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Retail Sales Associate Salary

The average Retail Sales Associate in the United States earns approximately $9.37 per hour. The final incomes of Retail Sales Associates generally vary between $16K and $35K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions as high as $2K, $2K, and $21K, respectively. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the company, followed by career length and geographic location. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and more than half lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by more than a third and dental coverage is claimed by slightly less than a third. Most Retail Sales Associates are fairly content with their jobs, and work satisfaction falls in line with the national average. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$15,521 - $52,794
(Median)
$16K
$31K
$53K
MEDIAN: $31,231
10%
50%
90%

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$7.58 - $13.91
(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
$15,521 - $52,794  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,037  
Profit Sharing
$49.43 - $2,300  
Commission
$0.00 - $20,533  
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).
)
$15,894 - $34,969  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 550
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
$7.58 - $13.91  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.01 - $5.13  
Overtime
$8.76 - $22.27  
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 - $2,037  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $20,533  
Profit Sharing
$49.43 - $2,300  
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).
)
$15,894 - $34,969  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,877

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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. Typical career progression for a Retail Sales Associate involves becoming a Retail Store Assistant Manager or a Retail Store Manager, roles that pay $12K more and $20K more on average.

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 among the top companies that take on many Retail Sales Associates. Although Verizon Wireless boasts the highest average salary in town at $39K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $24K or as much as $56K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include T-Mobile, Inc., Lowe's Home Improvement Inc., and Nordstrom, Inc., where Retail Sales Associates typically earn around $27K, $26K, or $24K, respectively.

The lowest salaries can be found at Kohl's Department Stores Inc — median pay is $17K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $15K and only reaching $21K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Old Navy at $17K, The Gap Inc. at $17K, and JCPenney, where $18K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate


Retail Sales Associates seem to wield many 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, 22 percent, and 14 percent, respectively. Most people familiar with Customer Service also know 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.


For Retail Sales Associates, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $19K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $22K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Retail Sales Associates make a median salary of $25K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $27K.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Retail Sales Associates, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 31 percent above the national average. Retail Sales Associates will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+21 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), New York (+13 percent), and Chicago (+13 percent). San Antonio is the lowest-paying area, 7 percent south of the national average. On the whole, employers pay 4 percent below the median salary for those in this field in Austin and Las Vegas.

Retail Sales Associate Reviews

What is it like working as a Retail Sales Associate?

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%

Customer Service
up arrow 2%

Retail
up arrow 2%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 1%

Organizing
up arrow 1%

Spanish Language
up arrow 1%

Cash Handling
0%

National Average
$20,000

Sales
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1175 votes.

Gender

Female
59 %
Male
41 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
50%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 37% dental benefits Dental: 28%
vision benefits Vision: 21% employee benefits None: 61%