Employee wages usually aren’t stated directly in a sales associate job description, but we’ve got you covered. The average sales associate salary is $12.08 an hour. The average annual wage is $25,130. The middle 50% of workers’ earnings range from $8.72 to $13.36 an hour, with the highest 10% earning over $18.51. Please be aware that entry level positions may pay as low as $7.25 an hour, which is the federal minimum wage. However, many states have minimum wages that are higher than the federal minimum, and wages also tend to be higher in areas where employers have difficulty retaining and attracting workers. Some companies pay overtime for third shifts that take place during the evening.
Here’s a chart of the types of sales associate jobs that pay the highest average hourly wages:
Sales Associate Salary
|Industry||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Building Material and Supplies Dealers||387,600||$13.45||$27,980|
|Home Furnishings Stores||109,430||$13.36||$27,790|
|Jewelry, Leather Goods, and Luggage Stores||89,640||$13.07||$27,190|
|Sporting Goods, Musical Instrument, and Hobby Stores||285,220||$10.53||$21,890|
|Other General Merchandise Stores||356,290||$10.27||$21,360|
Compensation systems can vary by industry, type of establishment, sales associate job description, and products sold. Salespersons can either receive a fixed hourly wage, commissions, or some combination of the two. As you can see from the above chart, sales associates that work at car dealerships earn the highest average hourly wage. This is because auto dealerships typically fall under a commission system, which means that salespeople receive a percentage of the sales that they make. This is great in that an associate has the potential to drastically improve his earnings. However, it is greatly reliant on external factors such as ability to successfully sell products, number of customers, and strength of the economy. On the other hand, sales associates who receive only an hourly wage generally don’t have to worry about those things. If you have a knack for selling things, a commission-based employer may be your best bet. If you don’t, consider taking a job that pays by the hour.
You may be wondering why the sales associate salary range is so large. We’ve already covered one reason which is the compensation system. Another would be experience and merit, or job performance. If you like the retail sales industry you’ve found yourself in, start working towards climbing the career ladder. If you take your position as a sales associate seriously and think of it as a solid foundation for a long, successful career, you’ll make your employer happy, which will lead to more responsibility which means a raise for your current job and more opportunities with other companies. Consider going to college while you work, as an education will be increasingly helpful (and possibly expected) as you move up the corporate ladder. Lastly, where you live will affect your retail sales associate salary.
It’s worth taking into account benefits when looking at potential employers. Smaller establishments may have more limited benefits, but larger ones will offer some considerable ones. Some examples of this are medical and dental insurance, 401(k) accounts, and tuition assistance. Also, nearly all people on the sales staff receive some sort of employee discount for the store’s merchandise. If you normally shop or buy products at your place of work, this can add up to a lot of savings. Many companies also offer programs to incentivize employee performance and bolster revenue such as bonuses, profit-sharing plans, and awards. As you can see, benefits should be taken into consideration when looking at a potential job along with the sales associate salary per hour.