Retail Sales Associate Salary

Retail Sales Associates in the United States take home an average $9.55 per hour. In the world of Retail Sales Associates, total cash compensation can vary between $16K and $35K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $2K and $3K, respectively. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the specific employer, but the particular city and years of experience are influential factors as well. The majority of individuals in this role claim moderate levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not claimed by all — a majority lack any form of coverage — but more than a third have medical insurance, and just under one in three have dental, too. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$18,512 - $52,894

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$7.67 - $14.18

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National Salary 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$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$18,512 - $52,894  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,032  
Profit Sharing
$40.55 - $3,056  
Commission
$0.00 - $20,600  
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).
)
$16,110 - $35,426  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 499
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.
)
$0$8$16$24
Hourly Rate
$7.67 - $14.18  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.01 - $7.57  
Overtime
$8.10 - $22.50  
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$16K$32K$48K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,032  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $20,600  
Profit Sharing
$40.55 - $3,056  
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).
)
$16,110 - $35,426  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,386
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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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Though it's uncommon, some Retail Sales Associates move into roles as Registered Nurses, where pay is an average $55K per year. It is quite typical for Retail Sales Associates to transition into roles as Retail Store Assistant Managers or Retail Store Managers, where reported median earnings are $12K and $20K higher per year.

Retail Sales Associate Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Retail Sales Associate


Retail Sales Associates fill the offices of leading firms Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, Macy's, Inc., The Home Depot Inc., Best Buy, and Target Corporation. Although Verizon Wireless boasts the highest average salary in town at $38K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $24K or as much as $57K. T-Mobile, Inc., Bloomingdales Inc., and Lowe's Home Improvement Inc. also offer top salaries for Retail Sales Associates. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $31K, $30K, and $25K, respectively.

With a reported median salary of only $17K, Old Navy easily takes the cake for lowest-paying firm in town; earnings are less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Kohl's Department Stores Inc, JCPenney, and Sears Holdings Corporation are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($18K, $18K, and $19K respectively).

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate


Retail Sales Associates seem to require a rather large skill set. 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, 19 percent, and 14 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Retail Sales Associates — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $19K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $22K. Retail Sales Associates with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $26K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $27K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


For Retail Sales Associates, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 30 percent above the national average. Retail Sales Associates will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+22 percent), Los Angeles (+16 percent), Chicago (+14 percent), and New York (+14 percent). San Antonio ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 10 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Miami (3 percent less) and Austin (2 percent less).

Retail Sales Associate Reviews

What is it like working as a Retail Sales Associate?

Retail Sales Associate in Tampa:
"Not horrible."
Pros: Most of the Staff are good to work with and its not hard to learn. Its nice helping people and the thrill of the sale is always fun.
Cons: Out-dated equipment and procedures make it almost impossible to keep up with inventory (Death by paper cuts). As old as this company is it should have gone paperless years ago; yet, most everything is still hand written or needing to be verified manually in redundancy. Lack luster monthly promotions, complicated rebates and no sales incentives leave one questioning the motives of Upper Management when product sales and quotas are demanded. The single fact that for all the duties and functions that are expected to be done of this position, having done all of the Required Training (plus some additional courses), completed a "mandatory" ONE YEAR term as a trainee and still be on the same compensation level as an entry level courier is slightly insulting. One might venture to say its degrading as it is necessary to remind (beg) management for the promised amount of compensation for position one has been filing.

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.

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Experience Affects Retail Sales Associate Salaries




National Average
$21,000


Skills That Affect Retail Sales Associate Salaries







Training
up arrow 4%

Merchandising
up arrow 2%

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Retail
up arrow 1%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 1%

Organizing
0%

Spanish Language
0%

National Average
$21,000

Cash Handling
up arrow 1%

Sales
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1041 votes.

Gender

Female
59 %
Male
41 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

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