coverage, over a third do receive medical benefits and just under a third have dental insurance.

$7.65 - $12.45

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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
$7.65 - $12.45  
$9.00 - $21.42  
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 - $816  
$0.00 - $2,959  
Profit Sharing
$294.79 - $712  
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).
$15,951 - $27,426  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 405
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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 Retail Associate

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Advancing into a Retail Store Manager role seems to be a popular career move for Retail Associates, and folks who currently work in the latter position report a notably larger median income of $40K per year.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Retail Associate

Retail Associates fill the offices of leading firms Ross Stores, Inc, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, Macy's, Inc., Kohl's Department Stores Inc, and Target Corporation. Retail Associates in search of the best pay head to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, where the median salary rolls in at $20K. Although pay is top-notch overall, it does seem to be curbed at $27K, which isn't dramatically higher than the lower-end figure of $17K.

Employees at Ross Stores, Inc take home the smallest paychecks, and $17K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $15K and quickly nearing the top at only $25K.

Popular Skills for Retail Associate

Retail Associates who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional 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 Retail Associate

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. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $19K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $20K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Retail Associates make a median salary of $21K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Retail Associates with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $23K.

Retail Associate Reviews

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 Retail Associate Salaries

up arrow 22%

National Average

Skills That Affect Retail Associate Salaries

Customer Service
up arrow 2%

Cash Handling
up arrow 1%


National Average

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 74 votes.


70 %
30 %

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: 35% dental benefits Dental: 28%
vision benefits Vision: 22% employee benefits None: 65%