If You’re Going to Work in Retail, Pick One of These 10 High-Paying Positions
Retail can be synonymous with minimum wage — and unpleasant working conditions to boot.
The federal minimum wage currently sits at $7.25, meaning the state you live in is not required to pay you more than that. That said, some states go the charitable route and have upped their minimum wage significantly. Shout out to Washington, whose minimum wage rose to $15.74 in 2023.
When it comes to retail, many of us get our starts in the workforce in these positions, or end up working several retail jobs at once to make ends meet while still keeping flexible hours.
But what if you could get the benefits of retail work — fairly achievable employment even with little or no work history, flexible hours and being paid hourly — with an actual livable wage?
10 of the Best-Paying Retail Jobs
If you’re into that retail life, here are 10 of the highest-paying retail jobs.
1. Target Warehouse Worker: $20 per hour
If you’re strong enough to lift heavy things, you can make about $41,000 a year working 40 hours per week in Target’s warehouse. Note that the wage for this position varies across the country but typically hovers around $20.
A typical warehouse worker at Target will pack, load and ship items to stores and customers and ensure accurate processing of Target merchandise.
2. Safeway Grocery Clerk: $16.38 per hour
Although it doesn’t sound like the most exciting job in the world, working a cash register and bagging groceries pays well at Safeway.
And it’s not all bad! You’ll interact with lots of people every day. You might even learn a thing or two about how to grocery shop on a budget from frugal customers or just by seeing the prices of different items so frequently.
3. Trader Joe’s Crew Member: $17.17 per hour
Trader Joe’s is known for being a fun working environment with great benefits, including an up to 20% discount on store items.
Crew members at Trader Joe’s do a little bit of everything, from running the register to stocking shelves to creating displays. They also make sure customers are taken care of any way possible.
Indeed lists the average crew member salary as $17.17 per hour. However, your salary can vary greatly depending on where you live. The Trader Joe’s career page shows crew member salaries anywhere between $14 and $22 per hour.
4. Amazon Fulfillment Center Warehouse Associate: $19 per hour
Similar to a warehouse worker at Target, Amazon’s fulfillment center warehouse associates receive inventory, pack and ship items to customers, load boxes and complete other related tasks.
Amazon also offers great benefits. So on top of decent pay, you’ll receive a full health care plan, access to a 401(k), maternity and paternity leave, tuition assistance, employee discounts and more.
As with other jobs on this list, the hourly salary can vary by location, but ZipRecruiter lists the national average at $20 per hour.
5. Costco Cashier: $18.21 per hour
Costco cashiers make, on average, $18.21 per hour, according to Indeed. That’s 45% above the national average for cashiers. Not bad at all.
On top of that, 83% of reviewers on Indeed said they were satisfied with their salary. One reviewer said, “Managers are nice, pay is decent and hours are manageable. With the benefits, it is more than worth it.”
6. Buc-ee’s Deli/Food Service Associate: $18.63 per hour
If you haven’t heard of or ever been to a Buc-ee’s, you’re missing out. The massive gas station/giant convenience store/restaurant/merchandise outlet has a cult following all over the country, with locations mostly in Texas and expanding through the Southeast.
Buc-ee’s is upfront about the salaries the company offers. If a typical cashier or stocker job isn’t your jam, food service is an excellent alternative. You’ll help prepare Buc-ee’s many culinary offerings, like bakery items, barbecued meats, fudge, beef jerky and more.
The average salary for this position is $18.63 per hour, though the same position currently available in Florence, South Carolina, will pay $21 per hour.
7. Apple Genius: $23.17 per hour
As the largest technology company in the world, Apple has money to spend. And it offers its Apple geniuses a nice salary compared to other related jobs, even compared to other retail positions.
If you have a knack for hands-on problem-solving and are technologically savvy, you might consider one of Apple’s many genius positions. These positions pay on average a little over $23 per hour, according to Indeed.
As always, pay will vary by location, with Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco retail stores averaging the most, up to $26 per hour.
8. IKEA Retail Sales Associate: $19.91 per hour
A retail sales associate at IKEA wears a lot of hats — from assisting customers and helping them make purchase decisions to assembling displays featuring new items, and many tasks in between.
The national furniture retailer, also known for its delicious food, pays its associates well — on average just under $20 per hour.
9. lululemon Educator: $24 per hour
According to lululemon, the role of its educators is to “effectively educate our guests on the fabrics, features, fit and function of our product, our culture and the communities we belong to” — basically, sales and customer service.
If fashion and bougie athletic apparel is your thing, this could be a great career to enter. Plus, these roles pay well, with the national average sitting at $24 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter.
10. The Container Store Retail Sales Associate: $17.12 per hour
Like at other companies, retail sales associates at The Container Store do a little bit of everything. They greet and inform customers, build custom closets, work the register, process merchandise and much more.
The Container Store offers all the usual benefits plus pretty good pay, around $17 per hour on average for retail sales associates. If you love feeling organized and want to help other people imagine a clutter-free life, this might be a great job for you.
Robert Bruce is a senior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder covering earning, saving and managing money. He has written about personal finance for more than a decade.