Retail Sales Associate Salary

Retail Sales Associates in the United States can expect wages of $10.10 per hour on average. Total cash earnings of Retail Sales Associates range from $17K on the low end to $36K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $5K and $4K, respectively. The company is the main element affecting pay for this group — the particular city and years of experience are driving factors as well. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 58 percent. While some workers in this profession — the greater part — do not have any health coverage, more than a third do receive medical benefits and just under one in three have dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Retail Sales Associates, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$17,247 - $60,331
$17K
$34K
$60K
MEDIAN: $33,924
10%
50%
90%

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$8.17 - $14.58
$8
$10
$15
MEDIAN: $10.10
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$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$17,247 - $60,331  
   
Bonus
$99.45 - $5,134  
Profit Sharing
$51.06 - $3,973  
Commission
$0.00 - $24,177  
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).
)
$17,094 - $36,269  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 404
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
$8.17 - $14.58  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.05 - $6.16  
Overtime
$8.26 - $24.61  
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
$99.45 - $5,134  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $24,177  
Profit Sharing
$51.06 - $3,973  
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).
)
$17,094 - $36,269  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 4,628

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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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There are some Retail Sales Associates — though it's uncommon — that transition into Registered Nurses, where earnings are an average $56K annually. Retail Store Assistant Managers or Retail Store Managers are common next-step roles for Retail Sales Associates moving up in their careers; annual pay for Retail Store Assistant Managers is $11K higher on average, and it's $19K higher for Retail Store Managers.

Popular Employer Salaries for Retail Sales Associate


Known for taking on a considerable number of Retail Sales Associates, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, Macy's, Inc., The Home Depot Inc., Target Corporation, and T-Mobile, Inc. are leading firms in the industry. Although Verizon Wireless heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $43K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $20K to $64K. Soaring salaries can also be found at T-Mobile, Inc., Nordstrom, Inc., and Lowe's Home Improvement Inc., where earnings of $33K, $26K, or $26K are standard for Retail Sales Associates.

With a median employee salary of $19K, JCPenney pays significantly less than its competitors (less than half of the top paying employer's rate). Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Walmart.com ($19K), Kohl's Department Stores Inc ($19K), and Macy's, Inc. ($20K).

Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate


Survey results imply that Retail Sales Associates deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Sales Management, Customer Relationship Management, Account Sales, and Inside Sales are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 16 percent. Most people experienced in Customer Service also know Cash Handling and Customer Relations.

Pay by Experience Level for Retail Sales Associate

Pay by Experience for a Retail Sales Associate has a positive trend. An entry-level Retail Sales Associate with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $21,000 based on 3,331 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Retail Sales Associate with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $24,000 based on 1,128 salaries. An experienced Retail Sales Associate which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $26,000 based on 796 salaries. A Retail Sales Associate with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $29,000 based on 316 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $21,476

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

For Retail Sales Associates, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 47 percent greater than the national average. Retail Sales Associates will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+28 percent), New York (+18 percent), Atlanta (+15 percent), and San Diego (+12 percent). With compensation 3 percent below the national average, Orlando is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market.

Retail Sales Associate Reviews

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

Retail Sales Associate in St. Louis Park:
"Micro Center: The Retail Store that can't do Retail."
Pros: Selling expensive items to customers who are engaged, interested, and excited about the product.
Cons: Dealing with some of the worst people imaginable -- homeless, non-English speakers, smelly people, and most commonly, unapologetically ignorant people.

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.

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 773 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
7%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Retail Sales Associate Salaries

▲37%

▲21%

▲12%

National Average
$21,000

▼3%

Skills That Affect Retail Sales Associate Salaries



▲15%

▲13%


▲5%




Customer Service
▼0%

Oral / Verbal Communication
▼0%

National Average
$21,000

▼1%

Spanish Language
▼1%


▼2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 773 votes.

Gender

Female
58 %
Male
42 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 37%
dental benefits
Dental: 29%
vision benefits
Vision: 25%
no benefits
None: 60%
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