Retail Sales Associate Salary

An average Retail Sales Associate in the United States can expect to take home roughly $9.53 per hour. Individual bonuses, profit sharing and commission for Retail Sales Associates — as high as $2K, $3K and $21K, respectively — each contribute to the degree of variation within overall compensation, ranging from $16K to $36K. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by career length and geography. Although over a third have medical coverage and slightly less than a third have dental coverage, more than half claim no health benefits at all. Job satisfaction is considered about average by most people in this profession. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$16,094 - $53,484
(Median)
$16K
$32K
$53K
MEDIAN: $31,833
10%
50%
90%

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$7.66 - $14.14
(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
$16,094 - $53,484  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,041  
Profit Sharing
$40.55 - $2,987  
Commission
$0.00 - $21,210  
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).
)
$16,050 - $35,652  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 534
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
$7.66 - $14.14  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.01 - $7.57  
Overtime
$8.18 - $22.44  
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 - $2,041  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $21,210  
Profit Sharing
$40.55 - $2,987  
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).
)
$16,050 - $35,652  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,450
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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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Retail Sales Associates do not often transition into Registered Nurse roles. The role averages $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.

Popular Employer Salaries for Retail Sales Associate


Retail Sales Associates flock to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, The Home Depot Inc., Macy's, Inc., Target Corporation, and Best Buy, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Although Verizon Wireless leads the field in pay with a median salary of $38K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $24K on the low end all the way up to $57K at the top. Retail Sales Associates can also look forward to large paychecks at T-Mobile, Inc. ($30K), Bloomingdales Inc. ($29K), and Lowe's Home Improvement Inc. ($25K).

Retail Sales Associates will find the worst pay at Old Navy, where the median salary crawls in at $17K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $19K, leaving little room for growth. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Kohl's Department Stores Inc ($17K), JCPenney ($18K), and The Gap Inc. ($19K).

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate


Survey results imply that Retail Sales Associates deploy a deep pool 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, 20 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. The majority of those 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.


For many Retail Sales Associates, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $19K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $22K. On average, Retail Sales Associates make $26K following one to two decades on the job. Retail Sales Associates with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $27K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Retail Sales Associates, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Retail Sales Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+23 percent), Chicago (+15 percent), Los Angeles (+14 percent), and New York (+14 percent). Falling short of the national average by 9 percent, the area with the worst salaries is San Antonio. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Miami (5 percent lower) and Austin (2 percent lower).

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.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Retail Sales Associate Salaries




National Average
$21,000


Skills That Affect Retail Sales Associate Salaries








Merchandising
up arrow 2%

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Retail
up arrow 1%

Oral / Verbal Communication
0%

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 1062 votes.

Gender

Female
60 %
Male
40 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
49%
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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