Retail Management Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2019

Retail management certificate programs prepare students to manage operations at various types of retail establishments. Find out more about the program, courses, requirements, and employment information.

Essential Information

There are several academic and professional routes an individual can undertake to become a retail manager, including enrolling in a retail management certificate program. Community colleges, universities and vocational schools are the institutions most likely to offer these certificate programs for high school graduates. Some schools offer them as continuing education or non-credit certificate programs, while others offer them as an additional resource for undergraduate business students.

Many also provide students with the opportunity to participate in hands-on group activities or classroom lectures that focus on problem-solving, business communication techniques and communication skills. The course is also available online at some institutions. Retail management certificate programs may prepare graduates to pursue various voluntary certifications that are available through related organizations.

Certificate in Retail Management

Different schools have different education prerequisites for retail management students. Some require incoming students to hold some real-life experience working in the food service or retail industries, while others take incoming students with little to no educational or professional background, outside of a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Retail managers oversee the day-to-day operations of stores and sales establishments. Many certificate programs offered in the field of retail management focus specifically on the courses that are most likely to aid a manager in his or her duties.

For example, these certificate programs are designed to provide individuals with the educational background and skills necessary to handle customer relations, financial transactions and human resources within a retail establishment. They offer entry-level training in accounting and business principles. Some specific courses include:

  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Visual merchandising
  • Merchandise planning and control
  • Human resources
  • Organizational behavior

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The retail industry is one of the largest employers in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 1.2 million first-line supervisors of retail sales workers were employed across the country in 2018 ( These individuals worked primarily for general merchandise stores, grocery stores, clothing stores and department stores. They earned a median annual salary of $39,630 in 2018, per BLS data.

Certification Information

Retail store managers are not required to gain certification in order to find employment. Many individuals work their way up into positions of management by first becoming sales associates or assistant managers. Some organizations that do offer voluntary certification for retail managers include the National Retail Federation and various state retail associations.

Retail management certificates prepare students for careers as first-line retail supervisors. This program consists of hands-on experience working with retail managers and courses such as management, marketing, and human resources.

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