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Highest Paying Retail Jobs In 2021

Xiaofan Gao
By: Xiaofan Gao
Jan 4, 2021 • 6 min read

The Highest Paying Retail Jobs You Can Apply For Now. 

There’s a common misconception that retail jobs don’t pay well because they don’t require special skills or extensive training. While this may be true in some cases, high-paying retail jobs exist, and if you obtain one of them, you could be earning more than workers in industries that are viewed as more profitable, like the tech or financial sectors. 

We know you really want to know what retail jobs could pay this high, but let’s take a minute and define what we count as a “retail job.” If the role’s purpose is to help consumers obtain the products and/or services they need, then, yes, this is a retail job.

There is an abundance of retail jobs in industries that may interest you. So, let’s get you hired! 

woman in gray long sleeve shirt standing beside brown wooden table

Explore Management Positions

It goes without saying that the higher you climb up the corporate ladder, the more you’ll be paid. With great power comes great responsibility…and wages. If you can work your way up to these positions, then you’ll be earning the greatest amount of money possible that a retail job can get you. Here are a few different positions you can hold as a manager within a retail company. 

Purchasing Manager

Every store needs at least one purchasing manager. Without them, the store’s shelves would be empty! Purchasing managers determine which items need to be purchased, bargain prices with sellers, and ensure the goods are delivered from the suppliers to their store. They also lead teams of purchasing agents. Due to all of their important responsibilities, the median annual salary for a purchasing manager was $121,110 in 2019, making this position one of the highest-paid retail jobs ever. 

Customer Service Manager

While purchasing managers are in charge of the back-end operations, customer service managers oversee the customer-facing side. They interview potential customer service representatives, build and manage customer service teams, and observe customers’ behavior before relaying them back to their underlings. Their end goal is to maximize consumer satisfaction and increase the acquisition and retention rates of new and existing customers. They don’t earn as much as purchasing managers, their annual salary is around $94,000, but the top 10% of customer service managers can receive up to $128,000 per year. 

man and woman talking near the wall

Regional Manager

Regional managers supervise all stores in a certain area, a county, region, or state. The parameters will depend on which company they’re working for and their responsibilities. Their main job is to set targets and plan out strategies for increasing sales and profitability and check in on employees to see if they’re following along with these goals and plans. If not, they must report unsatisfactory employee performance to higher administration for further action. Regional managers earn about $90,381 per year, though the range is from $55,000 to $148,000. That’s right. A high-paying regional manager could earn more than a purchasing manager! 

Floor Manager

As the name implies, floor managers do the hiring, training, and supervising of all floor staff. They also walk around the store, checking that each area is clean, there are no chipped or broken goods anywhere on the shelves, and customers get their questions answered. If their question cannot be answered, floor managers should know which department they can direct the customer for more info. Since these types of managers are operating on a smaller scale, a single store, their average annual salary is $44,874, as opposed to the managerial roles listed above. That’s still a lot for a retail job!

General Jobs

Now, if you’re not a manager, that’s okay too! It takes several years and a lot of experience under the belt to be promoted. In the meantime, general-level retail jobs can pay a fair amount too. Plus, you can find industries that fuel your fire and serve as a passion source in your life. 

Auto Mechanist

Some people are good at fiddling around with devices. If you’re that type of person, we highly suggest looking into being an auto mechanist. Their job is to check and fix cars with issues, like a faulty headlight/taillight or a tire blowout. They also take care of vehicle maintenance, like changing engine oil or tightening lug nuts on tires. Their annual median salary is $40,710, with ones at car dealerships earning $44,280 a year (almost as much as a floor manager). 

Customer Service Representative 

You know customer service representatives. Everyone knows customer service representatives. They’re the people who pick up calls from incoming customers and either answer any questions they have or reroute them to another department. Chances are you’ve spoken with at least one before. Did you know that they can earn $33,750 per year? 

highest paying retail jobs

Pharmacy Technician 

Want to see what the medical field’s like? Then, try being a pharmacy technician. They organize inventory, answer calls, and hand the right prescriptions to patients in need or other healthcare workers. In other words, they’re like a pharmacist’s little helper. Their annual median salary is $32,700, with a possible increase to $37,390 a year if you’re working at a hospital.

Delivery Truck Driver 

You’ve probably seen delivery truck drivers everywhere too. They deliver packages all the way from warehouses to customers’ homes. It can be a long and tiring ride, but the pay isn’t too bad. Delivery truck drivers make an annual median salary of $30,500. The trucking industry is also seeing a surge in wages after driver shortage becomes a major problem due to COVID.

highest paying retail jobs

Company Specific

What company you work for is also an important factor in determining how much you’ll be paid. Below are some of the businesses paying the most for retail jobs. Most of these are large chain retail stores, so you’ll likely be able to find these locations in an area near you! 


The average hourly pay for all Costco Wholesale workers is $23, which averages about $44,850 a year. Costco is a wholesale store where members can purchase items such as food, clothing, and more in bulk. As a Costco employee, you will be handling a wide variety of merchandise. You will be assisting customers who are purchasing large quantities of items, too. You must be quick on your feet and able to assist customers who are purchasing items from a variety of departments. From produce to television equipment, you will never have a dull moment while on the job! 

Best Buy

The hourly pay range is higher at Best Buy than other companies, going from $13.24 to $19.00. Best Buy offers a variety of exciting positions for anyone who is tech-savvy and loves a good employee discount! You’ll get to handle technology that is new to the market and be the first to experience up-to-date improvements. 


Lowe’s isn’t far behind, with workers being paid from $13.00 to $19.00. If you have a knack for home improvement projects and do-it-yourself jobs, Lowe’s is a great place for you to work! Here, you will need to be knowledgeable about many different unique products that your story carrues. Oftentimes, customers are on the hunt for something super specific! Knowing your inventory will help you provide excellent customer service. 

The Home Depot

Home Depot’s hourly pay is about a dollar less on either end, going from $12.69 to $18.00. This is another large-scale hardware store that carries a wide variety of merchandise. Not only that, but they even offer workshops on-site! These are available for anyone who wants to learn more about home-improvement projects and building / workshop in general. If you have an interest in sharing your skills, you might be able to teach a class! 

highest paying retail jobs

Always Explore Your Benefits When Searching For The Highest Paying Retail Jobs 

There are other benefits you should consider too when determining where you want to work. While Home Depot’s hourly salary is lower than Costo and Best Buy, they provide employee stock purchasing plans. Make sure to always look beyond the salary when considering a new position. Benefits, company culture, and treatment of employees are all vital, too. There is no guarantee that one place is definitely better than another. It all depends on your individual situation. So, make sure to do some research!

Your Interview is Important

When applying for a retail job, the interview is one of the most important parts of landing the position. It is likely that you will be working with people while on the clock, whether it’s customers or coworkers! So, your potential employer will want to see how you respond to behavioral and situational interview questions to get a better understanding of your qualities as a candidate. This is your time to shine! Feel free to talk about your previous work experiences that have prepared you for this role, and why you would be a good fit for the position. The recruiter will learn so much more about you during the interview than by just looking at your resume. (Though that is an important part of the application process, too)!


Just because you are searching for a retail position doesn’t mean you have to settle for a low salary! Your skills are needed and you should always be sure to earn what you know you are worth. Do some research before beginning a new job to ensure the rates you are earning are competitive. If not, feel free to do some negotiation! Retail jobs are demanding and require high-skill levels and emotional intelligence. Don’t sell yourself short! Try exploring some of the jobs we have highlighted in this article to begin your job search on the right foot. If you have worked in any of these positions, connect with us and share on our social media! We would love to hear from you! 

More to Explore:

The Best Work From Home Jobs You Can Apply For Now 

How To Set Career Goals For The New Year 

Hiring Gen Z and Millennials 

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