Retail Salespersons: Salary Overview
Retail salespersons sell merchandise to consumers.
Depending on the place of employment, these merchandise can be furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel.
A retail salesperson’s job description typically includes greeting customers, helping them find what they are looking for inside a store, and explaining any promotions, sales, and the availability of stock.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for retail salespersons was $25,250 per year as of May 2019.
This means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries vary based on a variety of factors, including the region, the worker’s experience level, education, and the size of the employer.
The lowest 10 percent of retail salespersons earned less than $18,900 while the top 10 percent earned more than $42,780 per year as of May 2019.
The 25 percentile for this profession was $21,780 which means that 75 percent of all retail salespersons earned more than this amount.
Retail Salesperson Salary by Industry
According to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most retail salespersons worked for general merchandise stores, for clothing stores, or for building material and supplies dealers.
The average annual wage reported by retail salespersons who worked for general merchandise stores was $25,740 as of May 2019.
Retail salespersons who worked for clothing stores reportedly earned $27,190 per year while those who worked for building material and supplies dealers reported an average annual salary of $31,130.
The average annual wage reported by retail salespersons who worked for sporting goods, hobby and musical instrument stores was $26,110.
Retail salespersons who worked for automobile dealers reportedly earned $44,270 per year on average.
The highest-paying field for retail salespersons were navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturers.
In this sector, the average annual wage for this occupation was $49,390 per year.
The second highest-paying employers were manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and supplies.
In this sector, retail salespersons took home a salary of $47,030 per year on average.
In conclusion, retail salespersons who sell navigational instruments, cars, or motor vehicle parts typically earn more than those who work in other fields.
However, the local economy also plays an important part in determining a retail salesperson’s salary.
According to the BLS report, the top-paying states for retail salespersons were the District of Columbia and Washington, states where this profession was remunerated, on average, with more than $35,000 per year.
Retail salespersons in Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi reported salaries that were close to $26,000 per year.
The top-paying metropolitan areas for this occupation were Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, where the average annual wages reported by retail salespersons were $39,300 and $38,400 on average.
Salaries also vary depending on the experience level and as an entry-level employee your hourly wage will typically be close to $10 but you will most likely start to earn more after earning a few years of experience in this profession.
Commissions, Bonuses, and Other Benefits
Some retail salespersons also earn bonuses, commissions on sales, and other benefits in addition to their fixed salary.
According to a report published by payscale.com in August 2020, retail salespersons can earn between less than $50 and more than $5,000 per year in bonuses, between less than $100 and more than $2,500 in profit sharing, and between $400 and more than $20,000 in commissions.
These numbers vary widely but if you have good people skills and you sell many products, you can supplement your earnings by several thousands of dollars a year by earning commissions on sales or bonuses.
Medical benefits are not very common for this profession.
According to payscale.com, only 35% of all retail salespersons receive medical insurance and 29% have dental insurance.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Retail Salespersons. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.