Retail Sales Associate Salary
Pay for Retail Sales Associates in the United States sits in the ballpark of $10.02 per hour. Bonuses, profit sharing, and commission all factor into final incomes for Retail Sales Associates. Ranging between $17K near the bottom and $36K near the top, total earnings can include up to $5K from bonuses and up to $5K from profit sharing, with a high-performing minority reaping commissions of $24K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by years of experience and geography. Women Retail Sales Associates who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Health benefits are not claimed by all — more than half lack any form of coverage — but more than a third have medical insurance, and just under a third have dental, too. Job satisfaction for Retail Sales Associates is high. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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.Read More...
The position of retail sales associate is typically entry level, although previous experience may be preferred or required. Stores often promote from within, and sales associates may eventually seek supervisory or managerial positions. Well-trained retail sales associates help their store attract and retain customers; they must have friendly, outgoing personalities and be able to work well with members of their team and with customers. Sales associates are also trained to maintain an eye for detail and are expected to maintain the organization and cleanliness throughout a shift.
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
There are some Retail Sales Associates — though it's uncommon — that transition into Registered Nurses, where earnings are an average $56K annually. 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 $11K per year on average, and the latter position pays $19K more per year.
Popular Employer Salaries for Retail Sales Associate
Dominating the field, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, The Home Depot Inc., Macy's, Inc., Target Corporation, and T-Mobile, Inc. are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Retail Sales Associates. Verizon Wireless does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $42K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $21K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $61K. Other leaders in compensation levels are T-Mobile, Inc. at $33K, Lowe's Home Improvement Inc. at $26K, and Nordstrom, Inc., where Retail Sales Associates annually earn $26K.
The lowest pay by far can be found at JCPenney — this employer offers a median salary of $19K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Walmart.com, Kohl's Department Stores Inc and Macy's, Inc. are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $19K, $19K, and $20K.
Popular Skills for Retail Sales Associate
Retail Sales Associates seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. 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 18 percent. 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.
For Retail Sales Associates, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $21K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $24K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $26K in this role. As Retail Sales Associates reach more than two decades on the job, compensation remains commensurate with experience; the average pay in this group is $29K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Retail Sales Associates, working in the bustling city of Seattle has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Retail Sales Associates will also find cushy salaries in New York (+19 percent), Las Vegas (+15 percent), Atlanta (+15 percent), and Los Angeles (+14 percent). The lowest-paying market is San Antonio, which sits 5 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 3 percent less in Miami and 2 percent less in Orlando, below-median salaries for those in this field.