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Sales Associate Careers

Sales associates really capitalize on the whole shopping experience, from finding the exact product you're looking for, to helping you check out, sales associates are there for you.

A lot of sales associates work in clean, well-lit stores, so you don't have to worry about getting dirty at work. They also work unique hours, including on the weekends and some nights. So if you like to sleep in then maybe you should consider becoming a sales associate.

Most sales associates don't have to worry about formal education requirements because there are none. Instead, you'll receive on-the-job training and you'll learn as you go.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a sales associate. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.56 an hour? That's $32,373 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 a Sales Associate Do

There are certain skills that many sales 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 interpersonal skills, math skills and selling skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a sales associate, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.5% of sales associates included customer service, while 12.1% of resumes included sales floor, and 9.9% of resumes included retail sales. 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 sales associate job title. But what industry to start with? Most sales associates actually find jobs in the retail and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Sales Associate

If you're interested in becoming a sales associate, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 36.0% of sales associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.6% of sales associates have master's degrees. Even though some sales 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 a sales associate. When we researched the most common majors for a sales associate, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on sales associate resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a sales associate. In fact, many sales associate jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many sales associates also have previous career experience in roles such as customer service representative or internship.

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Average Salary
$32,373
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-2%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
263,800
Job Openings

Sales Associate Career Paths

Top Careers Before Sales Associate

Cashier
24.5 %

Top Careers After Sales Associate

Cashier
17.1 %
Server
7.9 %

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 a Sales Associate

Sales Associates in America make an average salary of $32,373 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $63,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $16,000 per year.
Average Salary
$32,373

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range28k - 57k$40k$40,289
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range27k - 57k$40k$39,868
Albuquerque, NM
Salary Range28k - 56k$40k$39,784
Omaha, NE
Salary Range29k - 52k$39k$39,126
Chattanooga, TN
Salary Range26k - 51k$37k$37,233
Boston, MA
Salary Range26k - 52k$37k$37,210
$22k
$57k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Policygenius
Remote Life Sales Associate-Life Insurance
Remote Life Sales Associate-Life Insurance
Policygenius
Policygenius
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$80,00003/31/2021
$80,000
Sales Associate
Sales Associate
Slumberland
Slumberland
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$48,00003/31/2021
$48,000
Remote Life Sales Associate-Life Insurance
Remote Life Sales Associate-Life Insurance
Policygenius
Policygenius
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$80,00003/31/2021
$80,000
Sales Associate-Morning Shift
Sales Associate-Morning Shift
Hudson Group
Hudson Group
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$27,13103/31/2021
$27,131
Hudson Group
Food/Sales Associate
Food/Sales Associate
Hudson Group
Hudson Group
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$23,83403/31/2021
$23,834
See More Recent Salaries

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Sales 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 a Sales 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 a Sales Associate Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Sales 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

Sales Associate Demographics

Gender

female

56.1 %

male

39.8 %

unknown

4.1 %

Ethnicity

White

59.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

19.9 %

Black or African American

11.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.1 %

French

8.2 %

German

2.4 %
See More Demographics

Sales Associate Education

Majors

Business
22.3 %

Degrees

Bachelors

30.3 %

High School Diploma

25.7 %

Certificate

22.4 %
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Sales 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, 18.5% of sales associates listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and math skills are important as well.

Best States For a Sales Associate

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a sales associate. The best states for people in this position are New York, New Mexico, Nebraska, and California. Sales associates make the most in New York with an average salary of $40,224. Whereas in New Mexico and Nebraska, they would average $39,802 and $39,325, respectively. While sales associates would only make an average of $38,058 in California, 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. Louisiana

Total Sales Associate Jobs:
2,381
Highest 10% Earn:
$70,000
Location Quotient:
1.23
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. Tennessee

Total Sales Associate Jobs:
4,415
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
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 York

Total Sales Associate Jobs:
8,769
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
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 Sales 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 sales associates and discovered their number of sales associate opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Walmart was the best, especially with an average salary of $34,376. Macy's follows up with an average salary of $34,805, and then comes J. C. Penney with an average of $32,999. 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 a sales associate. The employers include Morgan Stanley, Knoll, and Medallia

1. Walmart
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$34,376
Sales Associates Hired: 
87,711+
2. Macy's
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$34,805
Sales Associates Hired: 
61,509+
3. J. C. Penney
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$32,999
Sales Associates Hired: 
27,875+
4. The Home Depot
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$33,394
Sales Associates Hired: 
24,478+
5. Old Navy
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$26,788
Sales Associates Hired: 
20,089+
6. Sears Holdings
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$35,891
Sales Associates Hired: 
18,089+

Sales Associate Videos

Updated October 2, 2020