Chief Merchandising Officer Jobs: Career Options and Requirements

Sep 25, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a chief merchandising officer. Get a quick view of the job description and salary statistics as well as details about career options and requirements to find out if this is the right choice for you.

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Chief merchandising officers require a degree, experience in a related field, and management experience. Their duties typically include managing staff, implementing merchandising plans and making purchasing decisions. The job outlook for these professionals is slower than average.

Essential Information

Chief merchandising officers are top executives who develop strategies for purchasing and merchandising products. Years of experience and industry-specific knowledge, acquired through a bachelor's degree program, are often necessary for becoming a chief merchandising officer.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in economics, business or applied sciences (with classes in retail management and merchandising)
Other Requirements Approximately 10 years of management experience
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 4% (for purchasing managers)*
Median Annual Salary (2018) $118,940 (for purchasing managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chief Merchandising Officer Career Options

Job Description

Chief merchandising officers oversee their company's buying activities and develop strategies to make the most informed purchasing plans. These head executives make purchasing decisions for a company, including determining product availability, demand, market trends and pricing. They typically manage a team of purchasing or merchandising staff. Chief merchandising officers also implement merchandising plans.

Industry Options

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that approximately 8% of those in purchasing-related jobs worked in manufacturing and wholesale trade departments ( Other top industries included government and retail.

Chief Merchandising Officer Requirements

Chief merchandising officers generally hold at least a bachelor's degree. A focus on business classes, such as marketing, accounting and finance, should give a candidate the knowledge to gain an entry-level position in merchandising and purchasing. Additional college coursework in retail management, merchandising and consumer behavior research might also provide helpful insight into the industry.

Because chief merchandising officer is an executive-level position, it typically requires many years of experience, working one's way up through multiple jobs in a company or industry. The BLS notes that many top executives have also earned a Master of Business Administration. Chief merchandising officers rely on their expertise and familiarity with industry-specific practices to make company-wide decisions.

Chief marketing officers are required to hold a bachelor's degree in a business-related field. A master's degree in business may also be preferred or required for these positions. The median salary for these positions is around $118,000 per year.

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