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Working as 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 $41.51 an hour? That's $86,350 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an associate, we found that a lot of resumes listed 22.7% of associates included procedures, while 13.4% of resumes included customer service, and 9.1% of resumes included communication. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the associate job title. But what industry to start with? Most associates actually find jobs in the retail and professional industries.

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 33.4% of associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 9.9% 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.

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Average Salary$86,350
Job Growth Rate-2%

Associate Career Paths

Top Careers Before Associate

Cashier
16.7 %

Top Careers After Associate

Cashier
12.9 %

What is the right job for my career path?

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

Average Salary for an Associate

Associates in America make an average salary of $86,350 per year or $42 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $137,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $54,000 per year.
Average Salary
$86,350

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Washington, DC
Salary Range52k - 119k$80k$79,532
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range45k - 106k$70k$69,612
New York, NY
Salary Range44k - 101k$68k$67,561
Stamford, CT
Salary Range40k - 91k$61k$60,744
Iowa City, IA
Salary Range37k - 91k$59k$58,711
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range37k - 85k$57k$56,863
$29k
$119k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Utility Associate
Utility Associate
Pridestaff
Pridestaff
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$33,39201/30/2021
$33,392
Midwest Express Warehousing Associate
Midwest Express Warehousing Associate
Adecco
Adecco
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$32,34901/30/2021
$32,349
Construction Associate
Construction Associate
Peopleready
Peopleready
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$29,21801/29/2021
$29,218
Fire Watch Associate
Fire Watch Associate
Adecco Staffing
Adecco Staffing
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$31,30501/29/2021
$31,305
Wells Fargo
Wholesaler Associate 2 (Internal Wholesaler-Associate Regional Director)
Wholesaler Associate 2 (Internal Wholesaler-Associate Regional Director)
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$62,50001/29/2021
$62,500
See More Recent Salaries

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Associate Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Associate. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Associate Resume

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

View Detailed Information

Associate Demographics

Gender

female

46.9 %

male

45.7 %

unknown

7.4 %

Ethnicity

White

61.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.5 %

Black or African American

11.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.2 %

French

11.1 %

Chinese

4.2 %
See More Demographics

Associate Education

Majors

Business
20.9 %
Law
11.1 %

Degrees

Bachelors

33.4 %

High School Diploma

25.5 %

Associate

13.8 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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%
  • See All Associate Skills

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 Iowa. Associates make the most in New York with an average salary of $66,277. Whereas in California and Connecticut, they would average $63,669 and $58,673, respectively. While associates would only make an average of $57,741 in Iowa, 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:
12,540
Highest 10% Earn:
$136,000
Location Quotient:
1.18
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. Delaware

Total Associate Jobs:
862
Highest 10% Earn:
$115,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
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. Connecticut

Total Associate Jobs:
3,059
Highest 10% Earn:
$122,000
Location Quotient:
1.19
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
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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 $30,134. Panera Bread follows up with an average salary of $22,608, and then comes KPMG with an average of $83,748. 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 Mark-It, Zendesk, and Zuora

1. Walmart
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$30,134
Associates Hired: 
10,810+
2. Panera Bread
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$22,608
Associates Hired: 
4,859+
3. KPMG
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$83,748
Associates Hired: 
3,667+
4. Morgan Stanley
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$91,563
Associates Hired: 
3,227+
5. PricewaterhouseCoopers
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$80,863
Associates Hired: 
3,089+
6. Goldman Sachs
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$91,422
Associates Hired: 
3,085+

Associate Videos

Updated October 2, 2020