Independent wine distributors depend on tasting room managers to introduce new and premier wines to the public. Tasting room managers supervise the set-ups of tasting rooms, ensuring they have ample staff and wine available for customers. They also track consumption and sales of various wines and report their findings to winemakers. If you have a passion for introducing and educating people on pinot, chardonnay and other fine wines, the job of tasting room manager may be perfect for you. You can expect to earn salaries averaging above $35,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of a tasting room manager was $36,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. To become a tasting room manager, you need a minimum of a high school diploma and two or more years of experience working in a winery or restaurant. Some employers may prefer that you have a bachelor's degree in business or marketing because of the job's administrative responsibilities: hiring, training and supervising tasting room assistants. Other essential requirements are physical stamina, a professional appearance and organizational, customer service, communication and teamwork skills.
Salary by Region
In 2013, average salaries for tasting room managers varied in the four U.S. regions, according to Indeed. In the West region, they earned the highest salaries of $39,000 in California and the lowest of $25,000 in Hawaii. Those in the South made between $30,000 and $42,000 per year, respectively, in Louisiana and Washington, D.C. If you worked as a tasting room manager in the Northeast, you'd make between $31,000 and $43,000, respectively, in Maine or New York. In the Midwest, you'd earn the most in Illinois and the least in South Dakota -- $38,000 or $27,000, respectively.
You'd probably earn more in New York and California as a tasting room manager because living costs are higher in those states. For example, if you made $35,000 in Cincinnati, Ohio, you'd need to earn $82,079 in New York City to maintain the same living standard, according to CNN Money's cost of living calculator. In Los Angeles, you'd need to make $49,817. You'd also likely earn more working at large wineries, because they usually generate more profits to support higher salaries.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't forecast jobs for tasting room managers. It does project a 13-percent increase in jobs for promotions managers, who coordinate marketing activities in most corporations. You may also enjoy a similar growth rate in jobs as a tasting room manager -- relatively average, compared to the 14-percent national rate for all occupations. Another positive indicator for jobs is U.S. wine consumption, which increased 50 percent among Americans between 2001 and 2012, according to Wine-Searcher.com. Sales should continue to expand over the next decade, which may increase job opportunities for tasting room managers.
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