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Retail Sales Associate Salary (United States)

Retail Sales Associates in the United States take home approximately $9.25 per hour on average. Cash earnings of Retail Sales Associates can occasionally include $2K each in bonuses and profit sharing proceeds; this strong performance component causes pay grades to stretch from approximately $16K to almost $34K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by career duration and location. Most workers in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and a majority lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by over a third and dental coverage is claimed by just under one in three. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
Retail Sales Associate Salary (?
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.
)
$15,264 - $52,775
(Median)
15K
23K
31K
41K
53K
MEDIAN: $30,737
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Retail Sales Associate Salary (?
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.
)
$7.54 - $13.57
(Median)
7
9
11
14
MEDIAN: $9.00
10%
50%
75%
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
$15,264 - $52,775  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,022  
Profit Sharing
$48.75 - $2,067  
Commission
$0.00 - $20,940  
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).
)
$15,770 - $34,248  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 571
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
$7.54 - $13.57  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.01 - $4.99  
Overtime
$9.01 - $22.17  
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 - $2,022  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $20,940  
Profit Sharing
$48.75 - $2,067  
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).
)
$15,770 - $34,248  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 6,394
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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.
Read More...
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. The most common next step for a Retail Sales Associate is to become a Retail Store Assistant Manager or a Retail Store Manager. The former position pays an additional $12K per year on average, and the latter position pays $20K more per year.

Popular Employer Salaries for Retail Sales Associate

Retail Sales Associates fill the offices of leading firms Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, The Home Depot Inc., Macy's, Inc., Best Buy, and Target Corporation. Although Verizon Wireless leads the field in pay with a median salary of $38K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $23K on the low end all the way up to $56K at the top. Other big spenders include T-Mobile, Inc., Lowe's Home Improvement Inc., and The Home Depot Inc., top-paying firms where Retail Sales Associates see paychecks nearing $27K, $24K, or $23K.
Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $15K to just $19K — but Ross Stores, Inc offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $16K. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Kohl's Department Stores Inc, Old Navy, and The Gap Inc.. Their employees typically earn $17K.

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate

Retail Sales Associates report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Customer Relationship Management, Inside Sales, and Client Interaction are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 23 percent, 21 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. Most people experienced in 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. 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. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $25K in this role. Retail Sales Associates who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $26K on average.

Pay Difference By Location

up arrow 17%
up arrow 14%
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Los Angeles
up arrow 12%
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National Average
$20,000
Las Vegas
up arrow 1%
up arrow 3%
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Austin
up arrow 6%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Retail Sales Associates, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 30 percent above the national average. Retail Sales Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+17 percent), New York (+14 percent), Chicago (+14 percent), and Seattle (+12 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 6 percent south of the national average, can be found in San Antonio. Below-median salaries also turn up in Austin and Houston (6 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Retail Sales Associate Reviews

What is it like working as a Retail Sales Associate?
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
$20,000

Skills That Affect Retail Sales Associate Salaries

Retail
up arrow 4%
Merchandising
up arrow 4%
Spanish Language
up arrow 4%
Customer Service
up arrow 3%
Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 3%
Organizing
up arrow 3%
Cash Handling
up arrow 1%
Sales
0%
National Average
$20,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 1231 votes.

Gender

Female
60%
female alumni
 
Male
40%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
51%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 36% dental benefits Dental: 28%
vision benefits Vision: 21% employee benefits None: 61%