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Acting Manager Vs Interim Manager: Comparison & Pay

Acting managers and interim managers are both temporary positions that fulfill the role of manager. The stipulations behind these two positions are fairly different and are explained in this article, since the responsibilities are similar.

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Comparing Acting Managers to Interim Managers

The difference in acting managers and interim managers primarily exists in the designation of the position, rather than the roles. For all intents and purposes both job titles encompass the exact same job duties and responsibilities. Acting managers are employees who are asked to assume the role of manager temporarily, usually due to the actual manager being away on vacation or leave, while interim managers are temporary positions meant to fulfill a tentative role that isn't needed beyond the duration of that position.

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Responsibilities of Acting Managers vs. Interim Managers

The responsibilities between acting managers and interim managers are practically identical. Managers are responsible for planning and directing the workload and procedures in which the work is done among the employees. They are the main communication between the upper and lower level workers within a business, and must ensure the objectives and goals assigned to them are met by their staff. The only difference between the two is that interim managers may be assigned a specific goal or project to execute within their specific time frame, while acting managers simply must maintain the status quo of the workplace until the actual manager returns.

Acting Managers

Being an acting manager implies that the position is temporary due to the absence of the actual manager for any short amount of time, such as from sickness or vacation. The specific conditions upon which a person becomes an acting manager vary and are somewhat random. There are no job positions listed for 'acting managers' due to the circumstances surrounding filling the role. Since the position is usually filled by a viable employee who has worked within the company, one cannot apply for this position, which is why salary and job outlook statistics don't exist for this specific job. Acting managers are substitute managers in essence, therefore they are expected to fulfill some of the same responsibilities as managers, though they may not be given the full control or superiority as the actual manager.

Job responsibilities of an acting manager include:

  • Making arrangements for the purchase and distribution of supplies
  • Meeting the objectives of their superiors on schedule
  • Overseeing the personnel to ensure they are complying with safety regulations
  • Managing contracts and budgets

Interim Managers

Interim managers are temporary positions assigned when there is no manager within the corporation, such as a manager abruptly quitting or leaving their position. Interim managers are place-holder positions until the corporation finds a viable candidate to fill the position permanently. Interim managers are typically given full control and power as the manager, and may be offered the position permanently. In some cases, interim managers are hired for a specific cause within a corporation, such as managing a brand new department or jump-starting a new project.

Job responsibilities of a manager include:

  • Suggesting ways to improve procedures or protocols for a project or personnel
  • Verifying that all equipment is functioning properly and making repairs if needed
  • Setting deadlines for assigned projects
  • Overseeing patterns in productivity to improve efficiency

Related Careers

Due to the temporary nature of these positions along with the vast skill set needed to fulfill them, the majority of similar careers deal with management or upper-level management careers. Acting manager positions require general knowledge of administrative management, while interim managers are usually overqualified for the role as a manager such as being chief executive officers (CEO), making both administrative management and CEO careers similar in skill set and structure.

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