Associates are typically entry-level positions for employees who are taking on their first job or organizational role. They are assigned to teams or departments that are related to their skills or educational background. They usually start with smaller tasks that may not seem as impactful but are still essential to the department. Associates are trained by more tenured team members on the ins and outs of the department and the organization. As they grow with the organization, they are given more responsibilities that directly impact the results of the department's initiatives as they work towards their goals.

Associate Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real associate resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage the sale of smoothies at different educational institutes while interacting with hundreds of students and ensuring their happiness and satisfaction.
  • Manage customer resolutions associate with flight reservations.
  • Lead the team by exemplify reliability through punctuality and personal integrity.
  • Help drive sales by providing excellent customer service in gourmet cheese, wine, beer, and coffee departments.
  • Utilize teamwork, communication, customer service, responsibility, and organizational skills.
  • Work according to ISO standards.
  • Work on a line building brakes for Honda
  • Work with adults and kids with mental retardation.
  • Maintain the global SharePoint site for GPPO department.
  • Produce quality braking systems for various models for Honda!
  • Stock hardware, home lines, and apparel departments.
  • Encourage kids to use positive communication skills among their peers.
  • Formulate daily reporting in JDE and SharePoint for invoice hold resolution.
  • Respond to emergencies when necessary (CPR and first aid train).
  • Prepare, process and collect Medicaid, Medicare and third party insurance claims.

Associate Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 16% of Associates are proficient in Customer Service, Sales Floor, and Patients. They’re also known for soft skills such as Customer-service skills, Interpersonal skills, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Associates that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Customer Service, 16%

    Worked on over $2 billion in energy market acquisitions including electric generation facilities and retail customer service territories.

  • Sales Floor, 13%

    Achieved record sale numbers in Luggage/Housewares Departments by evaluating and analyzing weekly sales reports and setting up sales floor accordingly.

  • Patients, 10%

    Help patients obtain secondary insurance coverage through Arkansas Medicaid, and/or exploring Arkansas Medicaid options for uninsured or exhausted benefits.

  • Cleanliness, 8%

    Marketed memberships, supervised customer safety, and maintained facility cleanliness to optimize guest experience.

  • Windows, 4%

    Developed a utility that uses Windows Scheduler to poll the Application server to identity documents ready for distribution.

  • HR, 4%

    Gained significant experience training groups of supervisors and conducting HR and facility/workplace-safety audits, including training and audits in multiple states.

Some of the skills we found on associate resumes included "customer service," "sales floor," and "patients." We have detailed the most important associate responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for an associate to have in this position are customer-service skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a associate resume, you'll understand why: "retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers" According to resumes we found, customer-service skills can be used by a associate in order to "developed customer service solutions for the start-up prior to a new medical device product from fda approval through the product launch"
  • Another trait important for fulfilling associate duties is interpersonal skills. According to a associate resume, "a friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people." Here's an example of how associates are able to utilize interpersonal skills: "exemplify strong management and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to handle a wide variety of tasks with complete autonomy. "
  • Math skills is also an important skill for associates to have. This example of how associates use this skill comes from a associate resume, "retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "used quantitative analysis to forecast financial decisions of portfolio companies and presented investment and financial reports to emergent fund investors. "
  • In order for certain associate responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "selling skills." According to an associate resume, "retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "managed, tracked, and reported sample activity for sales representatives as required by fda regulations. "
  • See the full list of associate skills.

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    What Customer Service Retail Associates Do

    A customer service retail associate is responsible for providing the highest customer service for the store's customers by responding to their inquiries and concerns and recommending them goods and services that would fit their needs. Customer service retail associates support the marketing campaigns and promotional strategies of the store by offering and demonstrating products to the customers, as well as arranging stock displays, and monitoring the adequacy of inventories. They also escalate high-level complaints to management for immediate resolution and assist with product replacement and issuing refunds as needed.

    We looked at the average associate annual salary and compared it with the average of a customer service retail associate. Generally speaking, customer service retail associates receive $39,554 lower pay than associates per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both associates and customer service retail associates positions are skilled in customer service, sales floor, and product knowledge.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, an associate responsibilities require skills like "patients," "cleanliness," "windows," and "hr." Meanwhile a typical customer service retail associate has skills in areas such as "retail environment," "bank deposits," "product line," and "retail store." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    The education levels that customer service retail associates earn is a bit different than that of associates. In particular, customer service retail associates are 4.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than an associate. Additionally, they're 6.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Retail Sales Associate/Cashier?

    A cashier is responsible for ensuring all the products and goods sold are well recorded and paid for as well as answering customer inquiries and recommending products. They also help the other sales team when needed and process payment for all goods bought. Their duties and responsibilities include processing payments, ensuring all goods bought are accurately scanned and recorded, and bagging purchases.

    Now we're going to look at the retail sales associate/cashier profession. On average, retail sales associate/cashiers earn a $43,595 lower salary than associates a year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both associates and retail sales associate/cashiers are known to have skills such as "customer service," "sales floor," and "customer issues. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that associate responsibilities requires skills like "patients," "cleanliness," "windows," and "hr." But a retail sales associate/cashier might use skills, such as, "basic math," "math," "retail sales," and "cash handling."

    On the topic of education, retail sales associate/cashiers earn similar levels of education than associates. In general, they're 5.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 6.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Technology Do You Think Will Become More Important And Prevalent For Associates In The Next 3-5 Years?

    Travis Kurowski Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Writing Program Lead, York College of Pennsylvania

    It's probably because I'm answering these questions in 2020, and so during a health pandemic and economic recession, but it seems the fact that video conferencing and other tools that allow people to work as teams from a distance (such as project management apps) will become much more critical over the coming years for all workplaces. These tools have long been available, and students on campuses already use many writing programs. But these tools will become integrated and essential for almost all businesses moving forward as we adapt to current economic realities and plan for a successful future for companies and communities.Show more

    How a Commissioned Sales Associate Compares

    Commissioned sales associates are professionals who conduct sale transactions that can generate additional compensation by increasing selling operations. These associates are must collaborate successfully with fellow associates in regard to sales and commission distribution. They must provide excellent customer service so that they can establish long term relationships with customers and ensure high satisfaction. Commissioned sales associates must also assist the department managers with visual merchandising to arrange racks so that they can place and stock new merchandise.

    Let's now take a look at the commissioned sales associate profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than associates with a $32,607 difference per year.

    Using associates and commissioned sales associates resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "customer service," "sales floor," and "customer issues," but the other skills required are very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from associates resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "patients," "cleanliness," "windows," and "hr." But a commissioned sales associate might have skills like "excellent organizational," "excellent interpersonal," "customer relationships," and "commission sales."

    Commissioned sales associates are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to associates. Additionally, they're 3.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 6.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Technician/Sales Associate

    A technician/sales associate is someone who promotes the products or services of an enterprise through customer service. Sales associates are in charge of greeting the customers and guiding them through the products. They are the ones who provide answers to questions from customers, ensuring a pleasant experience for the guests. It is also part of their job to process the payment of the customers and package their purchased goods. They need to develop skills in customer service, communication, and sales strategy.

    Now, we'll look at technician/sales associates, who generally average a lower pay when compared to associates annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $33,902 per year.

    While both associates and technician/sales associates complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like customer service, sales floor, and cleanliness, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "patients," "hr," "safety standards," and "stock merchandise," which might show up on an associate resume. Whereas technician/sales associate might include skills like "retail environment," "ladders," "profitable sales," and "tech services."

    The average resume of technician/sales associates showed that they earn similar levels of education to associates. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 3.8% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 6.2%.

    What an Associate Does FAQs

    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.

    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.

    Analyst Vs. Associate

    An analyst is typically an entry-level employee that is responsible for smaller parts of bigger projects, while an associate is responsible for managing a team of analysts and completing the bigger project.

    Associate Vs Coordinator

    An associate is a person starting on the ground floor of a company or business, while a coordinator is an employee that typically has more experience.

    There are associates in all types of companies and businesses. High-profile ones include associates at law firms, while lower-level jobs, like in a department or retail store, have associate roles as well. Associates are usually indicative of being on a track to grow within the company or business.

    Associate Vs Partner

    An associate is a professional that a company employs, while a partner is a professional who usually owns part of the company.

    Associate roles at companies are usually entry-level in nature. They are starting positions that give the employee the ability to grow and be promoted within the company.

    Associate Vs Specialist

    An associate is a person who is developing their skill set through professional experience, while a specialist is a professional who possesses a strong command of knowledge and skills in a particular occupation.

    Entry Level Vs Associate

    An entry-level is a low-level position on the hierarchy in a business, company, or corporation, while an associate is a starting role that typically has the possibility of receiving a promotion to a higher rank within the business, company, or corporation.

    Law Clerk Vs Associate

    A law clerk is an attorney that provides direct assistance and counsel to a judge, while an associate is a lawyer who works at a law firm under the firm's partners.

    A law clerk works with a judge by helping them make legal determinations and write opinions by researching issues before the court. They also draft trial briefs and other legal documents, review and verify briefs and legal authority, research and write bench memoranda, and orders.

    Staff Attorney Vs Associate

    A staff attorney is a lawyer who performs services for a specific firm, company, or organization, while an associate is a lawyer at a law firm that is new to the industry.

    A staff attorney may work for many different kinds of organizations, including corporations, academic institutions, non-for-profits, and government entities. They also may specialize in one particular area of the law or may work in a more general capacity.

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