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With Minimum Wage on the Rise, These Are Some of the Highest Paid Retail Jobs

The movement toward a higher minimum wage is on the rise — and some of the country’s biggest retailers are coming out on top with the highest-paid retail jobs.

At the start of the year, annual cost-of-living adjustments and other scheduled gains led wages to jump by pennies to a dollar for workers across 20 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington.

Later in the year, another four states — Connecticut, Nevada, Oregon, and Virginia — plus Washington, D.C., will see an increase in their baseline pay.

Some retailers have hiked pay and benefits in an attempt to attract and workers — perhaps as well as incentivize them to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Others, however, raised wages as part of previously announced plans. The pandemic has brought about huge labor shortages plaguing the United States. Many companies aim to combat this issue by raising their starting pay. Here, a list of some of the highest-paid retail jobs.

Hobby Lobby

As of Jan. 1, 2022, the crafts chain store will up its pay to $18.50 an hour for full-time workers.

Amazon

The online giant’s minimum wage for all U.S.-based employees currently stands at $18 per hour — more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Best Buy

Electronic retailer Best Buy raised their starting pay for entry-level employees to $15 with a range depending on specific positions.

Costco

The membership-only warehouse chain’s minimum wage has increased to $17 hourly. During a Senate panel hearing, CEO Craig Jelinek shared that more than half of U.S. employees are “paid at the top of our scales, in excess of $25 an hour.”

CVS

The pharmacy giant has announced its plan to achieve $15 hourly minimum wages for all employees by July 2022, with hourly increases beginning late last month.

Dollar General

According to investment banking firm UBS, which analyzed the employee-reported salaries of 25 major nationwide retailers in the United States, Dollar General pays its workers the least of the group but still above the national minimum at $9.68 an hour on average.

Dollar Tree

Dollar General isn’t the only discount chain that pays better than minimum wage: UBS reported that Dollar Tree’s starting pay is $10 per hour on average.

Ulta

Makeup and beauty supply store Ulta has a wide range of products at affordable prices. From hair care tools to mascara, the retailer has everything a makeup or hair enthusiast could want. If you land a Beauty Advisor position at Ulta, the starting pay varies between $9-$14 an hour with an average of $11 overall, according to Talent.com. The average Ulta salary in the US is $34,125 per year or $17.50 per hour, the site claims, adding that entry-level positions start at $30,408 per year while most experienced workers make up to $116,967 per year. Ulta is believed to be among some of the companies with the highest-paid retail jobs.

Macy’s

Macy’s said on Nov. 9 that it would raise its minimum pay to $15 per hour and launch a tuition benefit program for all U.S.-based salaried and hourly employees. Macy’s is also offering corporate and hourly employees an additional paid holiday. Once Macy’s completes its goal of achieving a $15 minimum wage nationally by May 2022, average base pay will be more than $17 an hour, the company said.

Puma

The German athletic giant announced on Nov. 22 that it will raise its minimum pay for Puma North America and Puma Canada retail employees to $15 per hour, effective Nov. 29.

“Our dedicated retail employees are a vital link between our customers and the Puma brand. Raising our wages is the right thing to do, and I’m hopeful this positive change will ensure all of our employees feel supported and valued, while pushing our entire industry forward toward this important benchmark,” Puma North America president and CEO Bob Philion said in a statement. “I’m grateful for our retail team’s unwavering commitment, especially as we have navigated ongoing uncertainties throughout the pandemic. It’s not been without its challenges, but I’m so proud of all we’ve accomplished and the growth we continue to see, rooted in the friendly faces of our in-store teams.”

Saks Off Fifth

The discount arm of Saks Fifth Avenue announced on Oct. 14 that it would raise minimum wages for all hourly store associates in North America to $15 per hour. Saks Off Fifth also said it would give associates a $500 appreciation bonus.

Sam’s Club

Starting last month, the Arkansas-based retailer raised its starting hourly salary from $11 to $15.

Target

After implementing a $15 an hour minimum wage across all stores in 2020, the big-box retailer on Monday announced a new starting hourly wage range of $15 to $24 for hourly employees in stores, supply chain facilities, and corporate headquarters. The wages will vary depending on the job and location.

Under Armour

In June 2021, Under Armour raised its minimum wage to $15 as a way of luring people back to work amid a labor shortage.

Walgreens

The Chicago-based pharmacy announced plans to raise its minimum hourly pay to $15 last month. Gradual raises have already begun, with the goal to be put in effect for all of Walgreens’ 9,000 stores by November 2022.

Wayfair

The home goods retailer has raised wages as of this January for all U.S. employees, who will make at least $15 per hour.

Costco Associate

Costco Wholesale cooperation provides people with items in bulk at low prices, including shoes and apparel. If you are searching for a more traditional retail job with some of the highest pay, then look no further than Costco. The retailer has a reputation for exceptional employment opportunities and a multitude of open positions. With their starting wages at $15 an hour, they’re hard to beat.

Walmart

The retail giant increased wages for about 165,000 hourly workers — or roughly 11% of its U.S. workforce — in October 2020 as part of the rollout of a new operating model in its Supercenter stores. Its minimum wage remains at $11. Depending on location and market, some associates average around $16.40.

Crate and Barrel

Glassdoor estimates that the average starting salary for a sales associate is $13 an hour and ales associates’ pay can range from $8 to $21 dollars depending on the position. The company also offers workers a 30% off discount on all goods, according to the employment site.

Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom Rack seems to have it all. With an extensive list of merchandise from shoes to makeup and clothing, Nordstrom Rack has it all. According to 55 reported sales associate salaries on Glassdoor, Nordstrom’s starting wages range from $10-$20 an hour with the average falling on $13. Their employee discount is either 20% -or- 33% depending on your position, according to the site. Regular hourly employees get a 20% discount while management gets a very solid 33% discount, Glassdoor claims.

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