An average Retail Sales Associate in the United States can expect to take home roughly $10.06 per hour. Individual bonuses, profit sharing and commission for Retail Sales Associates — as high as $6K, $4K and $24K, respectively — each contribute to the degree of variation within overall compensation, ranging from $17K to $36K. While the particular city and tenure impact pay for this group, the particular firm is the most influential factor. Most Retail Sales Associates like their work and job satisfaction is high. Although the greater part lack health benefits of any kind, more than a third do enjoy medical insurance, and just under one in three get dental coverage, too. Women make up a slight majority of Retail Sales Associates (58 percent) survey respondents. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$17,770 - $59,428
$18K
$34K
$59K
MEDIAN: $33,935
10%
50%
90%

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$8.12 - $14.54
$8
$10
$15
MEDIAN: $10.06
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$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$17,770 - $59,428  
   
Bonus
$99.86 - $5,781  
Profit Sharing
$57.95 - $3,606  
Commission
$0.00 - $24,329  
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).
)
$16,997 - $36,029  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 391
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$9$18$27
Hourly Rate
$8.12 - $14.54  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.05 - $7.81  
Overtime
$8.45 - $24.59  
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$18K$36K$54K
Bonus
$99.86 - $5,781  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $24,329  
Profit Sharing
$57.95 - $3,606  
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).
)
$16,997 - $36,029  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 4,558

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United States (change)

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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

  • 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.
  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Retail Sales Associate


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Though some Retail Sales Associates move into positions like Registered Nurse (where the average salary is $56K), this progression is not the norm. A common career progression for a Retail Sales Associate is to become a Retail Store Assistant Manager or a Retail Store Manager. Compared to Retail Sales Associates, the first group earns $11K more on average, and the second group earns $19K more.

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., Target Corporation, and T-Mobile, Inc. are top-notch employers for Retail Sales Associates in this area. Retail Sales Associates seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Verizon Wireless, where the median salary comes to $43K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($21K) and those starting out ($62K) creates a rather diverse pay scale. Retail Sales Associates can also look forward to large paychecks at T-Mobile, Inc. ($33K), Nordstrom, Inc. ($26K), and Lowe's Home Improvement Inc. ($26K).

Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $16K to just $25K — but JCPenney offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $19K. Walmart.com, Kohl's Department Stores Inc, and Macy's, Inc. also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $19K, $19K, and $20K.

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate


Retail Sales Associates seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Sales Management, Customer Relationship Management, Inside Sales, and Account Sales are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 15 percent and 17 percent. For most people, competency in Customer Service indicates knowledge of 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. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $21K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $24K. Retail Sales Associates who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $26K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Retail Sales Associate with more than 20 years of experience can earn $29K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $21,391

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

Home to some of the best pay for Retail Sales Associates, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 48 percent above the national average. Retail Sales Associates will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+32 percent), New York (+18 percent), Las Vegas (+15 percent), and Atlanta (+14 percent). Charlotte is the lowest-paying area, 3 percent south of the national average.

Retail Sales Associate Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Retail Sales Associate?

Retail Sales Associate in Portland:
"Frustrating at best..."
Pros: Seeing my regular customers is always nice. I have grown to love my coworkers as well. Working with the general public also helps develop people skills.
Cons: Horrible hours. Sometimes, I get 20 hours a week and then I will get 30 hours another week. It's very random. The management team could use a lot of work. It feels as if they hire anybody to be a manager. You often get an unhealthy mix of them and you're forced to adapt to their rules, even if the way you're doing things is right. Customers are a huge flaw in this industry, obviously. Very rude, at times. You have to either have very thick skin or you become a robot and shut off all emotion to deal with the rude ones. It's a very exhausting job.

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.

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

Key Stats for Retail Sales Associate

Gender

Female
58 %
Male
42 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 719 votes.
052
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
7%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Retail Sales Associate Salaries




National Average
$21,000


Skills That Affect Retail Sales Associate Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 719 votes.

Gender

Female
58 %
Male
42 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 36%
dental benefits
Dental: 29%
vision benefits
Vision: 25%
dental benefits
None: 60%
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