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Become a Retail Pet Care Manager: Career Guide

Find out how to become a retail pet care manager. Research the training requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in pet care management.

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Should I Become a Pet Care Manager?

Individuals with a passion for pets and business may consider becoming retail pet care managers. These workers hire and train employees, and deal with dissatisfied customers or complaints. They handle the daily functions of retail pet stores, including sales goals. While these professionals work indoors in temperature-controlled stores, they may be required to work evening, weekend and holiday shifts, depending on scheduling needs. Most retail managers hold entry-level positions in the industry and advance with experience; however, some retail companies require managers to hold college degrees and complete training programs.

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Career Requirement

Degree Level High school diploma, Associate's or Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Business management or similar field
Experience Three or more years of experience in retail management
Key Skills Interpersonal communication, customer service, problem-solving and leadership skills, pet care knowledge
Salary (May 2014) $35,310 (median for managers of retail sales workers)

Sources: O*Net Online, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Gain Experience in Retail

Many retail pet care managers start out as lower-level employees before rising to the ranks of managers. Associate positions can equip aspiring managers with the skills needed to boost sales and satisfy customers. Many pet care jobs start with a training program that can allow employees to learn about the various facets of the pet industry, such as animal safety and pet supplies.

Step 2: Consider Earning a Degree

Supervisory roles in pet stores usually require a high school diploma or GED; however, a college degree may increase employment opportunities. A 2- or 4-year program in business management can teach skills that are useful to those interested in retail management careers, such as accounting and bookkeeping methods, word processing knowledge, human resources management and marketing strategies.

Step 3: Advance to a Management Position

Employees that demonstrate strong teamwork and decision-making skills may advance into positions of greater responsibility. They may become supervisor of a specific department or assistant manager before becoming general manager. Small pet stores that are managed by their owners may have fewer opportunities for advancement, so aspiring pet store managers may need to find employment with larger retailers.

Large retailers often have a bigger staff pool and may differentiate between store managers, who help work with associates to meet pet store goals, and pet care/safety managers, who oversee the welfare of the animals and quality of the pet products. Prospective managers may need to decide which leadership route they wish to take.

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