Skip to main content

Main Area


25 chains that pay above minimum wage

  • 25 chains that pay above minimum wage

    In 2009 the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 an hour—and hasn’t budged since. For a full-time worker putting in a 40-hour week, that's just $58 a day, or $290 a week, before taxes. A report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition reveals that more than three-quarters of renters live in a region where minimum wage workers would have to toil for more than 60 hours a week just to afford a one-bedroom apartment. Around 20.6 million Americans—nearly one hourly worker in three—works at or near minimum wage.

    Today, however, unemployment levels are lower than they've been since the end of World War II. The roaring economy has created what MarketWatch refers to as a "battle for unskilled workers.” These workers are largely the kind who have historically filled the ranks at America's large chains, which have long been associated with minimum-wage work. The contest for workers is prompting some of America's biggest chains to raise minimum wages and beef up benefits packages to lure new employees.

    Here's a look at 25 major chains who pay more than the federal minimum. It's important to note that some states enforce minimum wages that are higher than the federal rate of $7.25, and your city's minimum wage could be even higher than your state's. Right now, Washington D.C. boasts the highest minimum wage in America at $13.25 an hour.

    Read on to find out which 25 major chains that pay above minimum wage. 

    ALSO: 100 lowest paying jobs in America

  • Target

    As of Sept. 16, 2018, all Target team members can earn no less than $12 an hour. The wage increase came as part of a massive push to hire seasonal workers, who were in high demand among top retailers at the time. Target has pledged to increase its starting pay to $15 an hour by 2020.


  • Walmart

    At the start of 2018, Walmart raised its starting pay to $11 for all hourly associates. The company also expanded its benefits package to include perks like paid maternity and paternity leave as well as cash bonuses.


  • Costco

    In Spring 2018, Costo not only joined the wage-hike fray, but upped the ante when it announced that 130,000 employees would be getting a raise. Costco, which does more sales than any retailer in the U.S. with the exception of Walmart, boosted its starting wages by $1 to $14 or $14.50 an hour, depending on location. Existing employees also got a boost of 25 to 50 cents an hour.


  • Amazon

    In October 2018, during the runup to the holiday season, Amazon changed the game when it announced that its more than a quarter-million U.S. employees—not to mention 100,000 seasonal workers and all new hires—would enjoy a $15 minimum wage. The massive bump in starting pay included full-time workers, part-time workers, and temporary workers, including those contracted out by temp agencies.


  • Whole Foods

    When Amazon announced its new industry-leading minimum wage, Whole Foods workers rejoiced. Amazon recently bought the grocery chain, which means that anyone employed or hired by Whole Foods is also guaranteed no less than $15 an hour.


  • Ikea

    In 2015, Ikea announced that its average national minimum wage was jumping to $11.87 an hour starting the following year, along with a slew of pay increases across the board. As part of the announcement, Ikea promised that no worker would make less than $10 an hour moving forward.


  • CVS Health

    In April 2018, CVS hourly workers learned they would soon be making no less than $11 an hour, no matter their position. The drug and retail chain also announced a souped-up benefits package, which includes paid parental leave and a freeze on health care costs for employees enrolled in company-sponsored insurance plans.


  • In-N-Out

    All associates at West Coast fast-food chain In-N-Out make at least $12 an hour—that includes part-time employees, who also enjoy the company's generous benefits package. According to the California Sun, In-N-Out is widely considered one of the most employee-centric fast-food chains in America. Managers there average $160,000 a year, triple the industry average and much more than the average architect, software engineer, or lawyer makes in the Golden State.


  • Trader Joe's

    According to Time, Trader Joe's does not comment on the salaries it pays, but the grocery chain is known as a good employer that fosters a positive work environment, pays well (captains can easily make six figures), offers solid benefits, and promotes from within. While mum's the word regarding entry-level pay at the corporate level, not a single open position currently advertised at Trader Joe's starts at less than $11 an hour.


  • Gap

    In 2014, years before the tight labor market stoked fierce competition for good workers, Gap raised its minimum wage to $9 an hour. A year later in 2015, the company increased starting pay for all employees to $10 an hour.


2018 All rights reserved.