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Become A Product Associate

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Working As A Product Associate

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Associate Do

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Duties

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and offer them assistance
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers’ total purchases and accept payment
  • Inform customers about current sales, promotions, and policies about payments and exchanges

The following are examples of types of retail sales workers:

Retail salespersons work in stores where they sell goods, such as books, cars, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, lumber, plants, shoes, and many other types of merchandise.

In addition to helping customers find and select items to buy, many retail salespersons process the payment for the sale, which typically involves operating cash registers.

After taking payment for the purchases, retail salespersons may bag or package the purchases.

Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This includes counting the money in the register and separating charge slips, coupons, and exchange vouchers. They may also make deposits at a cash office.

For information about other workers who receive and disburse money, see the profile on cashiers.

In addition, retail salespersons may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays.

For some retail sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail sales workers need special knowledge or skills. For example, those who sell cars must be able to explain the features of various models, manufacturers’ specifications, different types of options on the car, financing available, and the details of associated warranties.

In addition, retail sales workers must recognize security risks and thefts and understand their organization’s procedures for handling thefts—procedures that may include notifying security guards or calling police.

Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts. Most work in either automotive parts stores or automobile dealerships. They take customers’ orders, inform customers of part availability and price, and take inventory.

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How To Become A Product Associate

Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers. Most receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months.

Education

Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or “big-ticket” items, such as electronics or cars.

Training

Most retail sales workers receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.

During training sessions, topics often include customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to operate the cash register.

Depending on the type of product they are selling, employees may be given additional specialized training. For example, salespersons working in cosmetics get instruction on the types of products the store offers and for whom the cosmetics would be most beneficial. Likewise, those who sell computers may be instructed on the technical differences between computer products.

Because providing exceptional service to customers is a priority for many employers, employees often get periodic training to update and refine their skills.

Advancement

Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.

As sales workers gain experience and seniority, they often move into positions that have greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments in which to work. This opportunity often means moving to positions with higher potential earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually involves selling “big-ticket” items—such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronics. These positions often require workers with extensive knowledge of the product and an excellent talent for persuasion.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers. They should explain the product options available to customers and make appropriate recommendations.

Interpersonal skills. A friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people. 

Math skills. Retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers.

Persistence. A large number of attempted sales may not be successful, so sales workers should not be discouraged easily. They must start each new sales attempt with a positive attitude.

Selling skills. Retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers. They must clearly and effectively explain the benefits of the merchandise.

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Product Associate Demographics

Gender

Male

52.3%

Female

37.2%

Unknown

10.5%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.9%

Asian

11.1%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.1%

French

7.1%

Portuguese

4.3%

Chinese

4.3%

German

4.3%

Japanese

4.3%

Russian

2.9%

Hebrew

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

Hindi

2.9%

Cantonese

2.9%

Korean

2.9%

Cornish

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Greek

1.4%

Malayalam

1.4%

Polish

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Gujarati

1.4%

Italian

1.4%
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Product Associate Education

Schools

New York University

6.8%

Pennsylvania State University

6.8%

Columbia University

6.8%

Arizona State University

5.9%

University of Pennsylvania

5.9%

University of Phoenix

5.9%

Fashion Institute of Technology

5.9%

Northeastern University

5.9%

Florida State University

5.1%

Temple University

4.2%

Salt Lake Community College

4.2%

Rutgers University-Camden

4.2%

University of Washington

4.2%

University of California - Davis

4.2%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.2%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.2%

Purdue University

4.2%

Duke University

4.2%

Baruch College of the City University of New York

3.4%

University of California - Irvine

3.4%
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Majors

Business

25.3%

Finance

10.0%

Marketing

7.1%

Law

5.4%

Accounting

4.8%

Biology

4.6%

Management

4.5%

Criminal Justice

4.1%

Computer Science

3.9%

Psychology

3.7%

Economics

3.3%

Communication

3.3%

Graphic Design

3.3%

General Studies

2.6%

Sociology

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.4%

Pharmacy

2.2%

English

2.2%

Kinesiology

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Other

17.8%

Masters

17.5%

Associate

10.8%

Doctorate

3.8%

Certificate

2.8%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$38,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$163,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Lowe's
Highest Paying City
Bentonville, AR
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Product Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Product Associate in the United States is $79,153 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $163,000.

Real Product Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
GAA Product Associate AQR Capital Management, LLC Greenwich, CT Feb 22, 2016 $140,000 -
$160,000
Product Associate Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC Newport Beach, CA Aug 15, 2016 $110,000
Product Associate LDI/Solutions Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco) Newport Beach, CA Aug 16, 2013 $104,500
Product Associate Google, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 10, 2015 $100,000
Senior Product Associate Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco) New York, NY Aug 01, 2012 $95,000
Stress Forecasting & BAU, Credit Products-Associate Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Nov 07, 2016 $90,000
Trading Associate, Structured Product Training Standard Chartered Bank New York, NY Oct 23, 2009 $90,000
Product Associate Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC Newport Beach, CA Dec 17, 2015 $85,000
Product Associate Masterbuilt Industries Dayton, NJ Dec 13, 2016 $80,059
Data Product Associate Yipit, Inc. New York, NY Sep 19, 2016 $80,000
Product Associate Mediamath, Inc. New York, NY Sep 02, 2015 $80,000 -
$90,000
Product Associate Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC Newport Beach, CA Apr 19, 2016 $80,000
Product Associate-Solutions Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco) Newport Beach, CA Sep 06, 2011 $80,000
Data Product Associate Yipit, Inc. New York, NY Oct 10, 2016 $75,000
Global Product Associate Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco) Newport Beach, CA Dec 17, 2012 $75,000
Product Associate Management Science Associates, Inc. Pittsburgh, PA Jul 01, 2016 $65,672 -
$71,534
Product Associate Riconpharma LLC Denville, NJ Jan 03, 2016 $65,000
Product Associate Unicareer LLC New York, NY Sep 13, 2016 $62,026
Product Associate Ifeelgoods, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 15, 2014 $62,000
Senior Product Associate Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco) Ithaca, NY Feb 28, 2013 $61,875
Associate Merchant, 3Rd Party Product Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. New Albany, OH Oct 09, 2016 $58,490
Product Associate, Sweaters Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation New York, NY Dec 02, 2010 $58,000

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Top Skills for A Product Associate

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Customer Service
  3. New Merchandise
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist customer service with fit and product knowledge to educate them on how to up-sell product and minimize return rates.
  • Delivered strong customer service to help established customer base.
  • Maintain compliance with all applicable MVS and client specific procedures and global safety regulatory requirements.
  • Completed stock replenishment and sales floor presentation to guarantee product availability and promote customer satisfaction.
  • Structured financial products to allow clients to make efficient use of market dislocations and express their macroeconomic views.

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Top 10 Best States for Product Associates

  1. Delaware
  2. New York
  3. Connecticut
  4. Texas
  5. North Carolina
  6. Iowa
  7. Virginia
  8. Wyoming
  9. Colorado
  10. New Jersey
  • (19 jobs)
  • (196 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)

Top Product Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Product Associate Employers

Product Associate Videos

Meet a Google Associate Product Manager Program Alumna, feat. Laura

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How to Plan a Product Management Career - Ramsey Pryor

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