Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or related discipline preferred but not required
Average Salary: $59,000-$77,500 per year
Job Outlook: Fair
Regional managers are in charge of a geographic territory and are responsible for the performance of the organizations that operate under their authority. Regional managers work in a wide variety of industries including retail, business-to-business, and food. Their number one goal is to increase the profitability of their region by growing each organization in their territory. Their responsibilities include leading individual managers at each location, assisting with hiring and personnel issues, implementing marketing strategies, and creating policies and procedures that increase sales and efficiency.
They also work with business partners in their organization such as marketing partners, corporate sponsors, and vendors who supply the business with its materials and services.
Education and Training Requirements
Education and training vary across industries. Years ago regional managers only needed experience to move up the ranks but it is becoming more common for regional managers to have experience as well as post secondary education in the form of a bachelor’s degree. Majors such as Business, Marketing, Supply chain management, Management, and Human resources are very helpful in preparing students for a career as a regional manager.
Ongoing industry training is important in order to keep up with changes within the industry the business operates in. It is also helpful for regional managers to have leadership and management training to help them effectively manage their employees. Many industries, especially the restaurant and retail industries, have their own training programs for regional managers.
Getting the Job
Regional managers are required to have management experience. Most regional managers have at least seven years experience in the industry. The typical career path includes moving from a local manager to district manager then to regional manager.
Job postings are posted on internet job sites, state, county and municipal job sites, print and internet classified ads, career fairs at higher education institutions, and industry websites and publications.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Job prospects vary by location and industry. As a whole, the position of regional manager is expected to increase at a slightly faster pace than the average occupation. Employment outlook is influenced greatly by business and consumer spending. Declines in consumer confidence in recent years have taken a toll on regional manager positions as organizations have been forced to slash their budgets and do more with less.
Working Conditions and Environment
The work environment varies but most regional managers spend extensive time traveling to visit the individual locations that are a part of their region. Work hours are long and include nights and weekends. Regional managers are the liaison between corporate headquarters and the locations they represent so much of their time is spent communicating with the different entities below and above them on the organizational chart. Once back from their travels they spend much of their time interpreting data and strategizing. The job is considered stressful because of the travel, long hours and the responsibility placed on the manager.
Salary and Benefits
Salary varies greatly depending on industry, geographic location, number of subordinates in territory, and years of experience. A regional manager generally takes home a base salary but can earn more for performance bonuses based on overall sales figures. Full benefits including medical, dental, vision, and retirement are common.
Where to Go for More Information
American Hotel and Lodging Association
1201 New York Ave., N.W., Ste. 600
Washington, DC 20005-3931
Tel: (202) 289-3100
International Society of Six Sigma Professionals
P.O. Box 26775
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
National Restaurant Association
1200 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Ph: (202) 331-5900 or (800) 424-5156