In terms of benefits, you get things like partial dental, accident and hazard, and 401k. There are different benefit plans, depending on how much you work, and even part-time associates are eligable for benefits. As far as what you make, that varies by state, depending on what the minimum wage requirements are.
I earnestly think that commissioned sales happen to be the best departments. In our JC Penney's, we do not use the "Family Shoes" concept and instead keep the children's shoes downstairs with the women's shoes, and all of the athletic shoes upstairs next to the men's shoes. I average between $11 and $13 an hour. The sales goals are challenging, but not unreasonable, and the managers are savvy enough to see when there just wasn't the foot traffic for better sales.