20 Best-paying Hourly Retail Jobs

April 22, 2013 |


Whether you need to pay bills while looking for something long-term or you’re trying to climb the company ladder, retail jobs can help most job seekers. Despite the advantages, retail environments are notoriously stressful to navigate, but a decent wage can compensate. Business Insider recently put together a list of the twenty best-paying hourly jobs by company which we have compiled for you below, including Department of Labor descriptions for each position. Information was pulled from Glassdoor.com and is accurate as of April 2013.

20: Panera Bread
Position: Cashier
Cashiers manage the registers and oversee all store transactions. They ensure that every exchange is processed accurately and that the customers have found what they were looking for whether they say something about it or not.
Hourly pay: $8.60

19: Target
Position: Guest Service Team Member
These individuals walk the floor maintaining displays, greeting customers, and providing support operations and resupply runs to the cash registers.
Hourly pay: $8.73

18: Urban Outfitters
Position: Sales Associate
Sales Associates are the face of the company — they greet customers, help them with their purchases by suggestively selling numerous choices for what would best suit them, and oversee the transaction itself.
Hourly pay: 8.77

17: Gap
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $8.85

16: Wal-Mart Stores
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $8.85

15: JCPenney
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $8.90

14: Best Buy
Position: Cashier
Hourly pay: $8.92

13: Macy’s
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $8.96

12: Banana Republic
Position: Sales Associate/Cashier
Hourly pay: $9.16

11: J. Crew
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $9.24

10: Sam’s Club
Position: Cashier
Hourly pay: $9.32

9: Office Depot
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $9.36

8: Williams-Sonoma
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $9.48

7: Zara
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $9.51

6: Sephora
Position: Cashier
Hourly pay: $9.67

5: H&M
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $10.20

4: REI
Position: Sales Specialist
Hourly pay: $11

3: Nordstrom
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $11.27

2: Costco Wholesale
Position: Cashier Associate
Hourly pay: $11.58

1: Bloomingdale’s
Position: Sales Associate
Hourly pay: $13.38

About Stephen Bajza


  1. Anne says:

    To Ret. Byers, I am an unemployed vet too and there's actually A LOT of help out there, unfortunately you have to look for it! One place you should check out is the website vaforvets.va.gov. Also, check with your local unemployment office, they usually have a VA representative and special services for veterans. Good luck!

  2. Eric Luckett says:

    A job that pays poverty wages like these probably will not take you very far…except into debt when you try to cover your bills, by food, just what it cost to live someplace. Try raising a family on these wages and you will always be on some type of welfare or government assistance program.

    • mark says:

      I’m thinking you did poorly in school.

      • Rey. Byers says:

        I hope you are not talking about my level of schooling!! I was in the top 5% of military medics and was to become a PA, but I was medically retired due to my injuries. I have no desire to do medicine, but I have a business degree since leaving the Military and still can find no work!!

        • lunford says:

          Maybe you should move to Colorado where they legalized Marijuana. There is a business for you. You dont have to stand all day trying sell those power tools and you can use that business degree. Just dont forget to pay your taxes!

      • phyllis says:

        you fool she is just stating the facts even if you went to college and got a degree jobs are not out there so you are forced to work these min paying jobs which does not in fact pay for much!

    • Linda says:

      You don't stay in a minimum wage job unless you have no desire to advance in a career. These jobs are not meant for a family to survive on. You are supposed to grow and advance and move on to better paying jobs. Geez. Cry me a river! Get off your ass and move on! And don't get me started on government assistance. It's fine for the short term, but it should not be a lifetime guarantee.

  3. Chris says:

    I agree. I made over $12 an hour back in 1982 delivering pizza while i was going to college. Now with such an anemic economy, its unbelievable how the competition for jobs has let the wages stagnate at this level. Its almost impossible for young people to survive

  4. Regina says:

    My husband is vet also and he is having the same problem! Hope things turn around for you and thank you for your service. there are those of us who know and are grateful for what you have done to help us be free!

  5. jim says:

    Yeah, and look at their taxes, especially in Suomi, and costs of living. You don't get something for nothing. OBTW, someone pays those higher salaries the CUSTOMER.

  6. Gavin T. W. says:

    Lol, when they said 20 best retail, I was thinking Home Depot was in the top 5 at least.

    • T says:

      I work for home depot and their not very accomadating to veterans I’ve been getting my hours cut every week and I have a family

      • They used to be when Nardoni ran the company. But when he moved on, so did his policies, except for the veteran's discount. They wont do away with that as long as there is a LOWE'S around, because they offer the same discount.

    • Gentlemen, forget the retail unless you are just looking for some extra money on a second job, or you are a fabulous people person. Dealing with the public like that will kill you otherwise. I worked in retail grocery until I retired, and am speaking as a retail expert. I worked up to management level. The people who worked in my store used to marvel to me that the more that things went wrong, the calmer I got. I thank the Marines for that, and my people worked better for it. you have your VA coverage when you get out, so work on finding that job. Go to your Va for help there because there are companies that get tax breaks to hire the vets. Find out who they are, and what they do. Then figure out where you can fit into their ranks, and write your resume to fit that. Dress nicely, and go down there to the human resources department, and present yourself. Your resume should do most of your talking if you have done your homework. But there will still be that interview, but that you should be able to handle if you have done your homework. So go to it.

  7. Sergio says:

    Come on! I am a 22 year Army Veteran. Just because we decided to be in the military now they have to pamper us and train us and give us a job? Let's do something about it by ourselves like going to school, training or learning another profesion. I am really tired to hear because we are vets they owe us everything.

    • Mark says:

      I’m with ya too! I’m retired after 21 years Staff Sergeant as a Metal worker! Now I’m using my post 911 GI Bill for school to become an A & P mechanic!

    • Disabled Vet says:

      You comment is half true. I've put in 10 hour days for the last 3 months looking for a job, modifying resumes fro each job and only got responses from 5 out of 300 or so. I am a disabled Vet also. I asked a employer one time about what they think of Veterans or military moving into the work force. And it's a mixed response. Alot of the guy claiming this are 4 year military drop outs and they go to work and give vets a bad rap. Other say Vets are great workers but take alot of work to train and get the military out of them. What do you do when they say or do this? I was in for 15 years and got serperated for injuries that wouldn't allow me to work anymore. Since i've been out i spent all my money fixing my injury and trying to get back to work. I'm going back to school also but my training is in Fire Fighting (Fire Chief on down) and it's some of the best training but the jobs aren't out there. OR this damn Sequester killed all the Government jobs.

    • AWC says:

      Cane, If you are military or ex-military I hope you are using your GI Bill to take some classes, your spelling and writing are terrible.

  8. Mat says:

    Yup, because they offered me minimum wage for a power tool section supervisor!

  9. John D. says:

    With you Bro! You forgot to mention getting spit on and almost getting arrested because of it!

    • Jack says:

      Hey man I spent 69 to 71 in I Corp. I don't know where you guys grew up but nobody in Astoria queens did any of that crap. All I know is I couldn't buy a beer in any bar if I walked in wearing my uniform….but then again I'm guessing you grew up in Long Island

      • OMC says:

        Hey Jack, interesting, I was in the Army also in 69-71. But it was not very nice coming home to Los Angeles at that time.

        • Mike in KY says:

          I was in from 1968 through 1970. When I came home to Kentucky I was treated with great respect. I was never discriminated against, in fact, my military experience always gave me extra points when looking for a job. I guess I was lucky.

      • Rey. Byers says:

        I am disabled TBI and PTSD. I was a line medic with the 3rd CAV. I have been waiting years for them to even admit I have documented claim!! I have tried to find employment, I have a degree in business and a background in medicine, but still I am not worthy for anything but security or menial labor.

  10. Fink says:

    I would assume these numbers are based on the national average. In California minimum wage starts at $8 per hour.

  11. Jake says:

    I started at $13 an hour in Jan. of this year at Lowes working part time and I don't know jack sh#$t about retail !

  12. Disabled Vet says:

    BTW back in 1997 i had a job paying $12/hour. Now you can't get anything for $10. How do you live on $20K a year before taxes? I'm single and it's impossible. I calculated i need atleast $15/hour min. BTW i have 2 degrees which makes me overqualified right!! LOL

    • james says:

      Same here friend. I'm barely making $30k a year with military experience, a BS and a masters. It's crazy.

  13. Not no more here is Fayetteville, NC. Start at $9

  14. That is only if your disabled. Which I am and I cant even get a job with the Government.

  15. Jack says:

    Lowes offers benefits ( Med & Dental) to part time workers and they are hiring now.
    I've never heard of any other company that does this.

  16. Kathy says:

    However, they pay about 40% in taxes for the socialist-type healthcare and all the other benefits they derive as a citizen. Add to that the increased cost of goods and double-digit VAT taxes they pay when they buy things. It is very expensive to live in many of these places!

  17. Paul says:

    24 years as air trans retired and went on two interviews at the local air ports and was told the most I could get was min wage. I could run the terminal from TSa to baggage, to parking and cleaning the planes with out any needed training. When a company says it will hire vets it will at such a low pay you can not survive. What people do not realize is you still have bills when you retire and your pay is about to be cut into third and then tack on all the stuff that was paid for you like life and Heath insurance you now have pay for. What needs to change is the mind set of civilian employment and make hr managers under stand being a vet you may have a lot more training then a resume Will let you show or the vet does not know how to change it from military to civilian terms. Get off soap box now thanks. If you have a real solution post it.

    • dregie says:

      America is now shipping so many jobs overseas that you can't find a company willing to pay a living wage. So you shop at the Wal-Mart's because you can't afford to pay higher prices which just ensures that more jobs go overseas. Because in order for Wal-Mart to offer the lowest price, they dictate what they spend for it. which In turn the manufacturing company can no longer afford to pay Americans what we need to survive. It's a vicious cycle!

  18. sck says:

    this is not an accurate statement about veterans and employment. Veterans do not get an automatic 10 pt advantage.

  19. Tim davan says:

    What a fucking joke a guy does 4 tours in iraq and afganistan loses a limb for this country . And comes back to $4.00 dollar a gallon gas a wife that fucks the world , kids that dont know him with child support , but good news you can make a whopping ten dollars an hour email from you pricks GO FUCK YOURSELF!!! ( hypothetical of course)

  20. cm1jrs says:

    I think that only applies to government jobs. That filters down to local and county though. The jobs went away several years ago when congress allowed tax breaks for those companies sending jobs overseas. Why pay us $20 an hour when they can send it to mexico china, or india for 3 dollars an hour. Most of my gm car front end parts were made in mexico.

  21. Dale says:

    Ron, I have taken your suggestions and even made it to the final four a couple of times. The facts are most companies do not want older more experienced people. As mentioned in the comment above, I could run most any airport operation but can't even get a janitor's job.

  22. David Goff says:

    As veterans, we are all fucked.

  23. AGSONE says:

    Explain why that is the Presidents issue. It seems like the people in the private sector have the issue hiring veterans. That is not a government issue. They have made a sincere effort to get veterans hired. And I think to many veterans expect to much help for the government. The government focus should be your physical health and mental health. You finding work is a you problem. BTW I spent 8.5 years serving my country on a submarine and I want or receive any government assistance.

  24. Paul says:

    To c ricks
    That is what is was tring to do is go right back into what I know. And all they could offer was min wage. Key word retired not dead. I could do the job with no training and was still told best they could do.

  25. ben says:

    Trades are always open. Helmets to hard hats program. I got out a medically retired e4 and I’m making $18/hr as a first year apprentice. And I get a $3 raise every year for 5 years to complete the program. It’s worth it. Every trade is different so think of something you might like to do and go for it. Those retail wages are veal for trying to support a family. Also going union, healthcare is included aswell.

    • ben says:

      Crap not veal…I’m a steamfitter and work is good. I know alot of us spent our time in the military working with our hands so this is ideal. The money is great. The benefits are great. There are a lot of different trades and unions that are less labor intensive if that’s something that would be more appealing to some of you. You can even use your GI bill for the apprenticeship school and pocket that money because its free anyways. It’s hard to refuse when you think about all the little things. So I suggest looking your local unions up and giving them a call.

  26. Ret. Byers says:

    George, NAFFTA is the reason why we have little manufacturing in the U.S. Europe and the U.S have had their unions weakend. Pres. Bush Sr. Started it and Pres. Clinton made it law. I have studied this extensively and know this to be true.

  27. dregie says:

    Sorry to disagree top dog, but I had a union job. I paid my union dues and worked my _ss off for a company. The company forced me out and my "union" didn't do a thing to help me. I am so p_ssed I wasted all that money on union dues.

  28. David says:

    Try being vet 40 years ago, talk about tough, but I still got by.

  29. Dave says:

    Hey David, I found a job with a Mormon owned machine shop (The Talley corp. Gone now) back in 72, they didn't make any big deal about Vietnam, they liked vets and still do. Pay was 2.25/hour but hey, it paid the bills and put food on the table

  30. Ret. USMC says:

    It might be time to eat a 7.62mm lunch.

  31. Cvas says:

    Did the union thing 3yrs helmut 2 hardhats-NYC DC9 LU 806. Work when it came thru in the spring went 1st to those that knew or were connected to bosses. Had enough of 6 months on 6 months off. Made good $ when I was ON but that inconsistency wasn’t keeping the bread on the table. Fact is that even though I was fresh out of 10 yrs navy machinist mate 2nd class & highly motivated & highly dedicated-I was still on the bottom of the “out of work” list. When I was supposed to be on the “top of list” & next on line. Half of my union time was on the unemployment line… Took my skills & talents to an ENVIROMENTAL company as a warehouse associate. Lucky for me that the VP was prior NAVY CAPT & recognized brotherhood talents. Made me supervisor of entire shop with 12 dudes to manage. & out of that 12 i hand picked 5 skilled professionals to reshape basic warehouse to “jack of all trades/trouble shooters” dept…within 5 months of my hiring from warehousemen to supervisor. i coordinated equipment/material procurement to support POST HURRICANE SANDY débris removal… My 1st opportunity in the civilian world to show those enlisted yrs to use- amazing that brotherhood spirit & the almighty himself. :) good luck to you all & god bless.

  32. rodney says:

    After military you have to dumb down to fit into civilian life in most scenerios…..most civilian employers are intimidated and not team oriented but want team results…….combatvetforlife

  33. Ret. Military says:

    Sniff…sniff…sniff… can ya'all smell that? The United States stinks as bad as three year old cheese that has been aging in a baboon's anus.

  34. Linda Hildebrant says:

    Contrary to many opinions about this list, I don’t think jobs like these should be the end-all-be-all of someone’s career. They should be a stepping stone to something bigger.

  35. PAUL GREEN says:

    a job is a job..even if its a stepping stone you should at least be able to support yourself, and considering the big bucks these corporate companies make, taking care of your hard working or well qualified employees should be a priority. and as a stepping stone I personally can deal with minimum wage as long as im allowed to work enough hrs to make up the difference. but when 30 hrs a week is considered full time. how are you supposed to live. not to mention there isn't a chance in hell one will ever see 30 hrs a week because these companies don't want to have to dish out benefits. meaning one doctors visit will put me in debt for half a year. complete bull but you can fight the system and get nowhere or overcome adversity. so reduce spending and find a way to live off this budget for 2 years. during that time look for higher paying jobs in a field that your currently going to school for, or taking courses to get certified. and even if its not your first pick make sure you choose something that's economically fruitful. electrition, accountant, tax broker, no matter how the economy is people will need their homes to have electricity, people will need to have their money in order-especially in bad times, and the government will always want others money, these r a couple examples stay strong and power through. and to all the war veterans, thank you for your sacrifice and I hope one day soon things will change for the better. unfortunately I think things will have to fall into utter chaos before the blind will finally take notice and Americans will come together as one. hopefully there isn't a dumb fuck like hitler leading the way.