Retail Sales Manager: Job Description & Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a retail sales manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and average salary to find out if this is the career for you.

If you are thinking about a career as a retail sales manager, you will need a high school diploma with some work experience, or a degree in retail management. Retail sales managers report to business owners or top management, and they oversee the daily operations and staff of a retail business.

Essential Information

Retail sales managers are supervisors who hire, train, schedule and manage the staff of a retail establishment. They also provide customer service and oversee the day-to-day activities of the business. Generally, individuals with a high school diploma can become retail sales managers after gaining several years of work experience in retail sales. Earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in retail management may increase employment opportunities for prospective managers.

Required Education High school diploma; associate's or bachelor's degree in retail management or similar field for advancement
Other Requirements Related work experience
Projected Job Growth 4% from 2014-2024 (for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers)*
Median Salary (2015) $38,310 annually*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Retail sales manager supervise and coordinate the activities of customer service staff, stock and inventory workers, cashiers, and sales associates. While some retail sales managers oversee an entire store, others supervise a department. They interview and hire employees, direct training, and conduct performance evaluations. Additional job duties include setting work schedules and assigning job duties for efficiency.

Retail sales manager also provide customer service, which can include answering questions or responding to customer complaints. In managing the business, retail sales managers may track inventory, place merchandise orders, monitor sales, reconcile cash drawers and receipts, make bank deposits, and inspect the store to adjust product displays. Mangers generally report to the business owner or other top management.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that sales worker supervisors, including sales managers, come from a variety of educational backgrounds, ranging from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree ( The BLS notes that some employers prefer that you have a degree, such as the Associate of Applied Science in Retail Management or Bachelor of Science in Retail Management.

Some employers offer training programs in management, human resources, and business, which may be conducted on-site or in a classroom. You may also consider coursework in marketing, retail management, accounting, interpersonal communication, social science, and public speaking to prepare for motivating employees and interacting with the public.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, many retail sales managers are promoted from positions within the same company, while others may attain the position through a job transfer or relocation to another store. Obtaining a degree and experience can also increase your opportunities for a promotion. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median salary for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers was $38,310. Employment opportunities were projected by the BLS to increase by four percent between 2014 and 2024.

Retail sales managers supervise the day-to-day operations of a retail business, as well as hire, train and schedule staff, provide customer service and oversee inventory. Some retail managers hold a high school diploma and have work experience, while others have earned an undergraduate degree in retail management. On-the-job training and employee training programs are often provided.

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