Retail Sales Associate Salary

Earnings for Retail Sales Associates in the United States come in at around $9.79 per hour on average. Cash earnings of Retail Sales Associates — including $3K in bonuses, $5K in profit sharing proceeds, and $22K in commissions near the top of the pay scale — stretch from approximately $16K to approximately $36K depending on individual performance. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by the particular city and experience level. Most people in this profession are content with their work, and moderate levels of job satisfaction are reported. Although around two in five have medical coverage and just under one in three have dental coverage, more than half claim no health benefits at all. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$18,623 - $54,549
(Median)
$19K
$32K
$55K
MEDIAN: $32,180
10%
50%
90%

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$7.80 - $14.47
(Median)
$7
$9
$14
MEDIAN: $9.00
10%
50%
90%

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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$19K$38K$57K
Salary
$18,623 - $54,549  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,922  
Profit Sharing
$45.00 - $4,913  
Commission
$0.00 - $22,216  
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).
)
$16,409 - $36,401  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 519
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
$7.80 - $14.47  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.01 - $9.70  
Overtime
$7.55 - $23.07  
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 - $2,922  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $22,216  
Profit Sharing
$45.00 - $4,913  
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).
)
$16,409 - $36,401  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 5,325
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Job Description for Retail Sales Associate

A retail sales associate works in the customer areas of a retail store. The store uses these workers to help maintain the location's orderliness and appearance, as well as assist shoppers in locating specific merchandise and with questions about sales or special discounts. Additionally, many stores ask their retail associates to perform duties such as restocking inventory throughout a shift. In some stores, associates are cross-trained as cashiers and may be called upon to either run a register at the front of the store or at a remote department location during busy hours. Typically, associates help with store-wide sales campaigns and special promotions; they must be knowledgeable about these campaigns and provide customers with assistance regarding sale items, discounts and customer rewards programs.

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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 Retail Sales Associates do not often become Registered Nurses, the job pays $55K per year on average. Retail Sales Associates most often move into positions as Retail Store Assistant Managers or Retail Store Managers; those groups report median salaries that are $11K 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, Macy's, Inc., The Home Depot Inc., Target Corporation, and T-Mobile, Inc. are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Retail Sales Associates. The biggest paychecks can be found at Verizon Wireless — the median salary there is $40K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $23K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $57K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include T-Mobile, Inc., Nordstrom, Inc., and Lowe's Home Improvement Inc., where Retail Sales Associates typically earn around $30K, $25K, or $25K, respectively.

Salaries are easily beat at Kmart Corporation, where median pay comes to just $16K, the lowest in the field. What's more, with base pay starting at $15K and ending at $20K, range in salary is rather small. JCPenney, Sears Holdings Corporation and Kohl's Department Stores Inc are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, all showing salaries around $19K.

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate


Retail Sales Associates report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Customer Relationship Management, Inside Sales, Sales Management, and Account Sales are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 15 percent and 19 percent. Most people who know 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.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $20K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $23K. For Retail Sales Associates, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $26K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $27K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $20,975

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Retail Sales Associates, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 30 percent greater than the national average. Retail Sales Associates will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+24 percent), New York (+17 percent), Portland (+15 percent), and Chicago (+14 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in San Antonio, 8 percent below the national average.

Retail Sales Associate Reviews

What is it like working as a Retail Sales Associate?

Retail Sales Associate in Bellevue:
"Sales associate responsibilities."
Pros: I enjoyed helping women choose clothing which best suited each individual. Many women needed someone to choose clothing for them as they weren't aware of what looked best on them. Most were very appreciative and kind.
Cons: Women who were unfriendly and had no intention of buying......just killing time trying on clothing and leaving tons of clothing in piles in the dressing room. And women who would order many items on line and return as many as 20 items.

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.

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Experience Affects Retail Sales Associate Salaries




National Average
$21,000


Skills That Affect Retail Sales Associate Salaries





Customer Relations
up arrow 4%

Client Interaction
up arrow 4%

Inventory Management
up arrow 4%

Training
up arrow 2%

Customer Service
0%

Merchandising
0%

Oral / Verbal Communication
0%

Spanish Language
0%

National Average
$21,000

Retail
up arrow 1%

Cash Handling
up arrow 1%

Organizing
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 941 votes.

Gender

Female
59 %
Male
41 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 39%
dental benefits
Dental: 30%
medical benefits
Vision: 23%
dental benefits
None: 59%
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