Home Depot was named one of the top 60 best employers in the world by Forbes in 2023, leaving many job-seekers curious about how the company’s pay stacks up to that of other prolific employers.
With over 2,300 big-box home improvement stores across North America (and locations in every U.S. state), It’s no wonder leagues of applicants turn to Home Depot (HD) – Get Free Report for career opportunities. The world’s largest hardware retailer staffs almost half a million “orange-blooded” associates, landing it among the 10 largest employers in the U.S.
It takes a large, cohesive team of hourly, on-the-ground employees to operate each of the brand’s vast, warehouse-like retail locations, so the Home Depot is almost always hiring.
But what types of entry-level jobs does the company offer? And just how much can you make wearing Home Depot’s iconic orange apron and “helping doers get more done?”
How much does Home Depot pay? Starting wages for hourly employees
Home Depot has six different types of entry-level positions at its retail locations — all of these roles are paid hourly, and each comes with different responsibilities. Some (like cashier) are very customer-service oriented, while others (like merchandising) are more labor-intensive.
Starting pay for these positions varies quite a bit between a low of about $15 and a high of around $24 per hour, with wages in the $17–$20 range being the most common among new employees in areas with average costs of living.
The sections below include breakdowns of what each specific job entails and how much new hires can expect to be paid in various locations.
Note: Home Depot’s careers site only lists actual starting pay ranges on job postings for positions in California, Colorado, Hawaii, New York, and Washington, as they are legally required to do so. The following sections include starting pay ranges from open positions listed in those states as of 2024 as well as pay estimates from career sites.
Customer service associates at Home Depot are assigned sections and tasked with asking customers what they are working on and helping them find the right products for their project.
Customer service & sales associate: $15.50–$24 per hour
Customer service and sales associates are Home Depot’s front-line workers, so to speak. Their primary duty is to ensure that any customers they encounter have a positive experience and get what they need from the store.
Employees in this role usually specialize in one or more aisles or sections and are expected to seek out and greet customers, ask them what they are working on or looking for, provide advice on product selection, and send them off to make their purchases or continue browsing.
Customer service associates are expected to be experts in their assigned section (and maintain some degree of knowledge about other store sections) so that they can provide their customers with accurate and informative advice about products and how they relate to any projects their customers might be working on.
Starting pay ranges for customer service/sales associates by state
California: $17.50–$23.00 per hourColorado: $16.00–$23.00 per hourHawaii: $15.50–$22.50 per hour New York: $15.50–$21.50 per hourWashington: $18.00–$24.00 per hour
Glassdoor, an employee-submitted career data aggregator, lists the median pay for Home Depot customer service and sales associates at $18 per hour within an estimated range of $16–$20 including both base pay and profit-sharing bonuses. This information could be inaccurate, however, as self-reported wages are not sampled randomly and may also be out of date, skewing salary estimates lower.
Home Depot cashiers greet customers and check them out, sometimes calling on lot associates to help customers move large or unwieldy items to their vehicles.
Cashier: $15.50–$21.50 per hour
Cashiers at the Home Depot are responsible for greeting and interacting with customers while processing their purchases and returns. They also monitor self-checkout kiosks, troubleshoot any issues that arise during checkout or return processes, and communicate with other associates to get customers any help they might need transporting their purchases to their vehicles.
Cashiers also maintain cash drawers, provide change, and process credit and debit card transactions, answering any questions customers may have during the checkout process. In some cases, cashiers may provide assistance to other employees when the checkout area is slow.
Starting pay ranges for cashiers by state
California: $17–$21.50 per hourColorado: $15.50–21.00 per hourHawaii: $16.50–$20.50 per hour New York: $15.50–$20.50 per hourWashington: $16.50–$21.50 per hour
Glassdoor lists the median pay for Home Depot customer service and sales associates at $15 per hour within an estimated range of $13–$17, but these figures are likely somewhat out of date and skew toward the lower end.
Home Depot’s lot associates are tasked with keeping the store’s indoor and outdoor cart corrals stocked and helping customers load and unload their vehicles.
Support & lot associate: $15.50–$22 per hour
There are several different types of support positions available at Home Depot, but the vast majority of support staff work as lot associates.
Lot associates are responsible for managing the store’s supply of shopping carts by keeping indoor and outdoor cart corrals stocked and periodically retrieving carts from the parking lot. Lot associates also regularly help customers load purchased products into their cars, most often assisting with large, difficult-to-maneuver items like lumber, siding, doors, and appliances.
Some support associates work inside the store instead and assist with office duties, order fulfillment, vendor relations, and other tasks in order to help keep the store’s day-to-day operations running smoothly.
Starting pay ranges for support/lot associates by state
California: $17.00–$22.00 per hourColorado: $16.00–$22.00 per hourHawaii: $15.50–$21.50 per hourNew York: $15.50–$20.00 per hourWashington: $15.50–$22.00 per hour
Glassdoor lists the median pay for Home Depot support and lot associates at $17 per hour within an estimated range of $15–$20, but these figures are likely somewhat out of date and skew toward the lower end.
Merchandising execution associate: $16–$22 per hour
Merchandising associates at the Home Depot are responsible for keeping the store stocked, shoppable, and visually appealing. This is a mostly physical role that involves assembling shelving, creating and maintaining product displays, stocking products, and managing price tags and signage.
Home Depot’s stores are divided into bays, which are sections of aisles where certain types of products are sold. Merchandising associates curate the physical appearances of each of the store’s bays based on visual documents called planograms that illustrate the intended layout of each bay.
Starting pay ranges for merchandising execution associates by state
California: $18.00–$22.00 per hourColorado: $16.50–$21.00 per hourHawaii: $16.50–$20.50 per hourNew York: $16.00–$19.00 per hourWashington: $17.50–$22.00 per hour
Glassdoor lists the median pay for Home Depot support and lot associates at $20 per hour within an estimated range of $17–$23, which, based on the posted starting wages above, seems relatively accurate if skewed a little toward the high end.
Freight & receiving associate: $16.50–$24 per hour
Freight and receiving associates at Home Depot typically work overnight to keep the store’s stock replenished. These roles are fairly physical and involve unloading deliveries from trucks using rollers and conveyor belts, unpacking and sorting merchandise, and replenishing the store’s shelves with products before it reopens the following day.
Machinery operation experience is not required, but freight and receiving associates are often trained on the job to use forklifts to transport heavy pallets or electric ladders and reach trucks to lift overstock onto the higher levels of their store’s pallet-rack shelves.
Starting pay ranges for freight/receiving associates by state
California: $17.50–$24.00 per hourColorado: $17.00–$23.00 per hourHawaii: $17.50–$22.50 per hourNew York: $16.50–$22.00 per hourWashington: $18.50–$23.50 per hour
Glassdoor lists the median pay for Home Depot support and lot associates at $19 per hour within an estimated range of $16–$21, which seems to be skewed slightly toward the lower end given the higher ends of the ranges listed above.
Order fulfillment associate: $15.50–$22 per hour
Order fulfillment associates are responsible for putting customers’ online orders together so that they are ready for pickup or shipping. This entails pulling a variety of items from store shelves or overstock areas (usually the higher portions of the pallet-rack shelving above where normal products are displayed) and then packaging these orders for customer pickup or loading them onto a delivery truck.
Because order fulfillment associates are often moving around the store’s aisles to collect products, they may also become incidentally involved in face-to-face customer service or other tasks.
Starting pay ranges for order fulfillment associates by state
California: $17–$22 per hourColorado: $16–$22 per hourHawaii: $15.50–$21.50 per hourNew York: $15.50–$20.00 per hourWashington: $17.50–$22.00 per hour
Glassdoor lists the median pay for Home Depot support and lot associates at $17 per hour within an estimated range of $15–$20, which seems to be skewed toward the lower end, given the starting pay ranges listed above.
Is Home Depot giving employees a raise in 2024?
It’s been widely rumored that Home Depot, in keeping with its commitment to retaining great talent, is planning to offer pay increases to all employees in early 2024 to boost morale and help its staff keep up with rising costs.
The details of this pay increase have not been made public by the company, but many existing employees say they have been told that the raise will come in the form of a $1-per-hour increase for all employees, plus additional merit-based increases for those who have demonstrated outstanding performance.
These raises are expected to take place in February 2024, with one employee stating that they will go into effect on Feb. 28.
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What benefits do hourly Home Depot employees get?
Like most major nationwide employers, Home Depot offers fairly robust benefits packages to its employees, and these benefits can increase with employee tenure.
Insurance and health
Full-time hourly associates at Home Depot receive a wide range of company benefits, including employee-sponsored health, dental, and vision insurance plans along with life and disability insurance options.
Part-time workers are not eligible for sponsored health insurance plans, but they can still take advantage of Home Depot’s dental, vision, and short-term disability insurance offerings.
Finance and retirement
Home Depot allows employees to contribute to a 401(k) retirement savings account with pre-tax dollars and matches employee contributions up to a certain percentage of each paycheck
Reports of the exact matching percentage vary, but 3% seems to be the consensus. This may go up after an employee has been with the company for a year or more, according to some anecdotal reports, although these details are not confirmed on the company’s website. One employee report on Glassdoor claims the company matches their contributions up to 5% of each paycheck.
Vacation, holidays, and time off
Most employee reports state that hourly workers at Home Depot are granted two weeks of vacation per year to start, which is fairly standard. Tenured employees reportedly earn PTO at a higher rate the longer they stay with the company.
Employees earn time and a half if they work on any of the Home Depot’s six annual holidays — New Years, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas — although most stores are apparently closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, meaning cashiers and lot associates likely wouldn’t be able to work.
Maternity and bereavement leave are also available to some employees, but the details may vary depending on each individual situation.
Home Depot employees receive exclusive associate discounts on gym memberships, electronics, and meal kits, according to the company’s website.
Home Depot vs. Lowe’s: Which is the better employer?
Home Depot’s massive product range, competitive pricing, and dedication to customer service have made it a favorite among consumers, who enjoy the Costco-like atmosphere cultivated by the stores’ wide aisles and high, pallet-rack shelving. In 2022 alone, Home Depot rang up almost 1.7 billion unique customer transactions according to Statista — that’s almost twice the annual volume of rival hardware chain, Lowe’s (LOW) – Get Free Report. But how do the two compare in terms of employee experience?
According to a number of anecdotal reports from current and former employees on sites like Reddit and Quora, Home Depot and Lowe’s offer relatively similar work environments and pay — so much so that employee experience apparently depends far more on one’s individual manager, department, and store than it does on the company.
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That being said, Home Depot wins out in terms of total sales as well as other financial metrics like profitability, cash flow, and return on invested capital. The Home Depot also has more total employees across more total locations despite having existed for less than half as long as Lowe’s.
For these reasons, if long-term employment and career advancement are your goal, Home Depot is probably the better ship to join in terms of bonuses, stock options, and long-term career growth.