Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing and Sales, or any related fields
Average Salary: $35,000 to $95,000 annually
Job Outlook: Good
Area managers are responsible for more than just their area of responsibility. They are also in charge of an entire team. Since they are supposed to be the troubleshooters for and representatives of the company, they have to have the right skills to identify, analyze, and resolve problems, issues, marketing trends, and operational practices that may affect the dealings of the company’s main headquarters.
Ensure the functionality of each branch. Under the area manager are specific branches of the company. In this sense, the area manager has to act as the leader for both the branch managers and the subordinates of those managers. This means they have to evaluate the activities and the various branches as a whole to ensure that they are working according to the company’s thrust.
Create and execute action plans to maximize branches’ performance. Most times, the area manager will be assigned to areas that are not yet thriving or may be encountering road blocks. It is then the area manager’s duty to bring up the reputation and performance of the branch so that it will meet the standards of the company. In some cases, the area manager will also have to supervise the opening of new branches that are within a set territory.
Education and Training Requirements
While some companies and employers will not require any qualifications in order to become a candidate for a job position, it is required of area managers to have competent math and IT skills. In fact, in some workplaces, a bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing and Sales, or other related fields will enable one to qualify. However, some companies would ask for qualification or a diploma in the BTEC National, which can act as an alternative to a bachelor’s degree.
If an area manager would want to pursue a retail degree, he or she should expect to experience a sandwich course, wherein theoretical study is complemented by one year’s worth of practical experience. This would benefit the applicant seeing as how experience plays a big role when looking for the ideal area manager.
Getting the Job
Since area managers will be handling teams, they would have to possess good communication and people management skills. This would allow the aspiring area manager to have the basics and skills necessary in order to lead a team.
It is also a bonus for him or her to be proficient in the native language of their on-site area. While not all area managers would be assigned to places that have a different language, it helps especially since the area manager would have to deal with different people within the area’s community. Direct communication is also better than having a translator because this would avoid miscommunication, misrepresentation, and misinterpretation at the workplace.
Other skills that would be beneficial for area managers is their ability to motivate and drive a team, confidence in decision-making and problem-solving, organizational skills, and commitment to customer service and the company.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
The job outlook is fairly well for area managers. However, the one thing that they may have to be face would be the competition within the job market. Though a bachelor’s degree in a related field would put a candidate on the list. For example, the combination of analytical capabilities, communication skills, competence in presentation, multitasking abilities, and interpersonal skills in a self-started area manager candidate would have a better chance of getting the job.
As for senior area managers, previous experience would play a big role in the employment process. Managerial experience even from another industry or field can help broaden one’s horizon.
Working Conditions and Environment
Area managers usually clock in 35 to 50 hours every week since they are usually based in an office setting. However, there are times when they would have to do inspections and visits around the site that they are assigned to or to individual stores within an area. Since travel time can take up a considerable amount of time, which can lead to area managers working overtime or even on weekends.
It is possible that area managers may have to always be on their feet, especially if they are on site. Extended hours or “on call” periods may happen infrequently, but there are definite weekends and holidays so long as there are no impending deadlines to be met.
Salary and Benefits
Between those who are starting out on as area managers and those who have been in the business for quite some time, the income range for this career is $35,000 to $95,000. What is good about this profession is that the bonus can rise in amount to as much as $25,000. Full medical coverage depending on the employer is also given to area managers.
Where to Go for More Information
The American Society for Training & Development
1640 King St., Box 1443
Alexandria, VA 22313-1443, USA
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
AACSB International Hedquarters
777 S Harbour Island Blvd., Ste. 750
Tampa, Florida 33602