What is an Associate

As an associate, you're a part of a team. The team will be made up of associates just like you and together, your main goal is ensuring that clients' needs are met.

Generally, associate positions are thought of as a level higher than entry-level, but it definitely varies by company, so you might want to give that employee handbook a glance.

The great thing about being in an associate position is the opportunities. You definitely have positions that you can grow into from the associate level, so it's sort of a "started from the bottom and now we're here" situation.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an Associate. For example, did you know that they make an average of $33.79 an hour? That's $70,289 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -2% and produce -105,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Associate Do

There are certain skills that many Associates have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Customer-service skills, Interpersonal skills and Math skills.

Learn more about what an Associate does

How To Become an Associate

If you're interested in becoming an Associate, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 45.9% of Associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.8% of Associates have master's degrees. Even though most Associates have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an Associate. When we researched the most common majors for an Associate, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or High School Diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Associate resumes include Associate Degree degrees or Master's Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an Associate. In fact, many Associate jobs require experience in a role such as Cashier. Meanwhile, many Associates also have previous career experience in roles such as Sales Associate or Internship.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. McKinsey & Company Inc Jobs (878)
  2. Morgan Stanley Jobs (3,829)
  3. Deloitte Jobs (2,149)
  4. BlackRock Jobs (1,963)
  5. Deutsche Bank Jobs (1,320)
Average Salary
$70,289
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-2%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
595,509
Job Openings
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Associate Career Paths

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Average Salary for an Associate

Associates in America make an average salary of $70,289 per year or $34 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $135,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $36,000 per year.
Average Salary
$70,289
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12 Associate Resume Examples

Learn How To Write an Associate Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Associate resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Associate Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. McKinsey & Company Inc Jobs (878)
  2. Morgan Stanley Jobs (3,829)
  3. Deloitte Jobs (2,149)
  4. BlackRock Jobs (1,963)
  5. Deutsche Bank Jobs (1,320)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Associate Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Associate templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Associate resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Associate Demographics

Associate Gender Statistics

male

50.4 %

female

49.6 %

Associate Ethnicity Statistics

White

61.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.1 %

Black or African American

10.5 %

Associate Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

53.2 %

French

11.1 %

Chinese

4.2 %
Job Openings

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Associate Education

Associate Majors

20.5 %
10.1 %

Associate Degrees

Bachelors

45.9 %

High School Diploma

19.8 %

Associate

13.8 %
Job Openings

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Top Skills For an Associate

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 22.7% of Associates listed Procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as Customer-service skills and Interpersonal skills are important as well.

  • Procedures, 22.7%
  • Customer Service, 13.4%
  • Communication, 9.1%
  • Sales Floor, 7.9%
  • Positive Attitude, 6.1%
  • Other Skills, 40.8%

Best States For an Associate

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an Associate. The best states for people in this position are New York, California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Associates make the most in New York with an average salary of $82,826. Whereas in California and Connecticut, they would average $77,580 and $67,438, respectively. While Associates would only make an average of $65,682 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Associate Jobs:
18,099
Highest 10% Earn:
$158,000
Location Quotient:
1.33
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Associate Jobs:
4,075
Highest 10% Earn:
$134,000
Location Quotient:
1.16
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Jersey

Total Associate Jobs:
11,003
Highest 10% Earn:
$127,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Associates

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Top Associate Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Associates and discovered their number of Associate opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Walmart was the best, especially with an average salary of $37,228. Goldman Sachs follows up with an average salary of $124,286, and then comes KPMG with an average of $100,615. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an Associate. The employers include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Spectrum Health Hospitals, and Accenture

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Becoming an Associate FAQs

How long does it take to become an Associate?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become an associate. That is the time it takes to learn specific associate skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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Is an associate an employee?

Yes, an associate is an employee. Beyond that, though, an associate can mean almost anything. Different industries use this title differently, and it is often attached to another job title. For example, an associate manager is a very different type of employee than a sales associate.

An associate is often a term used to denote low rank or lack of seniority. For example, an associate director would rank below a director. An associate director would also certainly rank below a senior-level director, such as an executive director.

Because the meaning of an associate is so flexible, there is no single job description that sums up the associate role.

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What is an associate job level?

An associate job level can be entry-level, or it can require a bit more experience. Typically, an associate job is entry-level, and as such, requires minimal experience. There are, however, significant and numerous exceptions to this.

As such, it is important to fully understand the responsibilities and qualifications for an associate position that you choose to pursue.

As an example, the title of associate at a law firm may require extensive education and qualifications. Conversely, an associate at a grocery store often does not need to be a high school graduate.

To complicate matters, it is not unusual to see job titles such as "senior associate." Titles such as these seem oxymoronic. However, they are standard in some industries. This is why understanding the responsibilities of the individual position may be more productive than researching the associate title.

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What is the role of an associate?

The role of an associate can be almost anything. Associate, as a title, is difficult to understand without the context of the individual position. Associate as a term attached to the title of a position typically denotes low seniority or rank. There are, however, industries wherein associate may be a position unto itself.

The role of an associate in a retail setting may be anything from cashiering, to cleaning, to customer service. An associate in the context of accounting, however, would typically refer to a licensed accountant. This sort of associate may have years of training or experience.

So, the role of an associate is heavily dependent on the individual position. What can be generalized as a standard role for an associate is that an associate typically facilitates daily operations within a company under the supervision of a manager.

However, even this description cannot necessarily be applied to every position bearing the title of associate.

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