Trader Joe’s employees reveal how much they really make

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Cliff Grassmick/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

  • Trader Joe’s boasts around 488 stores across the US, according to the grocery chain’s website.
  • But how much do the employees – called “crew members” – earn working at those stores?
  • “In general, we offer above minimum wage,” a Trader Joe’s spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement.
  • The spokesperson added that wages tend to vary based on location.
  • Business Insider also looked at self-reported salary information from both PayScale and Glassdoor to find out how much employees in different roles earn at the grocer with a cultlike following.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Trader Joe’s has consistently been a standout employer in the world of retail.

For the past three years, it’s appeared as a top company on Glassdoor, with 84% of respondents saying they’d recommend working at Trader Joe’s to a friend.

So how well does Trader Joe’s pay its employees?

“In general, we offer above minimum wage,” a Trader Joe’s spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement. The spokesperson added that wages do vary based on the location of the store.

Read more: We taste-tested 5 of Trader Joe’s organic Shaw wines, and one red was a standout

Business Insider reviewed self-reported salaries for many roles on both PayScale and Glassdoor. Not all of the data was necessarily collected within the past year or so. We also checked out the grocer’s website, which lists the pay scale for different open positions around the country.

When it comes to overall compensation, the company’s website says employees “have the potential to receive a 7%-10% annual increase” in wages every year and also receive a 10% store discount. The site also says Trader Joe’s workers can sign up for a retirement plan, and some are also eligible for medical, dental, and vision plans, as well as paid time off.

Here’s what employees make across your average Trader Joe’s store, according to self-reported data:


Crew members make around $12 an hour

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PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Based on 652 reported salaries, Glassdoor ended up estimating that crew members – or the rank-and-file employees within the stores – made almost an entire dollar less than PayScale’s estimation of a what a “retail grocery clerk” typically earns.

Glassdoor average hourly rate: $15

PayScale average hourly rate: $14.26

Hourly rates listed on Trader Joe’s website: $11 to $20, based on location


Estimates vary when it comes to sign artists and graphic designers

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Cliff Grassmick/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

When it comes to graphic designers and sign artists, Glassdoor and PayScale both put out radically different pay estimates.

Glassdoor average hourly rate: $19

PayScale average annual rate: $73,552


Trader Joe’s mates earn a high hourly wage for the world of retail

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Joe Raedle / Getty Images

In Trader Joe’s parlance, mates are the equivalent of assistant managers.

Glassdoor average hourly rate: $24

PayScale average hourly rate: $18.30

Hourly rates listed on Trader Joe’s website: $18 to $30, based on location


Store captains can make six figures a year at Trader Joe’s

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Cliff Grassmick/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

Captains are the Trader Joe’s equivalent of store managers.

Glassdoor annual hourly rate: $111,767

PayScale annual hourly rate: $88,086