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Retail Assistant Manager

Education and Training: High school diploma required, college degree preferred in business related field of study
Average Salary: $24,274-$59,701 per year
Job Outlook: Fair

The retail assistant manager possesses the same management authority as the store manager but reports directly to the retail store manager. The position requires strong communication skills and effective leadership abilities in order to motivate a team of sales associates. Retail assistant managers oversee the day-to-day sales and customer service of a retail store or business. The assistant manager implements store policies, ensures procedures are followed, and delegates work among sales personnel and staff.

Reporting directly to the retail store manager, the retail assistant manager acts as a liaison between the sales associate and the store manager. The assistant manager supports the store manager in all daily operations and functions of the retail store.

Education and Training Requirements

No formal education is required, but some retail assistant manager positions prefer a college degree in business or management. A high school diploma is typically required for the position and on-the-job training is a must. College graduates do not require the same training that those without a college degree must possess before qualifying to become a retail assistant manager. Internships are often available with larger retail chains and often lead to full-time employment.

Getting the Job

The application process for a retail assistant manager position includes the completion of the resume and interview process. Candidates with a strong work history in retail sales gain the edge over competition. Individuals with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in business may also have the edge over qualified candidates. The interview process may entail meeting with the retail store manager and district manager.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The employment outlook as a retail assistant manager is expected to grow at a less than favorable rate according to the current data released by the United States Department of Labor and Statistics. The slow rate of growth is expected due to the failing number of small businesses and retail stores and high number of competing applicants for jobs.

Advancement is possible for those assistant managers who display effective leadership skills throughout their work history. The ability to motivate a team is necessary for individuals who wish to advance in their career.

Working Conditions and Environment

The working conditions and environment vary depending on the retail industry. Standard working conditions include a store and personal office for the assistant manager. Irregular work hours are often required and on an as needed basis. It is not uncommon for retail assistant managers to work evenings and weekends, especially during peak shopping seasons.

Retail assistant managers work on average between 50-60 hours per week. The job can be high stress during peak shopping seasons when the store is the busiest. Retail assistant managers must deal with unhappy customers and staff which may add to work-related stress.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a position as a retail assistant manager can vary with relation to type of industry and size of retail chain. The median salary range is $24,274-$59,701 per year. Starting salaries are on low end of the range the first year and increase with experience. The high end salary range typically reflects 15-20 years experience in the retail business.

Larger retail organizations offer benefit packages that include health and medical insurance, retirement plans or 401(k), life and disability insurances, paid time off for vacation and sick leave. While the schedule may be demanding for a retail assistant manager, paid time off is available.

Where to Go for More Information

American Management Association
1601 Broadway, Ste. 7
New York, NY 10036

National Retail Federation
325 7th St. NW, Ste. 1100
Washington, DC 20004

Retail Industry Leaders Association
1700 N. Moore St., Ste. 2250
Arlington, VA 22209

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