What is a Sales Associate

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 $14.4 an hour? That's $29,949 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.

Learn more about what a Sales Associate does

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 38.1% of Sales Associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.3% 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.

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. Gap Jobs (12,549)
  2. Marshalls Jobs (9,290)
  3. Ross Stores Jobs (10,911)
  4. Aeropostale Jobs (9,980)
  5. Macy's Jobs (60,565)
Average Salary
$29,949
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-2%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
535,069
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Sales Associate

Sales Associates in America make an average salary of $29,949 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $43,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$29,949
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12 Sales Associate Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Sales Associate Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Sales 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 Sales Associate Resume Examples And Templates

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

  1. Gap Jobs (12,549)
  2. Marshalls Jobs (9,290)
  3. Ross Stores Jobs (10,911)
  4. Aeropostale Jobs (9,980)
  5. Macy's Jobs (60,565)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Sales Associate Resume templates

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

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Sales Associate Demographics

Sales Associate Gender Statistics

female

61.6 %

male

38.4 %

Sales Associate Ethnicity Statistics

White

59.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.2 %

Black or African American

10.7 %

Sales Associate Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

66.5 %

French

8.6 %

German

2.6 %
Job Openings

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Sales Associate Education

Sales Associate Majors

22.6 %

Sales Associate Degrees

Bachelors

38.1 %

High School Diploma

32.5 %

Associate

18.1 %
Job Openings

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Lead Generation and pre-sales skills: Learn lead generation, introducing yourself & qualifying your lead in 3 hours...

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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, Rhode Island, Nebraska, and California. Sales Associates make the most in New York with an average salary of $37,146. Whereas in Rhode Island and Nebraska, they would average $34,046 and $33,842, respectively. While Sales Associates would only make an average of $33,695 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. New York

Total Sales Associate Jobs:
8,769
Highest 10% Earn:
$53,000
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

2. Michigan

Total Sales Associate Jobs:
5,541
Highest 10% Earn:
$43,000
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

3. Rhode Island

Total Sales Associate Jobs:
659
Highest 10% Earn:
$47,000
Location Quotient:
0.89
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 Sales Associates

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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 $28,736. Macy's follows up with an average salary of $29,225, and then comes J. C. Penney with an average of $28,858. 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 Goldman Sachs, Grubhub, and Gates

Most Common Employers For Sales Associate

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Sales Associate SalaryAverage Salary
1$32,608
2$29,480
3$29,371
4$29,303
5$29,263
6$29,225

Sales Associate Videos

Becoming a Sales Associate FAQs

How long does it take to become a Sales Associate?

It takes 2 years of professional experience to become a sales associate. That is the time it takes to learn specific sales associate skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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Do sales associates get paid well?

No, sales associates do not get paid well. The average hourly pay for a sales associate is $11.19. In fact, over 28% of sales associates in the United States think their salaries are enough for the cost of living in their area.

That's not completely true. However, some sales associates have the potential to earn a lot more. A commission sales job, for example, gives you both a base salary and a commission. An average commissioned sales associate, for instance, can earn more than $25.83 an hour or $53,725 a year. Not too shabby.

Sales associates don't make a base salary, but some can earn good money in commissions. A typical commission rate for sales starts at about 5% -- though the average in sales is usually between 20 - 30%. In some cases, companies can offer as much as 40 - 50% commission.

Some of the common commissioned sales associate jobs are retail sales associate, real estate agent (requires additional training), and direct sales representative who meets customers face to face (e.g., door to door salesperson)

Other factors such as what city you live in and state, as well as the company you work for, can all have an impact on how much a sales associate can earn.

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Is a sales associate a cashier?

No, a sales associate is not a cashier. A sales associate deals more with maintaining products and initializing the sale of an item. Cashiers focus more on finalizing these sales and handling money.

Sales associates often work in department stores, whereas cashiers work in a range of industries, including fast food, toll booths, stores, to name a few. A sales associate, unlike a cashier, is there to answer customers' questions, solve product concerns, and sometimes act as a cashier. Sales associates, unlike cashiers, often enter sales data into computers.

Both cashiers and sales associates work directly with people and therefore should have excellent customer service skills and be able to communicate effectively with people of all personality types. Both cashiers and sales associates need to be willing to help and ready to seek out customers who might need help.

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