Outdoor adventure outfitter REI maintains a sizeable presence across the United States. A chain of more than 130 locations, the retailer continues to expand and offers widespread job opportunities in sales, customer service, and store management.
Facts About Working at REI
Hiring Age: 16 years old (How old do you have to be to work at REI?)
Available Positions: Sales Specialist, Cashier Specialist, Customer Service Specialist, Floor Supervisor, Assistant Manager, Store Manager, Contact Center Representative, Cardboard Clerk, Inventory Control Clerk, Maintenance Technician, Mechanic, Production Specialist, Warehouse Associate, Instructor, Market Outreach Specialist, Administrative Specialist, Technician, Loss Prevention Specialist, Market Sales and Product Expert, Office Specialist, Outreach Administrator, Shipping and Receiving Specialist, Stocking Specialist, Advertising Program Manager, Designer, Development Manager, Human Resources Specialist, Customer Analytics Analyst
REI Job Opportunities
REI stores operate under unique business plans, which include consumer-cooperative models. Similar to nonprofits in operating outside of state jurisdiction, the chain focuses on service and self-sustainment as opposed to traditional capitalistic goals of money and property. The patron-based proprietorship of the chain includes democratic decision-making among employees and customers and requires associates to cater to customer demands, exemplify teamwork, and provide outstanding service at all times. FORTUNE magazine ranked the sporting goods chain as one of the top companies to work for every year from 1998 to 2013. Employees enjoy competitive pay, flexible scheduling, ongoing training, and opportunities for philanthropic involvement, which engenders deeper appreciation for the outdoors and adventure enthusiasm.
Each store boasts different departments of sporting goods, including sections for apparel, camping, hiking, forestry, canoeing, skiing, kayaking, etc. Workers must possess in-depth knowledge of outdoor sports and gaming in order to execute day-to-day responsibilities. Personal interests in environmentalism and conservation also serve as factors in gaining hiring consideration, as company protocol for business operations includes measures designed to limit environmental impact.
REI Jobs and Pay Scales
Applicants as young as 16 years of age may participate in the REI hiring process. The supportive and eco-friendly work settings featured at store locations offer perfect opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts and environmental activists to flourish as employees. Workers enjoy paid training, career growth potential, and generous base pay and salary options. The ability to volunteer time toward ecological campaigns also enhances the lives of employees both personally and professionally. Many of the most common positions available fall under the following job titles:
Customer Service Specialist
- Otherwise referred to as cashiers, customer service specialists primarily carry out daily tasks at store frontends and operate cash registers to complete monetary transactions.
- Workers must also engage with patrons, ask questions to receive feedback about products and services, promote REI membership plans and benefits, process returned, damaged, or exchanged merchandise, and organize shelves.
- Customer service specialists need cashiering experience, team-oriented work ethics, and the ability to work flexible schedules.
- Part-time and full-time opportunities remain available.
- Workers enjoy generous pay scales falling between $10.00 and $11.00 an hour at start.
- Applicants looking for sales specialist jobs must possess broad knowledge of products sold at REI stores.
- The main function of sales specialist jobs includes selling and promoting merchandise in stock.
- Some stock and general maintenance duties also comprise portions of the entry-level job title.
- The sporting goods retailer prefers to hire workers with backgrounds in sales and customer service.
- Night and weekend availability, in addition to typical weekday shifts, also helps job hopefuls obtain employment in the role.
- Most sales associate work part-time; however, the retail chain provides options for full-time schedules with proven experience.
- Sales specialists receive the same average hourly wages as customer service specialists, with pay scales generally falling between $10.00 and $11.00.
- Pricing, unloading shipments, tracking inventory, and organizing backroom areas and sales floors serve as the primary objectives of stocking specialists.
- Additional tasks include logging damaged goods and emptying garbage.
- The labor-intensive duties required of workers cater to applicants who possess physical stamina and the ability to lift up to 45lbs. at a time.
- Experience working in warehouse settings and open schedules also benefit ideal candidates, which include self-motivated and energetic individuals.
- An entry-level job title, the position of stocking specialist offers hourly pay maxing out around $11.00.
Tips For Applying
Honest, hardworking, and dedicated personalities fare best during the REI hiring process. Applicants must showcase sensitivity for and personal interest in environmental issues and the outdoors in general. Broad product knowledge spanning several areas of adventure and enthusiasm for the outdoors outrank most other character traits. Providing specific details on experience in gaming, athletics, or in retail settings may also advance candidates.
Candidates may use Google Drive or LinkedIn to upload applicant information. Workers may also upload personal resumes to the online job platform directly. Candidates often receive confirmation emails after entering in basic contact information and submitting the electronic forms. Between two weeks and a month proves the typical wait time for candidates to hear back from REI hiring personnel. The entire recruitment process may only last a few days, depending on the number of applicants vying for similar positions. Applicants also receive encouragement to visit stores in person to inquire about subsequent steps in the hiring process.
Benefits of Working at REI
Employment benefits available to part-time and full-time workers supplement ongoing career training programs, competitive base pay, and flexible scheduling options. Qualified REI associates gain access to employee-funded:
- 401(k) retirement plans and pension plans
- Medical, dental, and vision plans
- Holidays off and sick days, and
- Merchandise discounts.
Profit-sharing programs, adoption assistance, relocation assistance, and bonus incentives stand readily available, as well.
Additional Information on REI
Patrons who operate successful personal websites may find alternative ways to benefit from the sporting goods chain. Interested customers may sign up for the affiliates programs, which provides ways to monetarily prosper through link building and referrals. The program uses a third-party partner to provide webhosts with personalized tools to drive traffic to the REI main page and sales pages. Retail affiliates receive commissions on the number of clicks or users referred to the company online catalog and on resulting purchases.