Holiday Jobs for Extra Cash

The holiday season is right around the corner and many retailers have already started looking for temporary help. Seasonal jobs are a great way to earn extra income during the holidays but can have many other unexpected benefits, too.

Benefits of Holiday Work

For some workers, seasonal work can lead to permanent employment. Many companies ask the stand out seasonal employees to take on an extended role after the holidays are over. For example, ten percent of 2010 seasonal Toys “R” Us employees are still currently employed with the company. Seasonal employees have also reported other benefits like acquiring new professional references, gaining experience in a new field, and even meeting new friends. Plus, most retailers offer a substantial employee discount, helping you save a few bucks on gifts.

The Coal in the Stocking

There can be some drawbacks. Seasonal workers need to adapt to the not-so-average schedule and be flexible. To gain an edge on the competition, stores often open earlier and close later. Retail stores like Macys, Target, and Wal-Mart are even opening at midnight on Black Friday, and will need employees who can work the odd hours. In addition, seasonal jobs tend to pay at or slightly above minimum wage and rarely have benefits.

Who’s Hiring?

So, who is hiring this holiday season? We used PayScale data to compare the salary for a retail sales associate position at three major retailers that are hiring for the 2011 holiday season.

Best Buy
The big box electronics retailer announces that it will be adding 15,000 seasonal employees this year.  A retail sales associate can expect to earn between $8.60-$11.00 per hour. Employee discounts vary on different products, but most products are wholesale cost plus 5 percent, according to Best Buy representatives.

Toys “R” Us
45,000 seasonal employees will be needed at the world’s leading toy and children’s retailer. A retail sales associate can expect to earn between $7.80-$9.30 per hour and can enjoy a 10 percent discount, according to Toys “R” Us human resources representatives.

Macy’s is the front runner for seasonal hiring. Macy’s expects to add 78,000 positions this holiday season. A retail sales associate can expect to earn between $7.90-$9.90 per hour and a 20 percent discount on merchandise, say Macy’s representatives.

If interacting with customers is not your thing, many retailers are hiring for positions in the shipping and fulfillment centers.  Macy’s, Zappos, JCPenney and Target are just some of the companies that are currently recruiting for those jobs. After the packages are fulfilled, they will need to be delivered to their destination. The US Postal Service, UPS and FedEx plan to hiring thousands of employees to help with the influx of mail.

Source: Salary data provided by All salaries listed are ranges of median, hourly salaries between the 25th and 75th percentiles for workers at all levels of experience. Bonuses are not included.