Walmart raising pay for 165,000 employees, some to $18-$30 an hour

Walmart is giving approximately 165,000 hourly workers a raise, as the company seeks to introduce new leadership roles and “cross-training opportunities.”

On Thursday, the retail giant announced that it will be implementing a “team-based operating model” in Supercenters that includes new roles and skills training to serve customers and encourage career and pay growth for associates.

RELATED: Walmart pays another round of cash bonuses to US hourly employees working during pandemic

Walmart said that the pay increases will start in October, taking the place of the usual annual increase that comes in February or April.

“This new structure is built around higher-skilled jobs of the future, and the compensation for those roles reflects that,” said Dacona Smith, Walmart U.S. COO, in a statement. “Through this new, tiered structure for team leads, we’re creating room for pay and career growth while investing in areas like pickup and delivery as customers increasingly turn to those options.”

RELATED: Hobby Lobby raises minimum wage to $17 an hour for full-time employees

The new leadership roles will come with higher pay, and the company will also raise pay for current digital, asset protection and auto care center assistant managers. The new wage ranges for the hourly team lead roles fall between $18 and $21 an hour, and can go up to $30 an hour for Supercenter employees.

Walmart will also be investing in their specific, skilled positions in Supercenters. The minimum wage for hourly associates in the deli and bakery, for example, will increase from $11 an hour to $15 or higher.

“We’re thrilled about how we’re shifting our business to meet the needs of customers and investing in our associates at the same time. At the end of the day, our associates are the key to making every day easier for busy families,” said Smith. “I can’t wait to see how they excel in these new roles and continue to make such an incredible difference in their communities.”

Walmart employees across the country were given a second round of bonuses in June for their dedicated work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Full-time hourly associates were given a $300 bonus and part-time hourly and temporary associates received $150, adding up to more than $390 million in total. Those who received bonuses must have been employed with the company as of June 5, the company said.

Walmart previously issued a pandemic-related cash bonus to its employees on April 2, totaling to more than $365 million.

In late April, the Arkansas-based company paid almost $180 million in cash bonuses to its hourly associates nationwide, which was actually accelerated quarterly incentive payouts — in addition to the previously announced bonuses.

In total, Walmart has paid more than $935 million in bonuses for associates so far this year.

Target has similarly compensated its employees working in its stores and distribution centers during the crisis, including a bonus of $200 to eligible full-time and part-time hourly team members at the end of July. The company also said it is permanently increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour beginning July 5.

Hobby Lobby raised its minimum wage to $17 an hour for its full-time employees. Hobby Lobby Founder and CEO David Green said in a statement that the pay increase will take effect on Oct. 1 ahead of the holiday season.

Kelly Taylor Hayes contributed to this report.