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Retail Assistant Manager: Job Description, Requirements and Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a retail assistant manager. Get a quick overview of the requirements as well as details about education, job duties and responsibilities to find out if this is the right career for you.

Retail assistant managers help store and corporate management run retail outlets and ensure that they are running at full efficency. Aspiring retail assistant managers should hold a bachelor's degree but this can often be supplemented by on-the-job training.

Essential Information

Retail assistant managers are tasked with helping store and corporate management to ensure retail outlets function well. Duties include sales maximization, customer service improvement, personnel scheduling, and employee organization. The amount of training and education necessary to become an assistant manager in a retail store can vary greatly depending upon the employer.

Required Education Varies from on-the-job training to a bachelor's degree
Certification/Licensure None
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% for all retail sales workers*
Median Salary (2015) $41,481 for assistant retail store managers**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

Career Description and Job Duties

The main job duty of an assistant manager is to help the store manager in the smooth and profitable operation of the business. According to Salary.com, assistant managers are part of a store's managerial team and therefore have the authority to make decisions about store operations. Management teams seek to raise the store's profits by attracting more shoppers, providing better customer service, and selling more goods.

Training salespeople and monitoring inventory may be part of an assistant manager's job, explains O*Net, from the U.S. Department of Labor (http://online.onetcenter.org). Assistant managers must settle conflicts such as scheduling errors or customer complaints. They are often involved with maintaining the physical appearance of their stores and ensuring quality product presentation.

Requirements

Experience & Education

The requirements to become an assistant manager in a retail store vary depending upon the size of the store and policies of the store owner. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), smaller stores with individual owners may sometimes promote lower-level salespeople into management positions (www.bls.gov). Large retail chains often prefer to hire those with some retail experience who also hold certificates or college degrees in relevant areas like management or business administration. Degrees in the social sciences or liberal arts may also be considered useful for managers.

Training

Almost all retail stores provide some degree of training for new employees. The duration and type of this training depends entirely upon the employer. While some provide only basic training combined with on-the-job learning, others have mandatory training programs lasting several days. Many large retail chains that hire college graduates provide managerial training programs. Additional training may be required of those who are working with specialty products such as computers or cosmetics, according to the BLS.

Career Info: Predictions and Salary

According to Salary.com, the middle 50% of all assistant retail store managers earned $35,760 to $49,004 in 2015, with a median salary of $41,481. The BLS predicted an average growth in employment of retail salespersons over 2014-2024 at 7%, with many new positions predicted because of population growth and job openings due to high turnover as employees leave. However, managerial positions in retail had slower growth outlook.

To be a retail assistant manager, you'll need good interpersonal, organizational and leadership skills. On-the-job learning and company training programs are common, and many large chains want someone with a certificate or a degree in a relevant field. Job growth for retail salespersons are expected to grow at an average rate through 2024, but that growth may be slower for managers.

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