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Costco might be the closest thing to adult Disneyland in your area. Score a three-month supply of everything your family needs in one trip at great prices and get free samples to boot? No wonder it's always so crowded, and such a popular place to work. Costco employees have high rates of job satisfaction, which is great if you can get hired there—but it does mean that the competition can be tight.
Types of Jobs at Costco
The average Costco is like a miniature city, and it takes a lot of people to keep everything running. Each store employs people in more than a dozen different jobs. Some positions, like cashier and membership assistant, are suitable for people who like working with the public. If you prefer a more behind-the-scenes role, working in the bakery or meat counter might be a better fit. Costco hires people to decorate cakes, wrap and weigh baked goods and cut and wrap meat. Each store also has positions including stockers, assistants, forklift drivers and receiving clerks, as well as employees working in office jobs doing things like payroll and HR.
If your Costco also does tire sales and has a pharmacy and/or optician, those departments have their own employees as well. And each Costco has several managers who oversee operations.
Requirements to Work at Costco
Costco employees must be 18 or older and must pass a drug test in order to be hired. Other jobs have specific requirements; for example, to drive a forklift you'll need to be certified.
Benefits of Working at Costco
Many Costco employees say they love working for the chain. The pay is competitive for retail. Hourly employees can earn more than $20 per hour after they've been on the job for a few years, and entry-level pay starts at around $13. Employees who work on Sundays earn time-and-a-half pay. (Most stores close by 6 p.m. on weekends.) Full-time hourly employees are eligible for health insurance after 90 days or 450 hours worked, whichever comes first, and part-time employees are eligible after 180 days or 600 hours. Salaried employees are eligible for benefits on the first of the month after they're hired.
Employees may get discounts on in-store pharmacy and optical services, although they don't get an employee discount on other store merchandise. Other perks include a 401(k) matching program, paid holidays and paid time off.
How to Get a Job at Costco
Although working for Costco is preferable to some retail jobs, the process of getting a job there is pretty standard. Start at Costco's website. Click the Jobs link at the bottom of the page, click Apply Now at the bottom of the next page and enter your location to find the Costco nearest you. From there you can select a specific position or submit an application for any position.
If you're selected for an interview, dress neatly and focus on being friendly and personable. Costco employees report that the company's interview questions are fairly boilerplate. Be prepared to answer questions about times when you've had to make difficult decisions, deal with unhappy customers and work with other members of a team. The competition for Costco jobs is fierce, so it's essential that you stand out as competent, professional and flexible.
Kathryn has been a lifestyle writer for more than a decade. Her work has appeared on USAToday.com and Indeed.com.
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