Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Incentive-based and time-based pay for retail salespersons in 2017

December 31, 2018

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other end-of-year sales make November and December the busiest months for the retail industry. Two types of pay are common for retail salespersons: time-based pay and incentive-based pay. Retail salespersons who receive incentive-based pay earned higher average hourly wages than those receiving time-based pay in 2017.

Average hourly wages for retail salespersons in selected metropolitan areas by type of pay, 2017
Metropolitan area Time-based pay Incentive-based pay

Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA

$12.87 $23.63

Danbury, CT

13.74 22.99

Austin-Round Rock, TX

11.52 22.06

Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL

11.72 21.97

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

11.27 21.66

Birmingham-Hoover, AL

11.80 20.69

Albuquerque, NM

12.14 20.00

Lansing-East Lansing, MI

10.95 19.98

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

11.41 19.96

Charleston-North Charleston, SC

11.13 19.91

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

10.65 19.75

Savannah, GA

11.06 19.64

Memphis, TN-MS-AR

11.32 19.49

Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX

10.95 19.49

Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL

11.04 19.42

Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA

10.84 17.16

Retail salespersons in Savannah, Georgia, with incentive-based pay earned an average of $19.64 an hour, compared with $11.06 for those with time-based pay. In Danbury, Connecticut, retail salespersons with incentive-based pay earned an average of $22.99 per hour, while those with time-based pay earned an average of $13.74 per hour.

These estimates are from the Modeled Wage Estimates derived from the National Compensation Survey and the Occupational Employment Statistics survey. Incentive-based pay is wages and salaries that are at least partially based on productivity payments. These include production bonuses, commissions, piece rates, or other incentives based on production, sales, or output. Modeled Wage Estimates are available for detailed occupations, geographic areas, and job characteristics, including full- and part-time status, work levels, and bargaining status. Relative standard errors also are available to allow users to assess the reliability of estimates.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Incentive-based and time-based pay for retail salespersons in 2017 at (visited June 20, 2024).

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics