Retail stores are busy places, and their managers must be able to multi-task to keep all operations running smoothly. They are primarily responsible for increasing profits in their stores with creative promotions and merchandising. But they are also responsible for ensuring their customers have pleasant shopping experiences. If you can picture yourself hiring and training employees, maintaining sufficient inventory levels, and handling customer complaints -- simultaneously -- a job in retail management may be perfect for you. Expect to earn an annual salary that is relatively average compared to other occupations.
Salary and Qualifications
Retail managers earned average annual salaries of $40,910 as of May 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are among the top 10 percent in earnings, you would make over $61,940 annually. Employers usually prefer that you have a high school diploma and one to five years experience in retail management. Other important qualifications for the job are supervisory, organizational, problem-solving, communication and customer service skills.
Salary by Industry
Average salaries for retail managers varied significantly by industry in 2011. You would earn some of the highest salaries, of $74,240 per year, working for automobile dealerships, according to the BLS. You would also earn a high salary if you managed a commercial equipment store -- $64,390 annually. Your salary would be closer to the industry average in a health and personal care or clothing store, at $41,580 or $41,140 per year, respectively. Expect to earn less managing either a shoe store or gas station -- $37,370 or $34,050, respectively.
Salary by State
Retail managers earned the highest average salaries of $48,320 in Rhode Island, reports the BLS. The also made high salaries in New Jersey and New York at $48,060 and $46,090 per year, respectively. Your salary would be closer to average for retail managers in Texas, at $40,670 annually. And you would earn slightly less in Alabama or Oklahoma -- $37,150 or $35,720, respectively.
Jobs for first line supervisors of retail sales workers, or retail managers, will only increase 8 percent in the next decade, which is slower than the 14 percent average for all jobs. You're likely to find the most job opportunities as a retail manager in high-growth areas of the country. New retail stores are usually constructed when fast-growing cities or counties build new homes and neighborhoods. Another consideration is to look for retail manager jobs in higher growth industries -- cell phone stores and those that sell health-related products or supplies.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail: First Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
- Management Study Guide: Roles and Responsibilities of a Store Manager
- DD's Discounts: Store Manager