Walmart may be one of the most popular places to shop in the world, but they don’t have the best reputation as an employer. Let’s dive in and find out exactly what it’s like to be a Walmart employee.
What Is It Like Working At Walmart?
The most important thing to know about working for Walmart is that you will be working for the single largest company in the world. Since 1990, Walmart has claimed and maintained its position as the world’s largest corporation by revenue. (If you’ve ever worked for a large retail company, then you can probably imagine some of the downsides of working for such a mammoth corporation.)
Of course, Walmart would have you believe that it’s a fantastic place to work and shop.
Walmart’s mission statement reads like this…
We aim to build a better world — helping people live better and renew the planet while building thriving, resilient communities. For us, this means working to create opportunity, build a more sustainable future, advance diversity, equity and inclusion and bring communities closer together.
However, Walmart has come under fire for more controversies than anyone can count over the years, which calls into question the efficacy of their mission.
Most recently, Walmart was sued by the Federal Trade Commission in June 2022 for money transfer fraud. The impact of the fraud translated into hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from consumers.
Later on in 2022, Walmart came under fire yet again for consistently overcharging customers through consistent “receipt errors.” Some customers were overcharged by as much as $20 per transaction, and the problem was not isolated.
But the controversies don’t just apply to Walmart shoppers.
As Forbes reports, Walmart was sued yet again in 2022 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for discriminating against employees on the basis of both race and gender.
Back in 2017, The New York Times reported that Walmart had been accused of punishing employees who took sick days. The allegations stated that Walmart “routinely refuses to accept doctors’ notes, penalizes workers who need to take care of a sick family member and otherwise punishes employees for lawful absences.”
Benefits For Part-Time & Full-Time Walmart Employees
Despite having such a dicey reputation, Walmart continues to attract new workers by offering competitive employee benefits.
However, the benefits you can receive as a Walmart employee depend on how many hours you work per week. In most cases, you must work at least 30 hours per week on average to qualify for benefits.
Some of the benefits enjoyed by Walmart employees include:
- Medical coverage
- Vision and dental coverage
- Dependent coverage for medical, vision, and dental benefits
- Critical illness and accident insurance
- 401k matching
- Stock purchase plan
The main benefit available only to full-time Walmart employees is dependent medical coverage. In other words, while a part-time employee qualifies for medical coverage through their job, a full-time employee can also receive medical coverage for their spouse and/or children.
For a full look at Walmart’s employee benefits, check out their Associate Benefits Book here.
What You Should Know Before Working at Walmart
Here are some important things to keep in mind before accepting a job at Walmart:
- Walmart is infamous for being an unpleasant place to work
- Walmart pays employees less than many other companies for the same work
- You might have to pass a drug screening and background check
- You have to work an average of 30 hours per week to qualify for medical benefits
- Walmart has one of the highest employee turnover rates of any major company
Job Application & Hiring Process
The easiest way to apply for a job at Walmart is by visiting the Walmart Careers page. From there, you can begin searching for available job opportunities and submitting applications.
For each open position, you can view the hiring requirements and expectations and read through a detailed description of what each job entails.
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the Walmart hiring process…
- Submit an application online for the job you want
- Walmart will review all candidates who applied for the job and decide who to interview
- If you’re chosen to advance to the interview process, you will be contacted by a Walmart employee to schedule an interview
- If your interview goes well, you will be offered employment and taken through the drug screening and background check process (drug screenings are only conducted for certain positions)
- If you pass all the necessary checks, you will be scheduled to attend an employee orientation
- Once your orientation is complete, you can begin working as a Walmart employee
- The first three months of your employment are considered probationary, meaning that if you violate company policy during this time, you can be terminated immediately (probationary employees also cannot access all the same perks and benefits as full employees)
- If you make it through your first 90 days without any violations, you will be considered a full Walmart employee and you will also become eligible for your first raise
Potential careers at Walmart run the gamut from greeters and stockers to business analysts and software engineers. So, whatever your background or level of experience, you’re bound to find something you’re qualified for and interested in on the Walmart Careers page. Click here to browse open positions at Walmart.
The job categories you can choose from include:
- Retail positions
- Corporate positions
- Healthcare positions
- Technology positions
- Distribution and fulfillment positions
- Driver positions
As a Walmart retail worker, you might find yourself working in any of the following departments:
- Cashier and front end
- Food and grocery
- General merchandising
- Stocking and unloading
- Health and wellness (including pharmacy positions)
You can also apply to work at a Walmart Auto Care Center or fuel station if you have qualifying skills and interest.
Once you become a Walmart employee, you can continue to advance your career from inside the company.
According to Walmart, 75% of their workforce (including CEO Doug McMillon) started out as hourly associates. They also claim that the average associate receives a promotion after just seven months of work. Judging from this information, it seems clear that “climbing the ladder” is definitely possible if you get in on the ground floor at Walmart.
Even if you’re not interested in a promotion, Walmart employees are eligible for raises every 90 days.
Salary Pay Grade
The amount you can earn as a Walmart employee varies widely based on the position you’re hired into, where you work, and how long you’ve worked. The longer you work at Walmart, the more you can earn.
The lowest paying position at Walmart is reset associate. A reset associate is responsible for the appearance and presentation of goods on the shelf. In other words, your job is to walk around the store and straighten things out, scoot products to the front of the shelf, etc. Walmart reset associates make about $12k a year on average.
The highest paying entry-level position at Walmart is software engineer. Walmart software engineers earn an average yearly salary of about $124k.
Walmart’s starting hourly wages for in-store positions range from about $12 to about $17 depending on position.
Verdict: Is Walmart A Good Place To Work?
If you’re looking for a basic, easy-to-get job that offers benefits, then Walmart is an okay option. Walmart stores are everywhere, and they post tons of new job opportunities on their careers page every day. It’s fine as a last resort or if it’s your only option (maybe you live in a rural area without many other businesses).
That said, if you’re looking for a positive work environment where you’ll be supported by management, treated well, and truly valued as an employee, Walmart probably isn’t your best bet.
There are plenty of large companies that offer great benefits to entry-level employees and that have much better reputations for how they treat their workers.
Companies like Costco, Wegmans, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Target, and Best Buy are just a few examples of retail establishments that consistently rank higher on lists of great places to work. Walmart, on the other hand, has consistently received criticism as a company that doesn’t do enough to support employees or foster a positive work environment. (Not to mention their long list of legal troubles from mistreating both customers and employees.)
But don’t just take it from us…
Here are some eye-opening accounts from current and former Walmart employees about what it’s like to work at Walmart.
The previous thread is a few years old, so here are some more recent accounts…
When asked what it’s like to work at Walmart, one user replied with this:
Finally, here’s some level-headed input from someone on another thread:
Is Walmart a good place for seniors to work?
Yes and no. Walmart offers many low-impact job opportunities for seniors, mainly as cashiers and greeters. However, Walmart has also become infamous for paying very low wages and treating their employees quite poorly.
What is the dress code for Walmart employees?
Hourly Walmart associates are expected to wear denim jeans (varying shades are okay) and shirts of any color or pattern. You are also expected to wear a blue Walmart vest over your own clothes. Clothing must be professional and work appropriate, without rips, stains, or profanity. Pants must also be free of embellishments, jewels, etc. Walmart workers must wear closed-toe shoes.
What are the best jobs at Walmart?
Cashier and sales associate are considered the two most desirable entry-level positions at Walmart. However, if you have experience and education as a software engineer, getting hired into this position at Walmart is the best way to earn the most money possible as a new employee.
Is it easy to quit Walmart?
Yes. Quitting your job at Walmart is as easy as letting your manager know you would like to leave your position. Depending on your rapport with your manager, you might be asked to leave immediately, or you might be able to negotiate a mutually agreed upon last day of work.
What is Walmart’s employee turnover rate?
According to DailyDot.com, “Walmart has one of the highest turnover rates among employers at a whopping 70%, per the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, with many leaving due to low wages and poor work quality.”