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Costco employees reveal how much they really make

We used self-reported salary information from both PayScale and Glassdoor to take a closer look at what Costco Wholesale workers make.


By Marissa Perino, Business Insider

From cashiers and cake decorators to forklift operators and pharmacy technicians, Costco employees have been earning decent wages for years.

Costco, a membership-only wholesale superstore with a "cult-like following" employs over 245,000 workers and is well-known for providing perks to members, along with benefits for its employees.

Previous reporting from Business Insider shows Costco has consistently raised its starting rate, which is well over the national minimum wage of $7.25. Business Insider's Mary Hanbury reported a raise from $13 to $14 in 2018, and another increase to $15 per hour in March. This most recent change allows Costco to compete with Amazon, who raised its minimum to $15 per hour last fall.

To get a better idea of how much each type of employee in a Costco store makes, we looked at self-reported salaries for many roles on both PayScale and Glassdoor and ordered the positions from lowest to highest hourly pay. For some jobs, we only found data from one of the two sources.

Because the latest increase was implemented very recently, some positions' salary averages we found may not reflect the new minimum just yet, as the self-reported data we looked at spans the last few years.

While most hourly positions align with recent years' starting rates, some senior management roles - along with specialized positions such as pharmacy technicians - allow for some higher salaries (upwards of $25 per hour).


Cart collectors say they earn averages of close to $12 per hour.


PayScale reported salaries averaged close to $12 an hour for cart collectors; Costco's new minimum wage mandates that these employees now earn at least $15 an hour.

Glassdoor average base pay: N/A



Gas station attendants say they are paid an average of $13 an hour.


Previous reporting from Business Insider's Mary Hanbury shows that Costco members gain access to cheaper gas. Attendants help run these gas stations at Costco locations.

Glassdoor average base pay: N/A



Stockers reported average hourly wages of $13 to $14.


Stockers are responsible for arranging wholesale items on Costco's many shelves. Positions include both day and night shifts to keep stores stocked at all times.




Most cashiers say they earn around $14 an hour.


Cashiers, also known as clerks, are usually paid Costco's starting rate. Recently increased in March, the hourly minimum is now $15.




Front end assistants say they earn around $14 an hour.


Front end assistants help check Costco membership cards and receipts upon customer entrance and exit.




Meat wrappers at Costco say they earn around $14 an hour.


Payscale data shows that deli clerks also earn around $14 an hour. Additionally, Glassdoor data shows that meat cutters are paid an average annual salary of $37,562. Previous reporting from Business Insider's Courtney Leiva shows that several professional chefs opt to use Costco meat.




Bakers say they earn around $13 and $14 an hour.


Bakers are responsible for providing fresh products every day. Glassdoor data also featured reported annual salaries of over $37,000 for this position.




Cake decorators at Costco's bakeries say they earn between $13 and $15 per hour.


Cake decorators are responsible for personalizing orders for members.




Travel agents say they earn around the Costco minimum wage of $15.


Travel agents help Costco members book vacation packages, including cruise trip and theme parks options.




Photo lab technicians reported hourly wages of around $14 to $16.


The majority of posted averages for photo lab technicians were around Costco's minimum wage - though some individual employees did list a higher hourly salary.




Tire technicians reported hourly wages of around $14 to $17.


Tire technicians help install new tires on Costco members' cars, one of the perks of the superstore's lifetime maintenance service.




Pharmacy employees' salaries range depending on position, but most technicians reported hourly wages between $15 and $23 an hour.


Glassdoor data also showed that pharmacy managers earn an average annual salary of $125,861 a year. Additionally, PayScale reported an average of $15.20 for pharmacy interns.




Wine stewards and stewardesses say they earn around $16 an hour.


Wine stewards and stewardesses assist shoppers in Costco's liquor department.

Glassdoor average base pay: N/A



Forklift drivers in Costco warehouses say they earn average salaries of up to $20 an hour.


According to Glassdoor reports, other warehouse workers at Costco make starting salaries of around $14 or $15 an hour.




Payroll clerks say they earn around $23 to $24 per hour on average.


Overseeing other employees' salaries, a payroll clerk (or specialist) earns more than Costco's minimum wage. While several payroll employees reported hourly wages (listed below), 24 workers reported annual salaries of around $42,000 to Glassdoor as well.




Truck drivers reported hourly wages of $18 to $27 an hour.


Glassdoor data for truck drivers also listed annual salaries averaging over $66,000.




Audiologists reported hourly rates averaging $24 an hour.


Audiologists help fit Costco members for hearing devices at the Hearing Aid Center.

Glassdoor average base pay: $70,378 per year



Supervisors earn around $20 to $26 an hour, a bit higher than entry-level employees.


Supervisors oversee many of the other Costco positions listed, including cashiers and stockers. Additionally, Glassdoor data shows that area managers earn an annual salary of around $70,000 while merchandising managers earn over $73,000.




Licensed opticians say they earn anywhere from $22 to $27 an hour.


Licensed opticians help fit Costco members for new prescription glasses. Glassdoor data also showed reported annual salaries averaging almost $52,000.


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Career Magazine: Costco employees reveal how much they really make
Costco employees reveal how much they really make
We used self-reported salary information from both PayScale and Glassdoor to take a closer look at what Costco Wholesale workers make.
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