Grocery salary

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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2018

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41-2011 Cashiers

Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. May use electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. May process credit or debit card transactions and validate checks. Excludes "Gaming Cage Persons and Booth Cashiers" (41-2012).

National estimates for this occupation
Industry profile for this occupation
Geographic profile for this occupation

National estimates for this occupation:

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:

Employment (1)Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
3,635,5500.6 %$11.17$23,2400.2 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $8.49$9.34$10.78$12.01$14.47
Annual Wage (2)$17,660$19,430$22,430$24,990$30,110

Industry profile for this occupation:

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Food and Beverage Stores (4451 and 4452 only) 910,40031.14$11.43$23,780
General Merchandise Stores 767,33024.11$11.08$23,040
Gasoline Stations 613,08065.56$10.53$21,890
Restaurants and Other Eating Places 337,0303.15$10.50$21,840
Health and Personal Care Stores 199,79018.75$11.54$24,000

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Gasoline Stations 613,08065.56$10.53$21,890
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 71,25044.67$11.33$23,560
Food and Beverage Stores (4451 and 4452 only) 910,40031.14$11.43$23,780
General Merchandise Stores 767,33024.11$11.08$23,040
Health and Personal Care Stores 199,79018.75$11.54$24,000

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 9200.05$18.80$39,100
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 8800.22$17.15$35,660
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 7,3200.34$16.97$35,290
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 22,6400.41$14.99$31,180
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals 400.02$14.48$30,120

Geographic profile for this occupation:

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 420,43024.720.98$13.20$27,450
Texas 273,59022.580.90$10.58$22,000
Florida 242,90028.221.12$10.51$21,870
New York 197,49021.040.84$12.28$25,540
Pennsylvania 145,34024.850.99$10.17$21,160

States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Mississippi 42,12037.481.49$9.43$19,620
Louisiana 70,63036.911.47$9.51$19,790
New Hampshire 22,40034.301.37$10.95$22,780
Alabama 65,54033.721.34$9.91$20,620
South Carolina 66,96032.471.29$9.69$20,160

Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
District of Columbia 7,15010.040.40$14.28$29,700
Washington 67,72020.780.83$14.11$29,350
Alaska 6,67021.160.84$13.48$28,030
California 420,43024.720.98$13.20$27,450
Massachusetts 75,96021.270.85$12.65$26,310


As COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.S. landscape, millions of frontline grocery and retail workers remain exposed to the virus, but without extra compensation for the risks they face. While the hazards of the pandemic have grown worse, hazard pay for most grocery workers expired months ago.

As we documented in a recent report with Julia Du, the country’s biggest grocery and retail employers have earned record profits during the pandemic—but, with few exceptions, most are sharing little of their windfall with the frontline essential workers who are risking the most.

Now, thanks to new local government efforts, this is about to change for thousands of grocery workers. Buoyed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union’s (UFCW) organizing efforts, several city and county governments across California and in Seattle have just passed mandates requiring some large grocery, food retail, and pharmacy employers to provide their workers hazard pay—a trend that may (and should) expand to other communities across the country.

The momentum to mandate hazard pay began last month in the city of Long Beach, Calif. Citing our research, Long Beach city council members introduced an ordinance for hazard pay—the first of its kind in the country aimed specifically at frontline essential grocery and food retail workers. Last week, the city council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance mandating that large grocery chains (those that employ more than 300 workers nationally and at least 15 locally) pay workers an additional $4 per hour “hero pay” for at least 120 days. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia signed the ordinance last week and the city council will take a final vote on February 2.

The Long Beach ordinance has already been replicated in more than half a dozen cities, including:

  • Santa Monica, Calif: On January 12, the Santa Monica city council approved $5 per hour “hero pay” for grocery workers at large employers.
  • Seattle: On January 25, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a similar mandate—citing our research requiring certain large grocery and food retail businesses with at least 500 employees globally to pay $4 per hour hazard pay for grocery workers.
  • Los Angeles County: On January 5, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to draft a mandate—also citing our research—requiring large grocery and drugstore chains to provide workers a $5 per hour pay increase for at least 120 days.
  • San Francisco: Earlier this month, San Francisco passed a nonbinding ordinance urging companies to pay hazard pay.
  • San Jose, Berkeley, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Santa Clara, and San Mateo: Several other California cities are also considering mandates.

The new hazard pay ordinances in California and Seattle are unique because they are among the first to be government-mandated, rather than government-funded or voluntarily employer-provided. They follow a novel hazard pay ordinance passed by Seattle’s city council in June requiring gig platform companies that deliver food and groceries to provide premium pay to workers.

The new ordinances help fill the void left by nonexistent government-funded hazard pay and inadequate or lapsed employer-provided hazard pay. Despite early political momentum and a clear rationale to do so, the U.S. Congress has not passed any government-funded hazard pay for frontline workers during the pandemic. While a few states—including Pennsylvania and Vermont—creatively leveraged federal CARES Act funding to introduce state-level hazard pay programs, it is unlikely that these programs will continue or expand without additional federal funding. There are also no national or state laws requiring employers (outside the federal government) to provide hazard pay to workers during a public health emergency.

Thus, the provision of hazard pay to date has largely been voluntary and up to the discretion, willingness, and resources of individual employers. The result is a patchwork of intermittent, modest additional pay to only some frontline workers. Most essential workers received no hazard pay at all.

Hazard pay mandates target companies earning windfall pandemic profits

The new ordinances are targeted at some large companies with the greatest ability to pay, while sparing small businesses and other employers that are struggling financially during the pandemic.

In our recent report, we examined the record pandemic profits and the pandemic pay at 13 of the largest retail and grocery companies in the country. Combined, the 13 companies earned an additional $17.7 billion in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to 2019—a striking 42% increase. We found that many of the top companies earned billions of dollars during (and largely because of) the pandemic, but have shared little of their windfall with frontline workers. More generous companies such as Target (which permanently raised its starting wage to $15 per hour and has offered periodic bonuses) and Costco (which will sustain its $2 per hour hazard pay through March, on top of its $15 per hour minimum wage) stood out as exceptions. In contrast, grocery and pharmacy companies were among the least generous employers in our analysis, despite booming profits and very low wages.

Fig 1

The gap between pandemic profits and pandemic pay is especially striking at the country’s three largest grocery providers: Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons. Together, the three companies earned an additional $6.8 billion in profit in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to 2019—an average increase of 98%. Meanwhile, the extra hazard pay these companies provided their workers averaged just $0.76 per hour through the end of 2020—well below the average hazard pay of $1.19 per hour across the 13 companies in our analysis, and far less than the $2 per hour hazard pay that Costco continues to provide its frontline workers. Specifically:

  • Walmart could have quadrupled the amount of hazard pay it gave its frontline workers and still earned more profit than last year. As Walmart’s profits and stock price surged during the pandemic, the wealth of the Walton siblings (billionaire heirs to the Walmart fortune) has grown by 26 times the total amount of hazard pay the company paid its more than 1.5 million associates.
  • Kroger ended its $2 per hour “hero pay” in mid-May, 257 days ago, despite doubling its profits and spending nearly a billion dollars in 2020 to buy back its own stock shares.
  • Albertsons had the highest profit growth of all the retail companies in our analysis. Their pandemic profits are up a stunning 149% in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to 2019. The company spent nearly $1.9 billion in stock buybacks in the first three quarters of last year, compared to the approximate $350 million, pre-tax, the company spent on hazard pay and expanded sick pay for its workers.

These large grocery companies have the means—and the moral imperative—to provide their workers hazard pay. Despite pressure from unions, negative media attention, and even comments from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris calling on CEOs to institute hazard pay, many large grocery and retail companies are still choosing not to invest their pandemic profits back into workers. With the new mandates, however, local governments are signaling that not only should these companies provide hazard pay, but they must.

Local governments face trade-offs in including more essential workers in hazard pay mandates

In addition to legal challenges, the main limitation of the new ordinances is their narrow scope, primarily benefiting frontline grocery and pharmacy workers. The mandates do not cover other frontline essential workers such as nursing home and hospital staff, home health aides, security guards, janitors, and food service workers—who, like grocery workers, earn low wages and face risks to their health on the job, but whose employers have not financially benefitted during the pandemic.

As we emphasized in reports from April and October, the best way to ensure all frontline essential workers receive hazard pay is for Congress to dedicate federal funds for it. However, with federal relief uncertain and local and state government budgets pummeled by the pandemic, government funding for hazard pay may not transpire.

In the absence of public funding, local policymakers have several options to expand eligibility for mandated hazard pay. All of them come with trade-offs, as they pass on the cost of wage increases to employers, including some that are barely surviving and others that are holding steady. The following are several options for expanding locally mandated hazard pay, with varying implications for employers based on their abilities to absorb higher labor costs:

  • Hazard pay for all workers: A more sweeping legislative change could result in higher wages for the widest range of frontline workers. For instance, a successful ballot initiative in Portland, Maine raised the city’s hazard pay minimum wage to 150% of the normal minimum wage during a public health emergency. But without public funds from the state or federal government to help struggling employers pay for it, a broader mandate for higher pay across all employers could leave financially struggling employers in a difficult position.
  • Generous hazard pay for more frontline workers at highly profitable companies: One low-hanging fruit for local policymakers is to broaden mandates like those in Seattle and Los Angeles County to include generous hazard pay to other workers at highly profitable companies outside of food retail. For instance, discount retailer Dollar General, e-commerce giant Amazon, and delivery company FedEx have earned large pandemic profits while offering little or no hazard pay to their workers.
  • Modest hazard pay for more essential workers: Policymakers could also explore opportunities to widen eligibility by including more essential workers in additional mandates with less generous hourly pay, in addition to the more targeted grocery and retail worker hazard pay. For instance, to expand eligibility to workers outside of the most profitable companies, policymakers could consider a more modest wage increase (such as $1 or $2 per hour) for a larger pool of essential workers, perhaps with either exemptions for small businesses and certain struggling industries or grants to reimburse them.

More local governments should mandate hazard pay

While not addressing the needs of all essential workers, the new local ordinances in Long Beach, Santa Monica, and Seattle are paving a new approach for how cities and counties can address the needs of their frontline essential workers, despite inaction by Congress and the unwillingness of some large companies to share their pandemic profits. By focusing on some of the companies that do have the means to provide extra hazard pay, policymakers will make an immediate and meaningful difference for some of the workers risking the most on the COVID-19 frontline.

The case for more local hazard pay mandates may become even more urgent in the coming weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecasted that the more highly transmissible U.K. variant of COVID-19 will become the dominant strain in the country by March, foreshadowing a potentially worsening pandemic ahead. While frontline essential workers are prioritized for vaccines, their sustained exposure to COVID-19 at work could continue to jeopardize the health and safety of family members in their household who may have to wait months or longer to be vaccinated.

There are essential workers in every community across America who are performing jobs vital to their neighbors and the country, at great risk to themselves and their families. Hazard pay is one way that employers and policymakers can recognize their sacrifices and honor their essential value. New hazard pay mandates are a promising model for other local governments across the country to replicate and build on, ensuring that we not only praise essential workers in our communities, but also pay them.

Walmart employee
grocery shop
Grocery worker
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Walmart will raise wages for 425,000 workers.

The wage increases mean that about half of the company’s 1.5 million U.S. workers would earn at least $15 an hour.

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, announced on Thursday that it would raise wages for 425,000 of its employees in the United States, as large companies face mounting pressure to increase pay for low-wage workers.

The wage increases mean that about half of the retailer’s 1.5 million workers in the United States would earn at least $15 an hour, Walmart said.

Company executives said the wage increase, which was disclosed as part of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings announcement, was part of a broader plan to reward and retain employees in the most crucial and fastest growing parts of its business, focused on online grocery pickup and delivery.

“These are investments in people who are important to our future,” Walmart’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said.

But Walmart continues to resist calls that it raise its minimum wage for all workers, as its chief rivals have done. Amazon raised its starting wage to $15 an hour in October 2018, while Target made that move last year.

Walmart’s minimum wage remains at $11 an hour for many workers, though some positions start at higher amounts.

The announcement of the wage increases came about a week after Mr. McMillon met with President Biden and his top economic advisers to discuss, among other issues, the administration’s interest in raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour. It is currently $7.25 an hour.

The pandemic has highlighted the essential role of low-wage retail workers and their struggles to make ends meet, even as sales have boomed. Walmart said on Thursday that its fourth-quarter revenue hit a record of $151 billion, up 7.3 percent from a year ago. While some retailers have given temporary wage increases and bonuses to workers during the pandemic, only a few have raised pay permanently.

As the pro-labor Biden administration takes the reins, the issue has provoked an unusual spat in the retail industry, with some companies trying to one-up each other on wages. On Thursday, the grocery chain Kroger released a statement weighing in on Walmart’s pay increase.

“We welcome Walmart’s announcement to bring their average wage up to $15 an hour,” a company spokeswoman said. “At Kroger, our average hourly wage has been $15 an hour since 2019. In fact, our average hourly associate rate reaches over $20 an hour when accounting for health care, 401(k) and pensions that so many of our competitors choose not to offer.”

It was a striking move from Kroger, which has faced scrutiny in recent weeks for planning to close stores and lay off workers to protest newly enacted local ordinances in several West Coast cities requiring grocery chains to raise their pay during the pandemic.

Mr. McMillon, who oversees the world’s largest essential retail work force, has not been willing to immediately endorse an $15 an-hour-minimum wage at his own company or at the federal level.

At a virtual investor meeting with Wall Street analysts on Thursday, Mr. McMillon was asked whether the company would eventually raise wages for all its employees to $15 an hour.

Mr. McMillon said the $15-an-hour minimum for all workers was an “important target but it should be paced in a way that is good for the U.S. economy.” Mr. McMillon did not elaborate on when or if Walmart would move to a $15 minimum, but said the company would “continue to make investments at the right time” in higher wages.

Last month, Mr. McMillon, who is chairman of the Business Roundtable, a trade group representing large corporations, said that while the federal minimum wage should be increased, Congress also needed to consider “geographic differences” in costs of living and its effect on small business.

United for Respect, an advocacy group for low wage workers, said in a statement Thursday that it viewed Walmart’s wage announcement “primarily as a public relations move, not a meaningful engagement with the growing momentum around $15/hour nationwide.”

Walmart’s reticence stands in contrast to Amazon’s action. When the online retailer announced its new pay in 2018, the company said it would push for raising the federal minimum wage. It became part of the company’s formal policy positions.

Amazon has been particularly vocal about the issue recently. It has run ads supporting a $15 hourly wage in tech and political newsletters like Protocol and Punchbowl, and in late January it ran a full-page ad in The Washington Post advocating the change.

“We hope other large employers will also make the jump to $15,” Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, said in October. “Now would be a great time.”

Walmart said the wage increases were part of helping workers build a career by paying them more as they moved into managerial roles.

Mr. McMillon said the new raises would be geared toward workers who had been with the company for some time and were involved in picking grocery and online orders in its stores, while also making sure the store’s inventory was as up to date as possible, which is key to running a seamless e-commerce business. Last year, the company fulfilled roughly seven times more online orders from its stores than in 2019.

He stressed that, in addition to the higher wages, the company continued to pay tuition for workers to attend certain colleges and provide affordable health care and 401(k) plans.

The company also detailed some of its plans for growth, including building out its network of fulfillment centers and other e-commerce sites in or next to its stores.

“Because of technology, the future of work will be different,” Mr. McMillon said. “And we want to prepare our associates for that journey.”

Karen Weise contributed reporting.

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Supermarket Salaries

By Megan Torrance

Some supermarkets employ workers to produce private-label products.

Supermarkets and grocery stores consist of basic personnel, with additional workers in other departments or positions as needed. Employees of large companies who have multiple locations, such as Wegmans and Publix, may work in stores, manufacturing, distribution, pharmacy, corporate, information technology or industrial maintenance. Compensation varies depending on each job’s duties, and also depends on the size of the employer.

Floor Jobs

The people responsible for keeping sales flowing -- checking out customers, or receiving, storing and stocking products -- are at the heart of a store's operation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25 percent of cashiers worked in grocery stores in 2012, where they earned a median hourly wage of $9.12. Stock clerks and order fillers, who may also set up displays and price products, made an average annual income of $23,650.

Specialty Positions

Supermarkets often have deli and bakery departments, offering meat sliced to order or freshly baked treats. In 2012, 73 percent of butchers and meat cutters worked in grocery stores, according to the BLS, earning a median annual wage $28,490. Although bakeries are not as common as delis, the BLS notes that 26 percent of bakers were employed in grocery stores in 2012, making a median income of $23,510 per year.

Managerial Careers

Most supermarkets employ supervisors beneath their core managerial staff. The BLS recognizes these employees as first-line supervisors of retail sales workers, and those working in grocery stores earned an average annual wage of $40,480, as of 2012. Their superiors -- general and operations managers -- are responsible for policies, procedures and daily operations. Although salary information isn’t available for those specifically working in grocery stores, the BLS notes that all general and operations managers earned a median annual income of $114,850 in 2012.

Other Opportunities

Smaller supermarkets may have cashiers or other workers perform general cleaning duties, but many establishments employ custodians. According to the BLS, janitors and cleaners earned an average annual income of $24,850 in 2012. Also depending on size, supermarkets may feature a restaurant or buffet area that's staffed with food preparation workers. The BLS reports that 14 percent of food prep workers were employed in grocery stores in 2012, earning a median hourly wage of $9.66.


Writer Bio

Based in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Megan Torrance left her position as the general manager for five Subway restaurants to focus on her passion for writing. Torrance specializes in creating content for career-oriented, motivated individuals and small business owners. Her work has been published on such sites as Chron, GlobalPost and eHow.


Salary grocery

How much does a Cashier - Grocery Store make in the United States? The average Cashier - Grocery Store salary in the United States is $25,712 as of September 27, 2021, but the range typically falls between $23,091 and $28,533. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, helps you determine your exact pay target. 

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Based on HR-reported data: a national average with a geographic differential

Cashier - Grocery Store Salaries by Percentile

Percentile Salary LocationLast Updated
10th Percentile Cashier - Grocery Store Salary$20,705USSeptember 27, 2021
25th Percentile Cashier - Grocery Store Salary$23,091USSeptember 27, 2021
50th Percentile Cashier - Grocery Store Salary$25,712USSeptember 27, 2021
75th Percentile Cashier - Grocery Store Salary$28,533USSeptember 27, 2021
90th Percentile Cashier - Grocery Store Salary$31,101USSeptember 27, 2021

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Job Description for Cashier - Grocery Store

Cashier - Grocery Store assists customers waiting for check out in a grocery store. Scans items, requests price checks, honors appropriate coupons, collects payment and gives change as appropriate. Being a Cashier - Grocery Store is responsible for counting contents of cash register drawer at the end of each shift. May bag items or perform other duties as needed. Additionally, Cashier - Grocery Store may require a high school diploma or its equivalent. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. The Cashier - Grocery Store possesses a moderate understanding of general aspects of the job. Works under the close direction of senior personnel in the functional area. May require 0-1 year of general work experience. (Copyright 2021 View full job description

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What does a Cashier - Grocery Store do?

Cashier - Grocery Store in Albert Lea, MN

Requires good vision, hand coordination, fine motor skills and manual dexterity.

February 06, 2021

Follows the proper customer service sequence as outlined in the DayMaker program.

March 11, 2021

Requires strength in upper extremities and torso to perform these physical tasks.

March 16, 2021

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Cashier - Grocery Store Pay Difference by Location

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City, StateSan Francisco, CACompared to national average
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These charts show the average base salary (core compensation), as well as the average total cash compensation for the job of Cashier - Grocery Store in the United States. The base salary for Cashier - Grocery Store ranges from $23,091 to $28,533 with the average base salary of $25,712. The total cash compensation, which includes base, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $23,209 to $28,770 with the average total cash compensation of $25,770.



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