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Jobs in Retail Paying $50K and Under

Jobs in Retail Paying $50K and Under

The Canadian retail sector has witnessed major economic growth. There are more than 1.8 million retail workers in Canada!

Annual sales in this sector of our economy are fast approaching $1 trillion. Yet over the past two decades the wages of retail and wholesale sector workers have not kept pace. After adjusting for inflation, wages have actually declined by 4 per cent since 2000.

As of the latest figures (2009), retail workers earn an average hourly rate of $14. This excludes discounts on their store’s merchandise and commissions that many retail employees are eligible for. Still, overall wages are less than the 2009 Canadian average of $19.50. But when you consider that many of the entry-level jobs – such as stock clerk, sales associate or cashier – don’t require higher education, and tend not to be covered by collective bargaining agreements that a union provides, these salary figures are less surprising.

Here are some of the typical jobs under $50,000 a year you’ll find in retail. There are lots and lots of these available as turnover tends occur regularly as people advance or leave for other opportunities.

Storekeeper/Stock Clerk

Generally works in the back of a store (a stockroom) where inventory is received and stockpiled. Maintains receipts, records, and withdrawals. Checks materials and supplies. Lifts and moves merchandise. Reports when inventories are low. Receives and unpacks materials and supplies. Reports damages and discrepancies for accounting, reimbursement and record-keeping purposes. Requires a high school diploma or equivalent.

Salary: The annual wage range for full-time positions at this level run from the low $30,000’s to the mid $40,000’s, depending on your experience and size of the employer.

View Stock Clerk Jobs

Sales Associate

Works in the store itself. Assists customers with choosing and purchasing the store’s merchandise. Recommends items based on the needs of each customer. May also ring up sales at the cash register. In stores where actual product, such as clothing or food, is being sold (as opposed to services being sold like vacations or hairstyling), helps with putting away items on the proper shelves and stocking display areas. Typically directs complaints or difficult situations to the store’s Assistant Manager or Manager. Requires a high school diploma or equivalent.

Salary: For the most part, Sales Associates get paid their province’s minimum hourly wage, plus a small commission (a percentage of the sales they make). In some higher end stores the annual wage may range from the upper $30,000’s to the low $50,000’s a year with the possibility of bonuses.

View Sales Associate Jobs


As a Visual Merchandiser you are creative, yet analytical when it comes to consumer buying patterns and market trends. Your job is to combine artistic flair with technical know-how in implementing all aspects of merchandising the sales floor. Executes merchandising (product ordering, and display standards using Planograms). Includes placement of merchandise, pricing, securing, and replenishment of products. Conduct counts and inventory related functions. Requires minimum of a high school diploma, preferably with a college diploma in Merchandising or related discipline.

Salary: Ranges from about $30,000 - $48,000 a year.

View Merchandiser Jobs

Curious about how your job compares to those of other people in the same position? Use’s free Career Benchmarking tool to see where you stand. Also check out’s Salary Wizard™ to see what different jobs pay across Canada.

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