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Highest-Paying Retail Jobs: Salary and Description

Employees who enjoy working in the retail sector often change jobs, typically for one that pays a higher salary.
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Wages are increasing in the U.S., even among the retail industry. The industry hires millions of workers annually, especially during the holiday season.

The number of sales in the retail industry increased in June by 0.6% from May and also by 2.3% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group. The data does not include automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

"These are impressive results showing that the consumer remains engaged and that consumer spending gave a boost to the economy in the second quarter," said NRF Chief Economic Jack Kleinhenz in a statement. "The numbers are consistent with elevated consumer sentiment, healthy household balance sheets, low inflation and wage and job gains."

The median pay for a retail sales associate was $11.70 an hour or $24,340 annually in 2018, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retail workers sell retail items such as clothing, housewares, auto parts, furniture and technology.

There were 4.9 million retail sales jobs available in 2016, according to the BLS. The number of workers in unions remains low at 5% of hourly and salaried employees in 2018, the report said.

The BLS said employment in the industry will slow down to only 2% from 2016 to 2026, which is a lower growth rate compared to other industries.

The number of available jobs in the retail industry demonstrates the health of the economy, according to the BLS.

One reason why the number of retail jobs is slowing down is because the amount of online sales continues to rise and will do so over the next 10 years. The number of physical retail stores will be limited in their growth also.

Although online sales will continue to increase, some of the retail jobs will shift to positions in warehouses such as packing and arranging the items being purchased online. Other jobs will include more delivery drivers, especially during holiday seasons such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas in order to meet the demands from last-minute shoppers. Managers to hire and train these employees, set their schedules and deal with other human resource issues will also be needed.

Certain sectors of the retail industry will experience more of an impact as the shift to online sales continues. It is projected that the media and book stores will report sharper declines, the BLS said in a report.

Other retailers such as clothing stores and automobile dealers will not be affected as much.

There are always many jobs in the retail sector because the turnover rate is extremely high. Skilled workers will have many potential positions to choose from, depending on the region they live in, according to the BLS.

These are the highest-paying retail jobs in 2019: 

15 Highest Paid Retail Jobs in 2019

1. Regional Manager

National average salary: $77,408 annually

Regional managers supervise the entire operation of the store, manage budgets and hire and fire employees. They often travel and visit stores in their area to make sure all the policies, especially safety procedures are being met.

2. General Manager

National average salary: $54,206 annually

A general manager is in charge of a particular location of a store and manages employees. This person also ensures that each department is complying with all the rules and regulations.

3. Retail Account Manager 

National average salary: $48,841 annually

A retail account manager sells products to retailers and manages relationships with  clients. This employee meets with clients on a regular basis, shows them new products and how they work and helps them manage inventory.

4. Store Manager 

National average salary: $48,150 annually

A store manager run the operations for the retail store. The employee will hire and train employees, create work schedules and supervise them. The store manager also deals with customer issues and concerns.

5. Customer Service Supervisor

National average salary: $47,519 annually

The customer service supervisor manages the employees handling calls from customers complaining or inquiring about products and information. The supervisor also hires and trains new employees on the team.

6. Floor Manager

National average salary: $44,874 annually

The floor manager supervises the staff working the floor of a retail store. The manager also hires and trains employees, makes sure the shopping area is neat and tidy for customers and deals with customer queries and complaints.

7. Auto Mechanic

National average salary: $40,710 annually

Auto mechanics test and repair automobiles and conduct maintenance such as changing and replacing tires, brakes and batteries. They also order parts and ensure the replaced parts work properly.

8. Customer Service Representative

National average salary: $33,750 annually

A customer service representative either works in a retail store or in a call center and listens to problems, questions and complaints from customers. The representative tries to help fix problem or route customers to the appropriate department.

9. Pharmacy Technician 

National average salary: $15.72 per hour

A pharmacy technician works alongside pharmacists by answering questions from customers, and managing the inventory of drugs and supplies. These technicians can work in pharmacies, drug stores, merchandise stores and hospitals.

10. Delivery Truck Driver 

National average salary: $14.66 per hour

A delivery truck driver picks up packages from warehouses and stores and brings them to stores and/or customers. They ensure that the deliveries are made on time.

11. Loss Prevention Manager 

National average salary: $13.76 per hour

A loss prevention manager works to ensure that the number of items that are lost, stolen or damaged are kept at a minimum. The manager trains employees on how to spot and report shoplifters and watches surveillance video.

12. Security Guard 

National average salary: 13.72 per hour

A security guard can work at an office, retail store or even apartment complexes and monitors people from a camera or in person. These guards sign in guests and check their identification. At retail stores, they make sure that customers are not shoplifting.

13. Cosmetics Salesperson 

National average salary: $13.07 per hour

Cosmetics sales people typically work at retail stores specializing in these products, or in department stores. They explain the products and how they work, make recommendations and often apply cosmetics on clients to show them how it looks.

14. Janitor

National average salary: $12.55 per hour

A janitor or custodian will take out the trash, vacuum the floors or clean the bathrooms. This employee can work various hours, either when the retail store is open or before or after hours.

15. Retail Salesperson

National average salary: $11.70 per hour

A retail salesperson can work in a retail clothing, electronics or auto parts store or wholesale clubs. The salesperson answers questions about products, processes payments, issues refunds for returned items and helps customers find products.