Category Managers work for procurement within the supply chain. Their title is often confused with the position of the buyer. Generally working for retail, category managers are responsible for procuring certain goods falling under a particular category.

As a Category Manager, your job will entail sales and marketing activities, apart from making sure the right products are available on the sales establishment's shelves. You will contribute to creating the retail strategy for the category of goods in your section.

Getting up to speed on whatever your competitors are doing will be a big part of your job, kind of like a spy or a detective. You will not only have access to market research and benchmark data, but you will also gain insight into the overall finances of your company and the legal terms.

What Does a Category Manager Do

There are certain skills that many category managers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and creativity.

Learn more about what a Category Manager does

How To Become a Category Manager

If you're interested in becoming a category manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 73.7% of category managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.2% of category managers have master's degrees. Even though most category managers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Category Manager

Category Manager Career Paths

Average Salary for a Category Manager

Category Managers in America make an average salary of $102,035 per year or $49 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $138,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $74,000 per year.
Average Category Manager Salary
$102,035 Yearly
$49.06 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Category Manager Education

Category Manager Majors

38.7 %
16.1 %

Category Manager Degrees


73.7 %


14.2 %


8.1 %

Top Colleges for Category Managers

1. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Category Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.6% of category managers listed category strategy on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Category Strategy, 10.6%
  • Supplier Performance, 10.4%
  • Strategic Sourcing, 8.6%
  • Market Research, 6.5%
  • Cost Reduction, 5.8%
  • Other Skills, 58.1%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Category Manager Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Category Manager templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Category Manager resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Category Manager Demographics

Category Manager Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among category managers, 44.3% of them are women, while 55.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among category managers is White, which makes up 72.0% of all category managers.

  • The most common foreign language among category managers is Spanish at 44.2%.

Online Courses For Category Manager That You May Like

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Product and Service Management

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Best States For a Category Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a category manager. The best states for people in this position are Nevada, Rhode Island, California, and Washington. Category managers make the most in Nevada with an average salary of $119,207. Whereas in Rhode Island and California, they would average $118,615 and $115,032, respectively. While category managers would only make an average of $113,957 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Category Manager Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Rhode Island

Total Category Manager Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. California

Total Category Manager Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Category Managers

How Do Category Manager Rate Their Jobs?

What do you like the most about working as Category Manager?

- Lot of challenges, a lot - Lot to innovate, to make customer's shopping experience beautiful, every month - Quick decision making, fail at times, learn every time - Big on power, bigger on responsibilities - Buck stops at you Show More

What do you NOT like?

- 24 X 7 on the toes - Manage across categories, across vendors - Keep all vendors happy, which you cannot - Failure of any cross-functional team will make you suffer from every angle Show More

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Top Category Manager Employers

Most Common Employers For Category Manager

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
4Shoppers Food$117,655$56.5656
9The Kraft Group$105,382$50.66222

Category Manager Videos

Becoming a Category Manager FAQs

How much do category managers make?

Category managers make a median salary of around $120,000 in a year. The lowest-paid 10% earned around $75,000, while the highest-paid 10% earned over $197,000 in a year.

The salary of a category manager can vary greatly depending on several factors. These factors include education and experience, industry and company, and location.

Is category manager a good career?

Yes, being a category manager is a good career choice for people who enjoy supply chain management, marketing, and analytics.

Being a category manager is an excellent career option for this role, which has significant room for growth and professional development, combines relevant category expertise with sourcing experience. This combination creates a dynamic role for someone looking for an interesting and well-paying position.

What are the 4 P's of category management?

The four P's of category management are: product, price, placement, and promotion. When all brought together, these four P's will ensure that a category manager successfully fulfills the unique duties of their job.

What degree do you need to be a category manager?

You need at least an associate's degree in business to be a category manager. While the minimum requirement for a category manager is an associate's degree, most employers seek out category managers with a bachelor's degree.

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