Retail Sales Associate Salary

Retail Sales Associates in the United States take home approximately $9.51 per hour on average. With bonuses occasionally running north of $2K, profit sharing proceeds sometimes surpassing $3K, and a few commissions as high as $21K, total income for Retail Sales Associates can range between $16K and $35K according to individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the particular firm, though tenure and location have a (lesser) impact as well. Most Retail Sales Associates are fairly content with their jobs, and work satisfaction falls in line with the national average. Health benefits are not claimed by all — the greater part lack any form of coverage — but over a third have medical insurance, and just under one in three have dental, too. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$16,061 - $53,535
(Median)
$16K
$32K
$54K
MEDIAN: $31,931
10%
50%
90%

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$7.65 - $14.10
(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
$16,061 - $53,535  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,045  
Profit Sharing
$40.85 - $2,980  
Commission
$0.00 - $20,728  
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).
)
$16,033 - $35,437  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 532
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
$7.65 - $14.10  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.01 - $7.65  
Overtime
$8.19 - $22.42  
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 - $2,045  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $20,728  
Profit Sharing
$40.85 - $2,980  
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).
)
$16,033 - $35,437  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 5,476
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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 who advance into the role of a Registered Nurse are fairly uncommon. Registered Nurses on average earn $55K per year. Career advancement for the typical Retail Sales Associate often leads to becoming a Retail Store Assistant Manager or a Retail Store Manager; median salaries in these positions are $12K higher and $20K higher, respectively.

Popular Employer Salaries for Retail Sales Associate


Many Retail Sales Associates can be found at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, The Home Depot Inc., Macy's, Inc., Best Buy, and Target Corporation, firms that are at the top of the field. For Retail Sales Associates, comfortable salaries can be found at Verizon Wireless; in fact, average earnings are around $38K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($24K versus $57K) is great. Bloomingdales Inc., T-Mobile, Inc., and Lowe's Home Improvement Inc. are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Retail Sales Associates earning around $29K, $28K, or $25K at each firm, respectively.

With a median employee salary of $17K, Old Navy pays significantly less than its competitors (less than half of the top paying company's rate). Kohl's Department Stores Inc, JCPenney, and Sears Holdings Corporation also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $18K, $18K, and $19K.

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set 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, 19 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. Those educated in Customer Service tend to be well versed 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.


Retail Sales Associates with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $19K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $22K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Retail Sales Associates bring in $25K after working for 10 to 20 years. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $27K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Francisco is home to an above-average pay rate for Retail Sales Associates, 30 percent higher than the national average. Retail Sales Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+23 percent), Chicago (+15 percent), San Diego (+14 percent), and New York (+13 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 9 percent south of the national average, can be found in San Antonio. Employers in Miami and Austin also lean toward paying below-median salaries (3 percent lower and 2 percent lower, respectively).

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
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 1068 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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