The retail industry is one of the most important sectors in the United States and around the world. Retail jobs that pay well can help you increase your income and move up the socioeconomic ladder.
This article is a detailed guide to the most lucrative retail jobs out there. We also show you the salaries people in these jobs earn as well as the companies hiring for these positions and the skills that you need to enter the industry. If you’re looking for a high-paying retail job and want to gain an insight into the ins and outs of this profitable industry, continue reading.
How Much Does a Retail Job Pay?
Salaries in this industry can vary widely depending on the company, job role, and level of seniority. According to ZipRecruiter, the median annual salary for a retail worker in the US is $23,601 per year.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, meanwhile, estimates that the average retail worker earns $13.13 per hour. The bottom 10 percent earn hourly wages of $10.8 while the highest-paid make more than $27.70, according to BLS.
Entry-level positions can help you jumpstart your career in the retail industry. Even though your salary at the beginning can be quite basic, it will still be well above the minimum wage. You will be able to meet your personal needs and probably save money too.
How to Get a High-Paying Retail Job
The number of retail jobs available is vast. There are positions for all types of workers and each requires a different skillset. Getting a well-paid job in this industry takes time and effort. To help you out, we’ve outlined some of the most important steps to follow if your goal is to land a lucrative job in the retail business.
Step 1: Search for Vacancies
If you know what company you would like to work for, go to its website, find openings that you are suited for on the careers page, and begin an application. If you don’t have any particular company in mind, we recommend visiting job engines like Indeed or Simply Hired to find attractive retail openings that match your qualifications.
Step 2: Find Out the Job Requirements
Before you start working on a job application, it is important to read the job description carefully to ensure that you are qualified. If you decide you are a good match and want to go ahead with the application, it is important that you read the job description a few more times and note down the skills and qualifications that are highlighted. You will want to discuss them in your resume and cover letter.
Step 3: Work on Your Resume
Putting together a strong resume is essential to make it through the initial stages of the hiring process. One of the best tips to write an effective resume that we can give you is to include skills and qualifications that are relevant to this specific position.
If you’re pursuing a sales job, for example, emphasize your active listening and communication abilities. If you want to work for an online retailer, you should describe your expertise on ecommerce sites like eBay or Amazon.
Step 4: Write a Powerful Cover Letter
A cover letter is your chance to speak directly to the hiring manager and explain why you are the right person for the job. Make sure that your letter boasts solid arguments and uses professional language. To write a strong cover letter, make sure you highlight your strengths and mention your main achievements in the retail sector.
Step 5: Prepare for the Job Interview
If you receive an interview invitation from an employer, you need to do some preparation before you sit down with the interviewer. We recommend researching more about the company, its corporate culture, and its competitors.
It is also wise to prepare your answers to common interview questions. Make sure you are ready to tackle questions about your work experience, your interest in the company, your skills, and what you bring to the table.
Which Retail Jobs Pay the Most? The Highest Paying Retail Jobs You Should Consider
In this section, we show you some of the highest-paying retail jobs. The job roles on this list cover a wide array of skills and responsibilities, so it is likely that you will find one that matches your professional profile and aspirations.
- Average salary: $68,587 a year
- Job growth: 7%
- Companies hiring: Ulta Beauty, Pizza Hut, Lowe’s Home Improvement
The sales manager is responsible for supervising the sales team and the sales operations of a company. These professionals ensure that sales agents follow company policies and procedures while meeting sales targets. They collaborate with other departments, such as marketing or the product team, to set goals and attract customers.
- Average salary: $63,644 a year
- Job growth: 0.4%
- Companies hiring: Domino’s Pizza, Best Buy, Planet Fitness
General managers are responsible for coordinating the operations and logistics of the different departments and stores that make up a retail company. These workers must also organize the storage and movement of goods. Their duties may also involve hiring warehouse workers.
Retail Account Manager
- Average salary: $57,923 a year
- Job growth: 7%*
- Companies hiring: Benefit Cosmetics, Vineyard Vines, AT&T
Working on behalf of a manufacturer or supplier, the retail account manager is in charge of developing long-term relationships with retailers. Their duties involve organizing meetings with corporate clients and delivering presentations on new products.
Loss Prevention Manager
Loss prevention managers are experts in minimizing the risks of loss of merchandise in the event of theft or damage to company facilities. These retail workers also develop procedures to reduce inventory loss. In addition, prevention managers train staff on safety protocols.
- Average salary: $51,959 a year
- Job growth: 7%*
- Companies hiring: Dollar General, Starbucks, T-Mobile
This position entails hiring, training, and overseeing employees that work in retail stores. Monitoring store activity, managing budgets, and maintaining financial records are some other essential responsibilities of the store manager. They also form workgroups and help clients with their requests.
- Average salary: $51,866 a year
- Job growth: -4%
- Companies hiring: Applied Materials, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Boart Longyear
Buyers, also known as purchasing managers or agents, are in charge of overseeing the purchasing process of a company. As such, their work involves working closely with suppliers to complete purchase orders, develop partnerships, and manage deliveries.
- Average salary: $42,876 a year
- Job growth: -1%**
- Companies hiring: H&M, Dunn Tire, Sally Beauty
Retail advisors assist customers in finding products that meet their needs. They also explain to clients the benefits and features of said products and, as such, play a critical role in improving the shopping experience. Retail advisors may also help in arranging products in a store so customers can find them easily.
- Average salary: $35,206 a year
- Job growth: -1%**
- Companies hiring: Macy’s, Nike, Staples
Retail sales associates welcome customers to the store and help them with any questions they may have, including questions about the products on display. Their goal is to help clients make a good purchase decision. Sales associates also operate cash registers and handle financial transactions.
Customer Service Representative
- Average salary: $33,648 a year
- Job growth: -1%
- Companies hiring: Office Depot OfficeMax, Whole Foods Market, Kohl’s
The main goal of these professionals is to improve the customer experience by helping clients with any issue they may have regarding the company’s products or services. Answering questions, handling complaints, helping locate products, and managing merchandise returns are part of the daily routines of these hourly employees.
- Average salary: $33,505 a year
- Job growth: 2.4%
- Companies hiring: Hallmark, Frito-Lay, Tractor Supply Company
Merchandise displayers work with retail staff to decide where products in a store should go. They choose which products get more visibility with the ultimate goal of finding a setup that maximizes sales. This position also entails coordinating with coworkers to maintain a stable inventory level.
*Figure taken from the BLS page for sales managers
**Figure taken from the BLS page for retail sales workers
Best Retail Jobs: Top Companies That Hire for Retail Jobs
Companies are constantly looking for sales professionals and other retail employees to grow. The companies below are a good option if you are looking for a well-paid retail position.
- Costco Wholesale: This company is the second-largest retail chain in the world. Costco sells electronics, computers, furniture, outdoor living equipment, appliances, jewelry, and many other products.
- Bass Pro Shops: This is a retail company that sells hunting, fishing, and camping equipment, in addition to other outdoor recreational products.
- eBay: This is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world. eBay auctions off a wide range of products over the Internet.
- Columbia Sportswear: Columbia is a pioneering company that manufactures and distributes sportswear.
- Sam’s Club: This is a chain of membership-only wholesale stores that is owned by industry giant Walmart. Sam’s Club has locations in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and China.
Where to Find a Retail Job
If you’re looking for a high-paying retail career, you should start by visiting the websites listed below. These sites have thousands of openings for lucrative jobs in retail.
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This website specializes in retail jobs with the goal of assisting people in finding a high-paying career. Walgreens, Kroger, The Home Depot, Walmart, and CarMax are among the corporations that advertise entry-level jobs on this platform.
This platform shows job openings in grocery stores across the country. Companies such as Judge and Kroger regularly advertise positions on this website. If you are interested in working at a grocery chain, this is your site.
This is a useful platform for finding retail positions with competitive wages that match your skills and experience. You can find openings for cashier, merchandiser, sales associate, store manager, customer service representative, restaurant manager, and much more.
Skills Required to Land Your First Retail Job
Below we take a closer look at the most in-demand skills in the retail industry. If you are looking to join this thriving industry, make sure that you cultivate these skills.
Excellent customer service skills allow you to keep your customers happy and attract new buyers. Delivering good customer service involves a wide range of interpersonal skills, not least of which are active listening and communication. As a company, you simply cannot expand your customer base without solid customer support services.
Most retail jobs require some degree of mathematical knowledge. You need basic computation skills and familiarity with simple math concepts to carry out budgeting and management-related tasks as well as to keep track of inventories, place orders with suppliers, or process clients’ purchases.
This refers simply to the ability to find solutions to unexpected problems. Strong problem-solving skills will make you a much more efficient and resourceful retail worker. Research, decision-making, and team-building, among many other competencies, belong to this category.
Is a Retail Job for Me?
The retail sector is vast, so there is likely a position that fits your skills and interests. If you like dealing with people and are passionate about introducing them to products that can improve their lives, then you should consider a position in this growing industry. In addition, this is a great industry if you are looking for a well-paid position and job security.
Retail Jobs That Pay Well FAQ
Some of the top-paying jobs in the retail industry include sales manager, regional manager, buyer, and retail account manager.
Some of the most common questions that hiring managers ask a candidate for a retail position are: What is good customer service? Do you work well with people? What hours are you available? Do you have a college degree? Are you interested in a full-time position or in part-time work? And, why are you applying to work here?
Full-time employees in the retail industry should be adept at using nonverbal communication, be responsible, ask for help when you need it, be polite to customers, and find a good work-life balance.
If you like the world of commerce, the retail industry can be an excellent entry point for a successful career. In addition, the experience you accumulate will allow you to access a wide variety of positions in related fields with excellent hourly rates.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.