With the type of competition they’re having to face right now with the advent of Amazon’s one day shipping plan, Walmart is finally revealing how much money its managers make; likely in an attempt to show people that you can make a nice living if you work on their side. There are about 4,700 store managers for Walmart across the United States, and their average salary is $175,000 a year, a nice six figures number that certainly would lead to comfortable living.
At one point, Walmart was heavily criticized by both the public and its competitors for its low minimum wage of $11 an hour. Over the past three years that wage has been steadily rising, and now that average wage for a Walmart employee is about $14.26 an hour, with a much nicer $24.70 an hour for store managers.
All in all, Walmart employs about 1.5 million people in the United States, with more than half of them being women and just slightly under half being people of color. And according to Walmart, their retail jobs are the perfect gateway to upward mobility for all of these individuals. Most of their 4,700 managers are allegedly people that started at the bottom of the Walmart chain and worked their way up. And this all sounds very nice, but there is one important caveat for people to keep in mind as they hear all this wonderful news.
Namely, 4,700 is a very, very small fraction of 1.5 million people. Less than half of a single percent, in fact. So while Walmart may not be lying when they say you could potentially rise through its ranks to be a manager and in turn make six figures, they also aren’t being very truthful with what your chances of accomplishing that are. It is somewhat similar to professional sports; hundreds of thousands of athletes across the country could become professionals and be rich. An infinitesimal number of those athletes will actually make it that far. So anyone whose game plan is to become a Walmart manager should probably have several backup plans in place as well.
Even so, it is nice to know that Walmart is beginning to pay its employees more money, and that upwards mobility, no matter how narrow, exists in their stores at all. Fact of the matter is that every business only has a handful of people that make it to the top, so it is better for a company to present that slim opportunity to everyone rather than have people barred from it entirely due to unethical judgments.
That said, Walmart probably has a bit of a winding road ahead of it; with Amazon pressuring them to step up their services, the wages of both the low ranking and high ranking members of their employees are quite prone to fluctuation, and could improve or even worsen in the very near future. Either way, the situation with Walmart is one that we should all keep an eye on.
To see all current position openings for Walmart management, visit careers.walmart.com.