A good deal of what a deli clerk does is calculation: portioning and packaging salads, pricing meats per pound. In figuring a clerk’s worth, too, there's a lot to weigh, including the shop’s location, the quality of its products, and how much hands-on food prep is required of the clerk.
At a major chain, a deli clerk might start out making slightly more than minimum wage. A position at a gourmet grocery, on the other hand, can bring closer to $20 per hour. But the nicer the shop, the more divided the behind-the-counter jobs become, spawning specialized titles like cheese monger or butcher, which can vie for larger slices of profits.