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Retail Sales Associate Salary

Earnings for Retail Sales Associates in the United States come in at around $9.42 per hour on average. Total cash earnings of Retail Sales Associates range from $16K near the bottom to $35K near the top, where some exceptional performers can get $2K each from bonuses and profit sharing, plus, in very few cases, commissions exceeding $21K. The specific employer is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and years of experience are driving factors as well. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — more than half lack coverage. On the flip side, over a third have medical insurance and just under one in three receive dental plans. Most people in this profession are content with their work, and moderate levels of job satisfaction are reported. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$15,703 - $53,253
(Median)
$16K
$31K
$53K
MEDIAN: $31,498
10%
50%
90%

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$7.60 - $13.99
(Median)
$7
$9
$14
MEDIAN: $9.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$15,703 - $53,253  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,046  
Profit Sharing
$48.48 - $2,129  
Commission
$0.00 - $20,712  
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).
)
$15,933 - $35,215  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 543
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$8$16$24
Hourly Rate
$7.60 - $13.99  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.01 - $6.41  
Overtime
$8.57 - $22.33  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,046  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $20,712  
Profit Sharing
$48.48 - $2,129  
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).
)
$15,933 - $35,215  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,732

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Retail Sales Associate

The Retail Sales Associate position is the foundation of the retail industry. This is where customers are served and items are sold. Without the Retail Sales Associate, customers these days would have much less incentive to physically go to a store, as they can purchase just about anything online.

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Retail Sales 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 Sales Associate


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While not commonly seen, Retail Sales Associates who transition into a Registered Nurse position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Registered Nurses is $55K per year. Retail Sales Associates moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Retail Store Assistant Managers or Retail Store Managers. The median paychecks in those roles are $12K higher and $20K higher, respectively.

Retail Sales Associate Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Retail Sales Associate


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, The Home Depot Inc., Macy's, Inc., Best Buy, and Target Corporation are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Retail Sales Associates. Although Verizon Wireless leads the field in pay with a median salary of $37K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $24K on the low end all the way up to $57K at the top. T-Mobile, Inc., Lowe's Home Improvement Inc., and Nordstrom, Inc. also offer top salaries for Retail Sales Associates. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $26K, $25K, and $24K, respectively.

Kohl's Department Stores Inc doles out the lowest salaries in town — median pay is $17K — not to mention workers can only make as much as $21K and scope of pay is rather limited. Also approaching the lower end are Old Navy at $17K, The Gap Inc. at $18K, and JCPenney at $18K.

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate


Retail Sales Associates report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Customer Relationship Management, Inside Sales, and Sales Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 24 percent, 21 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. Those proficient in Customer Service are, more often than not, also skilled in Cash Handling and Customer Relations.

Pay by Experience Level for Retail Sales Associate

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


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $19K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $22K. For Retail Sales Associates, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $25K. Retail Sales Associates who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $27K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Retail Sales Associates, 33 percent above the national average. Retail Sales Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+23 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), New York (+14 percent), and Chicago (+13 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 8 percent south of the national average, can be found in San Antonio. Employers also pay below the national average in Las Vegas (5 percent lower) and Austin (3 percent lower).

Retail Sales Associate Reviews

What is it like working as a Retail Sales Associate?

Retail Sales Associate in New York:
Pros: Get to meet new people all day everyday. Give fashion tips, find something a person would love and feel comfortable in.
Cons: Some of the rules.

Retail Sales Associate in West Bend:
"Hard working, Must care about peoples needs."
Pros: The people and activity of the store, helping people find the product.
Cons: The job is never really done, upper management seem to be disconnected and they forgot their roots.Pressure.

Retail Sales Associate in Chicago:
"Stressful."
Pros: I associate with different people, I love making people feel good about themselves as well happy.
Cons: Unsatisfied managers and customers.

Retail Sales Associate in St. Louis:
"Rewarding."
Pros: The thing that I like most about my job is that I interact with people. I get to help people with running shoes and offer injury prevention advice and tips.
Cons: Sometimes it is really stressful.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Retail Sales Associate Salaries




National Average
$20,000


Skills That Affect Retail Sales Associate Salaries








Merchandising
up arrow 3%

Retail
up arrow 2%

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 1%

Organizing
up arrow 1%

Cash Handling
0%

Spanish Language
0%

National Average
$20,000

Sales
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1141 votes.

Gender

Female
59 %
Male
41 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 38% dental benefits Dental: 29%
vision benefits Vision: 22% employee benefits None: 60%
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