Costco Job Application Guide

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About Costco


Retail, Department store




Kirkland, WA

Number of stores:



$88.9 billion (2011)


W. Craig Jelinek


With more than 618 stores and $88 billion in revenue, Costco is the fifth largest retailer in the United States. The company is known for treating its employees very well, and offers higher pay and better benefits than its competitors.

How to Apply For a Job at Costco


You can search and apply for jobs at Costco directly through StartWire. Not only will we help you keep your job search organized, we’ll also provide you with updates on your application so you’ll know if it’s been read and if you’re still in consideration for the position you’ve applied to. Apply now

Apply online

If you’d rather, you can also search and apply for jobs through Costco’s hiring website. If you choose this method, be sure to come back and use StartWire to organize your job search. For tips on your application, see the ‘application process’ section below.’ We’ll walk you through the whole thing, so you know exactly what to expect.

The Costco Application Process

The Costco online job application can be long, but it’s never frustrating. It asks a lot of questions, but these aren’t the ‘trick’ questions that a lot of employers fall back on. Rather, they’re setup deliberately to learn more about you and help you learn more about the position you’re applying for.

Depending on the job you’re interested in, you can expect to spend anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour working on the application. For the sake of this application guide, we applied to a cashier job — your experience might vary some depending on the position you’re applying for.

The application

You can apply to up to 5 Costco locations with a single application, which is really great if you happen to live in a location where there are multiple stores that you’d be interested in working at. This feature is a huge time-saver, and very much appreciated.

As with most applications, the first page is designed to collect your personal information. You will need to provide your name, phone number, address, social security number, and other common personal information. At the end of this section, an account will automatically be created for you.

On the job questions

After you provide your personal information, you will be required to answer a series of questions that are intended to gauge your work ethic and priorities on the job. These questions are not hard by any means, and the ‘right’ answer is typically very obvious. Nevertheless, make sure that you read each question very carefully.

To give you an idea of what you can expect from the application questions, here are a few examples:

“Are you willing to work in a job that requires you to work at a fast pace to keep customers satisfied?”

“The job that you are applying for may require you to be trained by working on the job instead of completing a formal training program. Is this type of training acceptable to you?”

“The job that you are applying for requires you to work in a busy, high pressure environment. Is this acceptable to you?”

Wrapping up

Once you’ve finished the questionnaire, you’re just about finished. You will need to provide your work availability, work history, education, and references. References are optional, but highly recommended. If you have professional references, you should list those. But if not, personal references are just fine.

Background check

During the application process, you will be asked to provide Costco with authorization to perform a background check. In their words, “Costco will seek information relating to your social security number, criminal history, motor vehicle/driving records, and other public record information for employment purposes.”

Any employment offer is contingent upon passing the background check. If you decline the check, you will not be able to complete the application.

Drug test

You will also be required to submit to a drug test. Costco reserves the right to test all new hires before their employment becomes official.

How long is your application kept on file?

Costco keeps all applications on file for 60 days. If you haven’t heard back in 60 days, you will need to fill out another application to remain in consideration for a position.

How To Get Updates on Your Costco Application

If you use StartWire to search and apply for Costco jobs, we’ll provide you with automatic updates on your application status. You’ll know when your application has been read, and if you’re still being considered for the position you’ve applied for. Sign up now

Who is Costco Hiring?

Costco is an equal opportunity employer. They do not consider age, gender, ethnicity, or disability while making their hiring decisions.

Jobs available at Costco

In terms of job titles, Costco has one of the most diverse workforces you’ll ever see. No matter what your skills and interests are, chances are good that there’s an opportunity in their stores that would make a good fit for you. Some of the most common jobs at Costco include:

  • Baker
  • Bakery Dept – Sanitation Assistant
  • Bakery Wrapper
  • Cake Decorator
  • Cashier
  • Cashier Assistant
  • Food Service Assistant
  • Forklift Driver
  • Forklift Operator
  • Inventory Auditor
  • Licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser
  • Licensed Optician
  • Maintenance Assistant
  • Meat Cutter
  • Meat Dept – Sanitation Assistant
  • Meat Wrapper
  • Membership Assistant
  • Membership Refund Cashier
  • Non-Licensed Optician
  • Optical Sales Assistant
  • Outside Marketer
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Pharmacist – Registered
  • Pharmacy Manager
  • Pharmacy Sales Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Photo Lab Assistant
  • Photo Lab Clerk
  • Print Shop Assistant
  • Receiving Appointment Clerk
  • Receiving Clerk
  • RTV Clerk
  • Service Deli Assistant
  • Skilled Maintenance
  • Stocker
  • Tire Sales Assistant

Search jobs

There are also many jobs available at Costco headquarters, regional offices, and distribution centers. The available position in those locations change all the time, so your best bet is to keep an eye on their hiring website to see new openings as they’re available.

Types of people Costco wants to hire

If you read the job descriptions carefully, you’ll note that Costco wants to hire people who are able to multitask, work hard, and be a positive influence on a team. But above all else, they want to hire people who know how to treat their customers well. If you have any customer service experience, you should do your best to highlight that during the application and interview process.

Age requirements

You must be at least 18 years old to work at Costco.

Business Summary


Costco was founded by James D. Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman. Today, W. Craig Jelinek is the President and CEO. Jeffrey H. Brotman is the Chairman.


Costco is a huge and extremely profitable business. In 2011 they reported $88 billion in revenue and $1.4 billion in net income. The company has $12 billion in equity, $26 billion in assets, and $2.4 billion in operating income.


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Costco Job Seeker Fact Sheet



Corporate Career Site:

Updates on Job Applications:


Average Time-to-Feedback:

7 days

Current openings:

Workplace Awards:

Glassdoor: Best Places to Work Fortune: World's Most Admired Companies Forbes: America's Top Companies

Reviews and Salaries:

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