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Retail Sales Manager: Job Description & Career Info

Learn about the job responsibilities of a retail sales manager. Find out the education and skills necessary, as well as the employment outlook and salary potential, to make the right career decision.

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Career Definition of a Retail Sales Manager

A retail sales manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a retail store and oversees salespeople, customer service representatives and other employees. Retail sales managers interview, hire and train new employees. They also prepare schedules and assign duties for current employees. Retail sales managers often work nights, weekends and holidays and may personally handle customer complaints.

Field of Education History as well as studies in the culture and language of your specialty
Job Skills Enjoy sharing history with passion and objectivity & aptitude for logical and methodically
Median Salary (2015) $113,860 per year for all sales managers, including retail sales managers
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5% job growth for all sales managers, including retail sales managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

Some retail sales managers learn the principles of management as retail salespeople and then are promoted to retail sales management positions. Other retail sales managers obtain bachelor's degrees in fields such as communications or business. Training for retail sales managers usually occurs in the stores where they will work and includes lessons in interviewing, customer service, inventory management and scheduling.

Required Skills

Experience working in retail stores is necessary for all retail sales managers. They also must have computer skills and be patient with both employees and customers. Retail sales managers must be able to motivate and organize their employees.

Career and Economic Outlook

While retail sales manager positions fall within the category of sales managers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gives information for the broader occupation. The BLS predicts an 5% increase in the number of jobs for sales managers from 2014-2024, which is about fast as average, and notes that the income for this profession largely depends on the type of business you are working in and what the business is selling. That being said, the BLS states that the median annual salary for sales managers totals $113,860.

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  • Merchandising and Buying
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Alternative Careers

Other careers within this field include:

Retail Buyer

For those desiring a career in retail who want to be involved in the selection and acquisition of products, a career in retail buying should be considered. Buyers meet with suppliers and vendors, determine what products are needed, negotiate deals to get the best price, arrange deliveries and manage inventory levels. Depending on the products and size of the company, required education for this position ranges from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree in a business field. Certification from professional organizations can also be beneficial for career advancement. In May of 2015, the BLS estimated that retail buyers earned a median wage of $52,940. Wholesale and retail buyers, except those involved in farm product purchasing, should see a 2% increase in job opportunities during the 2014-2024 decade, as projected by the BLS.

Advertising Sales Agent

Another job that involves sales but does not take place in a retail store is advertising sales. Advertising sales agents locate prospective clients, present cost and ad information, work with design staff to create promotional media and make sure work meets the client's satisfaction. Entry-level sales positions may only require a high school diploma, but obtaining a bachelor's degree in marketing, advertising or business is preferred by many employers. The BLS expects a 3% decline in employment for advertising sales agents from 2014 to 2024, but new positions may open up in digital media. The BLS reported the median salary of sales agents to be $48,490 per year in 2015.

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