What Does a Manager Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

Image by Theresa Chiechi. © The Balance 2019

"Manager" is a job title that's used in organizations to designate an employee who leads functions or departments, and often employees as well. A manager is assigned to a particular level on an organizational chart. The manager's role and job description are at a pay grade or job classification level of the organization that integrates functions and departments for implementation success.

The manager who is responsible for a department normally has directly-reporting employees for whom he or she has leadership responsibility. Larger organizations can also employ senior managers, or managers of other managers, who report to either the director level or the vice president level.

Manager Duties & Responsibilities

Every manager's job can be a bit different, but they all generally have these responsibilities. Traditionally, managers' job description and duties include:

  • Planning the operation and function of the area over which they're assigned in a way that accomplishes the goals for which they're responsible in the workings of the total organization.
  • Organizing the production of the work, as well as the workforce, training, and resources necessary to do the work.
  • Providing employees and their resources with the guidance, direction, leadership, and support necessary to ensure that they're able to accomplish their goals.
  • Following up to ensure that the plan is being carried out in such a way that its accomplishment is assured.
  • Reviewing and assessing the success of the goal, the plan, and the allocation of the employees and their resources using solid, reliable measurements.
  • Performing other responsibilities as assigned by the president, vice president, or director to whom the manager reports. These responsibilities can be diverse and far-reaching in most organizations and will depend on the organization's goals and objectives.

The job description of a manager varies from organization to organization depending on the specific responsibilities that are assigned to the job function. In some organizations, the title "manager" is only assigned to employees who have other employees reporting to them as seen on an organizational chart. In others, the title is also assigned to employees who manage a functional area.

Manager Salary

Managers' salaries can depend on the business in which they're employed. The median incomes for sales managers in 2018 were:

  • Median Annual Salary: $124,220 ($59.72/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $208,000 ($100.00/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $58,940 ($26.34/hour)

The most highly paid managers worked in the finance and insurance sectors in 2018, earning a median annual salary of $153,940.

Education, Training & Certification

Those looking for a career as a manager should ideally have a college degree and related experience.

  • Education: Most employers look for candidates with at least a bachelor's degree with a concentration of courses in the areas of economics, management, finance, or marketing.
  • Experience: Experience in a related field is typically required, and at least some experience in a supervisory capacity is preferred.

Manager Skills & Competencies

You should have several essential qualities to succeed at becoming a manager.

  • Communication and customer service skills: This job entails a good bit of interaction with coworkers, and it can require a good deal of customer and client contact in some fields as well.
  • Leadership skills: A manager is often at the helm of operations in any industry and should be able to guide, assess, and evaluate employees and staff.
  • Analytical skills: Depending upon the field, a good manager might be responsible for analyzing and keeping on top of a great deal of data to assess goals and the next steps in various projects.

    Job Outlook

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics anticipates job growth for sales managers in the area of 7% through 2026. This is about average for all occupations, but it can depend on the industry or sector.

    Work Environment

    This can be a stressful position with a great deal of responsibility. Depending on the industry, you might find yourself in the trenches with other employees or in an office, or even frequently traveling to other branches and stores.

    Work Schedule

    This is almost invariably a full-time position that can involve additional evenings and weekends in some sectors.

    Key Takeaway

    How to Get the Job

    TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES

    Associations such as the National Management Association offer education and can provide valuable contacts.

    REVIEW COMMONLY ASKED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

    Glassdoor provides some interview tips specifically for management positions.

    Comparing Similar Jobs

    Some similar jobs and their median annual pay include: