How Much Does Guitar Center Pay Employees? A Detailed Overview

If you’re a music enthusiast looking to turn your passion into a career, you may be wondering – how much does Guitar Center pay? As one of the largest musical instrument retailers in the world, Guitar Center employs thousands across its 280+ brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce business.

But how lucrative are these retail jobs really?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down Guitar Center’s pay structure, benefits, and work culture to help you understand what to expect working for this iconic music company.

Guitar Center’s Pay Rates and Structure

Guitar Center, the largest musical instrument retailer in the United States, offers a variety of job positions across their stores. Let’s take a closer look at the pay rates and structure for different roles within the company.

Sales Associate and Cashier Salaries

As entry-level positions, sales associates and cashiers at Guitar Center typically earn an hourly wage. The exact pay rate may vary depending on factors such as location and experience. On average, sales associates and cashiers at Guitar Center earn around $10 to $15 per hour.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this can vary based on the employee’s performance and tenure with the company.

According to, the average hourly wage for a sales associate at Guitar Center is $12.10, with the range typically falling between $10.04 and $15.41. Cashiers, on the other hand, have an average hourly wage of $11.25, with a range between $9.10 and $14.02.

Department Manager Salaries

Department managers at Guitar Center have higher levels of responsibility and are responsible for overseeing specific areas within the store. As such, they generally receive a higher salary compared to sales associates and cashiers.

The salary for department managers can depend on various factors such as location, experience, and the size of the store they manage.

According to, the average annual salary for a department manager at Guitar Center is around $44,000. However, this can range from approximately $35,000 to $55,000 per year.

Benefits Offered

Guitar Center provides a range of benefits to its employees, including health insurance, dental and vision coverage, retirement savings plans, employee discounts, and paid time off. The specific benefits available to each employee may vary based on factors such as job position, hours worked, and length of employment.

It’s worth noting that the benefits offered by Guitar Center are subject to change, and employees should consult the company’s official website or speak with their Human Resources department for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the benefits they are eligible for.

Factors That Impact Earnings at Guitar Center

Several key factors play a role in determining how much employees earn at Guitar Center. These factors include the location of the store, commission opportunities, and an individual’s experience and seniority within the company.

Location of Store

The location of a Guitar Center store can have a significant impact on employee earnings. Stores located in larger cities or areas with a high demand for musical instruments and equipment often see higher sales volumes, which can translate to higher commission earnings for employees.

Additionally, stores in areas with a higher cost of living may offer slightly higher base pay to compensate for the higher expenses.

According to a study conducted by Music Trades, Guitar Center’s top-performing stores generate an average of $8 million in annual revenue. This indicates that employees working in these stores have the potential to earn higher wages due to the increased sales volume.

Commission Opportunities

One of the unique aspects of working at Guitar Center is the opportunity to earn commission on sales. Commission rates can vary depending on the product category and the employee’s position within the company.

For example, sales associates may earn a higher commission percentage on certain high-ticket items, while managers may receive a commission based on the overall store performance.

According to a Glassdoor report, Guitar Center employees have reported earning an average commission of $2,000 to $3,000 per month. However, it’s important to note that commission earnings can vary greatly depending on individual sales performance.

Experience and Seniority

Experience and seniority within the company can also impact earnings at Guitar Center. As an employee gains more experience and demonstrates a track record of success, they may be eligible for promotions or pay increases.

Additionally, employees who have been with the company for a longer period of time may be eligible for higher base pay or additional benefits.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for retail salespersons, which includes Guitar Center employees, was $25,440 in 2020. However, it’s important to note that this figure encompasses all retail salespersons and may not specifically reflect the earnings of Guitar Center employees.

Guitar Center’s Work Culture and Environment

Guitar Center, one of the largest musical instrument retailers in the world, is known for its vibrant work culture and positive work environment. The company strives to create an atmosphere that fosters creativity, passion, and a love for music.

Here are some key aspects of Guitar Center’s work culture and environment:

Focus on Customer Service

Customer service is at the heart of Guitar Center’s operations. The company places a strong emphasis on providing exceptional service to its customers, ensuring that they have a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Employees are trained to assist customers in finding the perfect musical instruments, gear, or accessories, catering to their unique needs and preferences.

Guitar Center’s commitment to customer service is evident in the extensive product knowledge and expertise of its employees. They are well-versed in the various brands, models, and features of musical instruments, enabling them to provide valuable guidance and recommendations to customers.


Guitar Center has a performance-driven work culture that encourages employees to strive for excellence in their roles. The company sets high standards for its employees and recognizes and rewards outstanding performance.

This creates a competitive yet motivating atmosphere where employees are constantly challenged to improve and grow.

Performance metrics, such as sales targets and customer satisfaction ratings, are used to evaluate employee performance. Guitar Center provides regular feedback and coaching to help employees reach their full potential.

This performance-driven approach not only benefits the employees but also contributes to the overall success of the company.

Emphasis on Product Knowledge

At Guitar Center, having extensive product knowledge is crucial. The company believes that employees who have a deep understanding of the products they sell can better serve their customers. Therefore, Guitar Center invests in comprehensive training programs to ensure that its employees are well-educated about the various musical instruments, gear, and accessories available.

Employees are encouraged to stay updated with the latest industry trends and advancements in musical instrument technology. This enables them to provide accurate and up-to-date information to customers, helping them make informed purchasing decisions.

Guitar Center’s work culture and environment are designed to foster a love for music, customer satisfaction, and employee growth. It is this commitment to excellence that has contributed to the company’s success in the music retail industry.


Working at Guitar Center provides a unique opportunity for music aficionados to turn their passion into a career. While pay rates start on the lower end for entry-level sales roles, there is room for growth into higher-paying management positions.

Salaries can also be boosted through commissions earned on sales.

The job requires solid customer service skills, extensive musical product knowledge, and the ability to thrive in a competitive, metrics-focused environment. However, if you have a genuine love of music and desire to help customers, Guitar Center offers a one-of-a-kind retail experience you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.

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