How Much Pawn Shop Employees Make

Brian McCracken


This is one of those question that people will typically ask me off on the side, not to attract too much attention. The question is, how much do pawn shop employees make?

Well, I’m a little conflicted about answering this question to be honest with you because I don’t really like the idea of putting an employees exact salary out there, particularly in this industry.

That having been said, the reason I decided to answer it anyways was because the truth of the matter is that the rate of pay for pawn shop employees vary so much store-to-store and state-to-state that it almost didn’t matter.

The Main Factor: The Type Of Pawn Shop

You see, a pawn shop employees pay is going to be largely determined by the type of pawn shop that they work in.

Pawn shops that handle a lot of high end merchandise will typically pay their employees much more than pawn shops that deal with much more moderately priced items and the reason for that is pretty obvious.

The more expensive the merchandise the more knowledgeable the employee will have to be and therefore the more responsible they will be – making decisions for loaning or spending large amounts of money on items versus maybe just $30 here or $50 there.

The Different Types Of Pawn Shops

As I’ve already touched on, there are different types of pawn shops around. You are going to have shops that deal with super high end jewelry ($100,000+) and then you have pawn shops that deal with a lot of $10 rings.

It’s just the nature of this business to have this huge degree of variance because the types of items that a pawn shop deals with will largely depend on the area in which the pawn shop is located.

That having been said, typically speaking, the more high end the shop is, the better paid the employees will be. Having a pawn shop employee make $75,000+ a year isn’t unheard of in this upper-end stores.

The More Common Types Of Pawn Shops

So with that in mind, let’s talk about the more common types of pawn shops. The shops that deal with a lot of power tools, jewelry in the $50-$5,000 range, and musical instruments.

In these stores, most pawn shop employees will make somewhere between $9-$20 an hour. In rare cases it may be slightly higher.

That of course does not include things like the employees health care or other associated expenses that go along with hiring qualified staff as is often required in most pawn shops.

Is It Easy To Work In A Pawn Shop

This is a challenging question but one that directly relates to the topic at hand.

Most pawn shop jobs are fairly easily, although there will be periods where heavy lifting and other manual labor is required.

What the real important aspect of a good pawn shop employee is is that they understand how to work with people and negotiate wisely.

Some pawn shop employees will give away the farm just to make a sale, while others won’t budge at all on a stated price. Neither one of these are particularly good for a store.

The ideal pawn shop employee will be quick witted and effectively deal with new information and new scenarios as they are presented. This is not really a teachable skill – either you have it or you don’t for the most part and that’s where it becomes difficult to answer whether or not it is easy to work in this industry.