retail sales associate

The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Retail Sales Associate

Retail sales associates have various tasks they must complete in a shift. In addition to handling sales, they are responsible for keeping shelves clean and stocked, arranging displays, and offering advice to help customers find the right product for them. Retail sales jobs can require you to work long or irregular hours and navigate stressful customer interactions. But don’t let all that scare you away. There are plenty of positive aspects of the job, too. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of taking on a job as a retail sales associate.

Retail Can Be Flexible

There’s a reason why people who are in school, working more than one job, or trying to make extra money while they find a career path choose to work a retail job. Retail can be flexible. Some retail sales jobs offer the benefit of working around your schedule so that you can plan your life around your sales gig. Additionally, no two days are ever the same when you work in retail. Your coworkers change, the customers change, and the dynamics change daily. For someone who gets bored easily, this is an ideal job.

Save Money With Exclusive Discounts

One of the biggest advantages of working in retail is the employee discount you receive on store merchandise. If you work for a store you regularly shop at, saving money with your discount can maximize your budget. The only problem you may run into is that deals may be too good to pass up. You don’t want to spend the majority of the money you make at the same place you earned it.

Earn a Commission

Self-motivated salespeople have the potential to earn more as a commission-based sales associate. While fast-paced and often competitive, commission-based sales give you a piece of every sale you make, guaranteeing that the more sales you make, the bigger your paycheck. This is a benefit for employees and employers alike as everyone goes home with a bigger slice of the pie.

Limited Education or Experience Required

You don’t need a college degree or previous experience to apply for a job as a retail sales associate. As long as you have a high school diploma or equivalent, you can begin work as a retail sales associate. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t apply for a retail job if you have a higher education degree. While not mandatory, a degree may warrant you a higher starting salary or even a management position.

Slow Advancement

One of the biggest drawbacks of retail sales is that advancement within a company is slow and difficult. There are limited managerial positions in the retail world and the job mostly requires associates to do the hard work. Other types of work have many different paths where you can take your career, but it can be hard to advance out of a retail sales associate job.

Limited Income Potential

For salaried and commission-based associates alike, the income potential of retail is lower than many other jobs that require more specific education or training. The average retail associate earns about $10.60 per hour, or about $22,040 per year. However, most sales associates do have potential to earn bonuses, profit-sharing proceeds, and sometimes commissions.

Some of the leaders in retail include Walmart, Macy’s, Home Depot, Target, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Verizon Wireless offers the best paycheck, averaging $40,000 per year for retail sales associates. If you can navigate customer relations, are skilled in client interaction, or can handle cash, you may want to consider a job as a retail sales associate.

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