Costco employees reveal how much they really make

Whether cashiers and cake decorators or 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 more than 245,000 workers and is known for providing perks to members along with benefits for its employees.

Read more: Costco is raising its minimum wage to $15 as the war for talent rages on

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 to $14 an hour from $13 in 2018 and another increase to $15 an hour in March. The most recent change allows Costco to compete with Amazon, which raised its minimum to $15 an 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 found data from only 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 past 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 (upward of $25 an hour).

Keep reading for a look at employee salaries throughout a Costco Wholesale store:


Cart collectors say they’ve earned averages close to $12 an hour.

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A cart collector at a Costco store.
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John Gress/Reuters

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

PayScale average hourly rate: $11.94


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

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A Costco gas station.
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Getty/Kevork Djansezian

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

PayScale average hourly rate: $13.54


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

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Shelves full of merchandise at a Costco location.
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a katz / Shutterstock.com

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.

Glassdoor average base pay: $14

PayScale average hourly rate: $13.41


Most cashiers say they earn about $14 an hour.

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Costco cashiers help check out customers.
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Helen89/Shutterstock

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

Glassdoor average base pay: $14

PayScale average hourly rate: $12.54


Front-end assistants say they earn about $14 an hour.

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A Costco employee checking a shopper’s receipt.
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Tim Boyle/Getty Images

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

Glassdoor average base pay: $14

PayScale average hourly rate: N/A


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

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A Costco employee at the deli counter.
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Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Payscale data shows that deli clerks also earn about $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.

Glassdoor average base pay: $14

PayScale average hourly rate: $14.31


Bakers say they earn about $13 to $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.

Glassdoor average base pay: $14

PayScale average hourly rate: $13.53


Cake decorators at Costco’s bakeries say they earn $13 to $15 an hour.

caption
A Costco cake.
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Anoka County Library/Flickr

Cake decorators are responsible for personalizing orders for members.

Glassdoor average base pay: $15

PayScale average hourly rate: $13.13


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

caption
Airplanes at a Seattle airport.
source
Reuters

Travel agents help Costco members book vacation packages, including cruise trips and theme-park options.

Glassdoor average base pay: $13 to $15

PayScale average hourly rate: $15.89


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

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Glasses arranged at a vision care center.
source
Shutterstock

The majority of posted averages for photo lab technicians were close to Costco’s minimum wage – though some individual employees did list a higher hourly salary.

Glassdoor average base pay: $14

PayScale average hourly rate: $16.01


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

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Costco customers’ cars in a store parking lot.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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

Glassdoor average base pay: $14 to $16

PayScale average hourly rate: $16.90


Pharmacy employees’ salaries range depending on position, but most technicians reported hourly wages of $15 to $23 an hour.

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A Costco pharmacy.
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Cassiohabib / Shutterstock.com

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

Glassdoor average base pay: $15 to $23

PayScale average hourly rate: $14.83 to $16.14


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

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A Costco liquor department.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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

Glassdoor average base pay: N/A

PayScale average hourly rate: $16.01


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

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A forklift driver in a warehouse (Costco not pictured).
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Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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

Glassdoor average base pay: $15 to $20

PayScale average hourly rate: $15.28 to $16.80


Payroll clerks say they earn about $23 to $24 an hour on average.

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A Costco employee scans an item in a customer’s cart.
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Tim Boyle / Getty Images

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), Twenty-four workers reported annual salaries of about $42,000 to Glassdoor as well.

Glassdoor average base pay: $24

PayScale average hourly rate: $23.07


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

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A Costco truck makes a delivery to a Costco store in Carlsbad, California.
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Mike Blake/Reuters

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

Glassdoor average base pay: $26 to $27

PayScale average hourly rate: $18.36


Audiologists reported hourly rates averaging $24 an hour.

caption
An audiologist helping fit customers for hearing aids.
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Rachel Murray/Getty Images

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

Glassdoor average base pay: $70,378 a year

PayScale average hourly rate: $24.23


Supervisors earn about $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 about $70,000 while merchandising managers earn over $73,000.

Glassdoor average base pay: $26

PayScale average hourly rate: $20.80


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.

Glassdoor average base pay: $26 to $27

PayScale average hourly rate: $22.36

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