How much does a cannabis worker make? Your salary guide

Last updated: May 28, 2024
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Sara Jones
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How much does a cannabis worker make? Your salary guide
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Cannabis jobs you can get without a degree

The legal cannabis industry is set for big things. In North America, market worth is likely to reach 38.2 billion by 2028.

If you're a job seeker, there are a range of different roles available. For example, you could apply for a job as a budtender associate, cannabis trimmer, or extraction technician.

The skills you'll need depend on the job type. However, most successful workers have teamwork skills, patience, and the ability to work independently.

Want to join this growing field? We've put together the ultimate guide to cannabis industry jobs.

We'll tell you what you can expect from each job type and how much you can make.

What is a cannabis job?

Legal marijuana is available in most states. Depending on where you live, it can be used for medical or recreational use.

Because more people are using cannabis, there's a demand for the drug in different forms. A cannabis worker is someone who's involved in growing, packaging, or selling the product.

There are jobs at farms, offices, dispensaries, and laboratories. Plus, there are jobs for drivers and researchers.

Many of the jobs are entry-level, so you can learn everything you need to know at work. However, there are some senior roles available, and an associate's degree or bachelor’s degree may be required.

For most roles, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old. You can also expect a background check before you get hired. Some employers will give you a drug screening test.

What are the top cannabis jobs without a degree?

What are the most common cannabis job types? Let's dive in and find out.

1. Budtender associate

Budtender associates work in retail stores. They're part of a dispensary team and help customers with their purchases.

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These legal cannabis workers answer customer questions, give product recommendations, and make sure the store is clean and tidy. They restock shelves and support the dispensary manager with daily duties.

Budtenders can accept customer payments by cash or credit card. They’ll use a POS (point of sale) system and print receipts.

They may also answer phones and pack orders for home delivery.

To work as a budtender associate, you'll need good communication skills and customer service skills. Computer skills, attention to detail, and product knowledge will also be beneficial.

How much can you make as a budtender?

The average pay for a budtender is $13.71 per hour. Top earners can make $17.23 per hour.

Where to find a budtender associate job

You can find a budtender role on our job board.

2. Cannabis trimmer

Cannabis trimmers work on farms and get the marijuana ready for sale. They trim the plants and check each bud to make sure it looks appealing.

There are different types of trimming methods. For example, some trimmers cut the plants when they are still green. This is called wet trimming.

Others wait until the cannabis has dried out, and this is called dry trimming. Some workers use machinery to make the process quicker. The method depends on the company and whether they have the budget for expensive tools.

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They need to weigh the cannabis and keep records of their work. They need to make sure the workspace is clean and tidy.

To be successful, you'll need to be self-motivated and have manual dexterity. Cannabis trimmer roles are usually entry-level.

How much can you make as a trimmer?

The average hourly wage for a trimmer is $13.87 per hour. Top earners can make $20.23 per hour.

Where to find a cannabis trimmer job

You can browse cannabis trimmer roles on our job board.

3. Packaging specialist

Packaging specialists get cannabis products ready for sale. They work in warehouses or other cannabis facilities and prepare orders for delivery drivers.

They weigh products and make sure they're labeled and packaged correctly. For example, if it's an edible or extract, the ingredient list needs to be accurate. They also check that any warning labels are correct.

Packaging specialists make sure each customer's postage details are printed correctly. Some workers keep an eye on inventory and keep track of orders with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

The goal is to create a positive cannabis sales experience, and this all starts with the packaging.

These workers use computer software to scan packages and print labels. To get the job, you'll need to be tech-savvy.

You'll need attention to detail, communication skills, and good organizational skills. The role can be repetitive, and you should feel confident working independently.

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How much can you make as a packaging specialist?

The average salary for a packaging specialist is $13.27 per hour. High earners can make $17.27 per hour.

Where to find a job as a cannabis packaging specialist

You can browse packaging specialist positions on our job board.

4. Edibles specialist

The cannabis marketplace includes edibles. Edibles specialists make food items that are infused with cannabis extracts.

They weigh and measure ingredients and mix and bake food. These workers make sure everything is prepared and stored safely.

Edibles specialists can package and label food. They focus on the edibles' look, quality, and taste and keep all kitchen tools clean.

There are different types of edible specialists. You can start in an entry-level position and help a more advanced edibles chef. As you gain experience, you'll be given more responsibility.

To work in this role, you'll need attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and basic math skills. You should enjoy cooking and have good presentation skills.

If you have experience in manufacturing, it can be beneficial.

How much can you make as an edibles specialist?

Entry-level edibles specialists make around $14.50 per hour. Experienced workers can make $25.30 per hour, and top earners can double this.

Where to find an edible specialist job

Browse edible specialist jobs on our job board.

5. Delivery driver

Cannabis companies rely on delivery drivers to transport the product to customers and cannabis retail stores.

For example, some drivers collect marijuana from the farm and deliver it to a dispensary. Other drivers deliver medicinal marijuana to people in their homes.

Most drivers use technology. There could be apps for using a GPS (global positioning system) and apps for communicating with other team members.

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Cannabis delivery drivers need a valid driver's license and a clean driving record. If you're a contractor, you may need your own vehicle and insurance.

It can be a busy role, and you'll need good time management skills. You should be confident on the road and able to navigate traffic.

Most jobs are entry-level, but if you've worked as a delivery driver before, it'll be an advantage.

A heavy vehicle license can also help you get a job.

How much can you make as a delivery driver?

The average salary for a delivery driver in the US is $15.61. Top earners can make up to $24.01 per hour.

Where to find a delivery driver job

You can find cannabis courier jobs on our job board.

6. Grower assistant

Grower assistants and growers help cannabis farmers care for the crops. There can be different types of plants to look after across large properties.

They need to water, fertilize, and trim cannabis plants. Grower assistants are usually involved in pest control processes to make sure the marijuana stays healthy.

Grower assistants spend long hours working outdoors and in greenhouses. While working indoors, the temperatures can be high.

They need to be able to work in a team or independently, depending on the task.

To work in this role, you'll need to be physically fit with good problem-solving skills. Grower assistants need to be reliable with good time management skills. You should be patient and enjoy gardening.

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If you have ever worked on a farm or as a landscaper, you should highlight these positions on your resume.

Growers are also known as cultivators.

How much can you make as a cannabis grower?

The average salary for a cannabis grower is $15.20 per hour. Senior team members can make up to $22 per hour.

Where to find a job as a grower

Look for grower jobs on our job board.

7. Receptionist

Receptionists work for a range of businesses, including those in the cannabis space. They can work at the front desks of medical dispensaries, farms, and cannabis retailers.

Receptionists greet customers, answer phones, send emails, and take messages. They type documents and letters and book appointments. They can schedule meetings and take minutes.

The job involves using a computer, so you'll need computer skills. Typing skills and experience using Microsoft Word and Excel will help you get a job.

Some receptionists input data, send invoices, and accept payments. Cash handling skills and bookkeeping knowledge can be beneficial.

You'll need excellent communication, time management, and organizational skills to be successful.

How much can you make as a receptionist?

The average salary for a receptionist is $14.40 per hour. Top earners can make up to $22 per hour.

Where to find a job as a receptionist

You can browse receptionist positions on our job board.

8. Extraction technician

An extraction technician is usually a cannabis dispensary employee. These workers take chemical compounds from the flowers.

Then, they purify the ingredients to create products for medicinal and recreational use.

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The job can involve working with dangerous chemicals. Extraction technicians need to test the products to make sure they're safe. They need to keep the workspace hazard-free.

They use different types of equipment and tools and work in a laboratory environment.

To do this job, you'll need to have good attention to detail. You should have product knowledge and manual dexterity. You'll be part of a team, but you'll be in a small group or by yourself most of the time.

While extraction technicians may have a bachelor's degree, you can start your career as an extraction technician assistant without a degree.

How much can you make as an extraction technician?

The average salary for an extraction technician is $16.92 per hour. High earners can make up to $29.09 per hour.

Where to find a job as an extraction technician

You can browse extraction technician roles on our job board. Or look for extraction technician assistant positions.

9. Post-harvest specialist

When the harvest is over, post-harvest specialists clean the work area and pack up any fencing and equipment.

They can help other workers with general duties, such as packing cannabis and removing buds. However, their main role is to clear the area and check that tools are clean and not damaged.

Some post-harvest specialists are there for the pre-harvest setup. They help prepare the site for planting and check that all the equipment is hygienic and ready for use.

The role can involve driving, heavy lifting, reaching, and bending. You’ll need to be a team player with physical fitness and manual dexterity.

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If you’ve worked in construction or as a janitor, make sure you include these roles on your resume.

How much can you make as a post-harvest specialist?

The average hourly salary for a post-harvest specialist is $14.31 per hour. Top earners can make $22 per hour.

Where to find a job as a post-harvest specialist

Browse our job board for post-harvest specialist positions.

Starting your career in the cannabis industry

The cannabis industry is growing quickly. If you want to get on board, you can start your career now.

Want to work on a farm? Some of the best jobs to start with include cannabis trimmers, grower assistants, and post-harvest specialists.

If you’d prefer to work in a dispensary or laboratory, look for a job as a budtender associate, edibles specialist, extraction technician, or receptionist. Alternatively, you can apply for a job as a delivery driver.

For most of these cannabis jobs, there are no minimum eligibility requirements. However, you’ll usually need to be over 21 years old and have the right skills and attitude for the role.

Want to start your job search? Head over to our job board to see who is hiring in your area. Don’t forget to check out our resource center for more career-related articles.



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