Cosmetic Department Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a cosmetic department manager. Get a quick view of the job description as well as details about job duties and experience requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

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Cosmetic department managers supervise staff and manage the operation of cosmetics departments in retail stores. They require retail experience in cosmetics as well as knowledge of retail sales. A high school diploma or GED is often required and usually preferred, and on-the-job training is typically provided.

Essential Information

Cosmetic department managers are retail supervisors who help customers, set sales goals and manage employees. They have detailed knowledge of the cosmetics industry and offer advice about the use of cosmetics. While a high school diploma or GED certificate is generally required, experience in cosmetics sales and customer service is the most important qualification for cosmetic department managers.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Projected Job Growth (2014-24) 4% for all first-line supervisors of retail sales workers*
Median Salary (2015) $38,310 for all first-line supervisors of retail sales workers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

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Job Description and Duties

Working in the cosmetics department of a large clothing or general retail store, these managers oversee and set the schedules of sales assistants in their department. They keep track of sales and profitability, set sales goals and monitor employee performance. They also interact with customers at the cosmetics counter.

According to job listings posted at and, cosmetic department or counter managers also frequently act as beauty experts or consultants for customers, providing tips and passing on knowledge of brands and cosmetic techniques. They train sales staff in these areas as well. Cosmetics counter managers are also in charge of arranging counter displays.

Salary Info

The BLS reports that supervisors in retail sales earned a median annual salary of $38,310 as of 2015 ( The salary for cosmetic department managers might be commission-based, or they might receive a sales commission bonus, depending on their employer.

Job Requirements

Experience in retail and cosmetics sales is required to become a cosmetic department manager. The level of experience required varies by company, but ideal candidates usually have over two years of experience in cosmetics sales, merchandising, customer service and management. Candidates must also show a proven ability to set and meet maximized sales goals.

Additional job requirements include communication skills, computer sales software experience and organizational abilities. Employers also look for candidates with strong knowledge of the cosmetics industry, including trends, brand information and cosmetic artistry.

Most employers don't have formal education requirements for department managers, but they do prefer those with a high school diploma or GED. On-the-job training for managers is common. A college degree might rarely be required for cosmetics managers, depending on their responsibilities.

Cosmetic department managers typically have a high school diploma and experience in retail cosmetic sales. These positions may be salaried, commission-based or a mixture of both. Median annual salaries are about $38,000, and the job growth outlook is about as fast as for all occupations.

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