A Long-Term Look At Salary Ranges For Careers In Retail


OK, so you nabbed a job with your favourite retailer to help you pay the bills while you’re in school. You realize that it’s not so bad after all and, with a little patience and hard work, you can definitely see yourself progressing to higher-level roles.

But is this a path where you can make real money? Let’s find out…

At the first level of any retail job, the vast majority of companies will pay you approximately minimum wage, ranging from $9 to $11 per hour depending which province or territory you work in.

There are some exceptions, though. Some high-end retailers can start you at a much higher salary provided that you already have experience under your belt. Many retail stores in the upper echelon have incredible perks, like commission from sales, brand name discounts and benefits.

For example, according to a 2002 survey, an experienced Sales Representative working at Holt Renfrew can earn as much as $80,000 a year in salary and commission. Of course, this is an exception to the rule.

If you’re thinking of advancement, your next likely step would be as an Assistant Manager. From there, you can go almost anywhere depending on your education and experience.

Here are the average salary ranges for some common jobs in the retail industry. This time around, we’ve taken more of a long-term look to help you see that a career in retail can be quite lucrative:

Sales Representative
Assistant Manager
Retail Analyst
Retail Store Manager
Operations Director
District Manager
Regional VP of Operations
Regional Manager

There are many roles which are omitted because each company may have unique/additional roles in their succession charts. The most important thing to keep in mind when seeking a career path in the retail industry is to research. Select a company that has a brand you believe in and keep an eye open for opportunities, growth and company news.

Research the roles that they have available (or are standard in the retail industry) to find out whether it is something you can see yourself doing down the road.

For example, maybe you have a business degree and are very good at crunching numbers, therefore a career path as a Retail Analyst would be your best goal. Or, if you have excellent organizational skills, and you can delegate tasks and keep on top of things, then a future career in operations may be your next step.

The opportunities are definitely available past the store level, you just have to have the drive and perseverance, and empower yourself with information.

Visit TalentEgg’s Retail Career Guide for eggs-clusive student and entry level Retail jobs plus articles and videos to help you hatch your career in the Retail industry.

Source: Pay Scale Canada. They are average base salaries and do not include bonuses, commissions or stocks and are fully dependent on size and type of company.

Photo credit: Shopping! by Roger Price on Flickr
About the author

Elle Kamensky is a recent graduate from Ryerson University who majored in Human Resources Management, and is on a quest to find her dream job and make a difference! She loves books, writing, all things French, lemon tarts, conspiracy theories and collecting photos, and is prone to getting lost in Toronto.