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Working As A Category Manager

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $121,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Category Manager Do

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Duties

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers typically do the following:

  • Work with department heads or staff to discuss topics such as budgets and contracts, marketing plans, and the selection of advertising media
  • Plan promotional campaigns such as contests, coupons, or giveaways
  • Plan advertising campaigns, including which media to advertise in, such as radio, television, print, online media, and billboards
  • Negotiate advertising contracts
  • Evaluate the look and feel of websites used in campaigns or layouts, which are sketches or plans for an advertisement
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze their findings to understand customer and market opportunities for businesses
  • Develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers of a firm
  • Meet with clients to provide marketing or technical advice
  • Direct the hiring of advertising, promotions, and marketing staff and oversee their daily activities

Advertising managers create interest among potential buyers of a product or service. They do this for a department, for an entire organization, or on a project basis (referred to as an account). Advertising managers work in advertising agencies that put together advertising campaigns for clients, in media firms that sell advertising space or time, and in organizations that advertise heavily.

Advertising managers work with sales staff and others to generate ideas for an advertising campaign. They oversee the staff that develops the advertising. They work with the finance department to prepare a budget and cost estimates for the campaign.

Often, advertising managers serve as liaisons between the client and the advertising or promotion agency that develops and places the ads. In larger organizations with extensive advertising departments, different advertising managers may oversee in-house accounts and creative and media services departments.

In addition, some advertising managers specialize in a particular field or type of advertising. For example, media directors determine the way in which an advertising campaign reaches customers. They can use any or all of various media, including radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and outdoor signs. 

Advertising managers known as account executives manage clients’ accounts, but they are not responsible for developing or supervising the creation or presentation of advertising. That task becomes the work of the creative services department.

Promotions managers direct programs that combine advertising with purchasing incentives to increase sales. Often, the programs use direct mail, inserts in newspapers, Internet advertisements, in-store displays, product endorsements, or special events to target customers. Purchasing incentives may include discounts, samples, gifts, rebates, coupons, sweepstakes, or contests.

Marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services that an organization and its competitors offer. They identify potential markets for the organization’s products.

Marketing managers also develop pricing strategies to help organizations maximize their profits and market share while ensuring that the organizations’ customers are satisfied. They work with sales, public relations, and product development staff.

For example, a marketing manager may monitor trends that indicate the need for a new product or service. Then he or she oversees the development of that product or service. For more information on sales or public relations, see the profiles on sales managers, public relations and fundraising managers, public relations specialists, and market research analysts.

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How To Become A Category Manager

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. These managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in advertising or journalism. A relevant course of study might include classes in marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts, art history, and photography.

Most marketing managers need a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business law, management, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, and statistics are advantageous. For example, courses in computer science are helpful in developing an approach to maximize online traffic, by utilizing online search results, because maximizing such traffic is critical for digital advertisements and promotions. In addition, completing an internship while in school can be useful.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Advertising, promotional, and marketing managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales. For example, many managers are former sales representatives; buyers or purchasing agents; or public relations specialists.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to analyze industry trends to determine the most promising strategies for their organization. 

Communication skills. Managers must be able to communicate effectively with a broad-based team made up of other managers or staff members during the advertising, promotions, and marketing process. They must also be able to communicate persuasively with the public.

Creativity. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to generate new and imaginative ideas.

Decisionmaking skills. Managers often must choose between competing advertising and marketing strategies put forward by staff.

Interpersonal skills. These managers must deal with a range of people in different roles, both inside and outside the organization.

Organizational skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must manage their time and budget efficiently while directing and motivating staff members.

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Do you work as a Category Manager?

Average Yearly Salary
$121,000
Show Salaries
$96,000
Min 10%
$121,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Median 50%
$153,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Category Manager make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Category Manager in the United States is $122,088 per year or $59 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $96,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $153,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Category Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Category Manager Salesforce.com Inc. Apr 08, 2016 $177,666
Category Manager Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market, Inc. Sep 06, 2013 $170,000
Global Category Manager-Drilling and Evaluation Schlumberger Technology Corporation Mar 17, 2016 $169,416 -
$230,000
Global Category Manager-Drilling & Evaluation Schlumberger Technology Corporation Mar 24, 2014 $156,166 -
$220,000
Procurement Category Manager, Outsourcing Motorola Mobility LLC Feb 19, 2015 $152,212 -
$198,600
Procurement Category Manager, Outsourcing Motorola Mobility LLC Feb 22, 2015 $152,212 -
$198,600
Manager, Categories 2 Stubhub, Inc. Mar 14, 2016 $150,000
Category Manager, Technology Salesforce.com Jul 12, 2015 $140,005
Category Manager: Durables Team Affirm, Inc. Dec 26, 2016 $138,600
Networking Category Manager Wirepath Home Systems, LLC D/B/A Snapav Apr 18, 2016 $138,050 -
$145,000
Networking Category Manager Wirepath Home Systems, LLC Jun 02, 2016 $138,050 -
$145,000
Networking Category Manager Wirepath Home Systems, LLC D/B/A Snapav Jul 22, 2016 $138,050 -
$145,000
Procurement Category Manager, Outsourcing Motorola Mobility LLC Feb 08, 2014 $117,998 -
$151,300
Category Manager CVS Pharmacy, Inc. Jan 12, 2015 $117,000
Category Manager, Visual Merchandising The Gap, Inc. Dec 26, 2016 $116,979
Global Category Manager Firmenich, Inc. Sep 12, 2015 $116,412
Category Merchant Manager Amazon Corporate LLC Nov 17, 2016 $115,565 -
$160,000
Category Merchant Manager Amazon Corporate LLC Aug 17, 2016 $115,565 -
$160,000
Category Manager Sears Holdings Management Corporation Sep 08, 2014 $115,000
Procurement Category Manager Amcor Rigid Plastics USA, LLC Oct 05, 2015 $115,000
Category Manager, Electrical & Electronics CFC International Corporation Oct 31, 2016 $100,568 -
$120,000
Category Manager Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Apr 29, 2013 $100,307
Category Manager, Capex Certainteed Corporation Nov 25, 2013 $100,000 -
$120,000
Category Manager Whirlpool Corporation Jun 28, 2015 $99,315
Global Sourcing Category Manager FMC Technologies, Inc. Sep 29, 2014 $99,029 -
$159,608
Cross Division Category Manager-Market Research Novartis Services Inc. Apr 01, 2016 $98,500
Cross-Division Category Manager, Market Research Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Jan 11, 2015 $98,500

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Top Skills for A Category Manager

  1. Category Management
  2. Revenue Growth
  3. Supplier Relationships
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and led strategic category management group that provided strategy consulting and in-depth market analysis to major retail mass merchant customers.
  • Partnered with internal and external customers to implement strategies to support product categorization, profitability improvement and revenue growth.
  • Established effective supplier relationships to ensure overall profitability of categories and negotiate marketing programs to maximize promotional spending within the category.
  • Lead and actively participated in the new product development process to ensure continual activity and a full pipeline of innovation.
  • Initiated, negotiated and implemented company wide cost savings projects with supply base and manufacturing locations for managed commodities.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Category Managers

  1. Washington
  2. New York
  3. Colorado
  4. Idaho
  5. California
  6. Rhode Island
  7. New Jersey
  8. Virginia
  9. North Dakota
  10. Minnesota
  • (2,293 jobs)
  • (3,232 jobs)
  • (1,010 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (8,345 jobs)
  • (180 jobs)
  • (1,323 jobs)
  • (1,341 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (708 jobs)

Category Manager Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,832 Category Manager resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Category Manager Resume

View Resume Examples

Category Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

53.7%

Female

42.8%

Unknown

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

62.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.2%

French

10.7%

Chinese

8.6%

Mandarin

7.6%

Italian

3.6%

Russian

3.0%

Portuguese

3.0%

German

2.5%

Hindi

2.0%

Korean

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Norwegian

1.5%

Tagalog

1.5%

Swedish

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Turkish

1.0%

Romanian

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Carrier

1.0%
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Category Manager Education

Schools

Arizona State University

11.9%

Pennsylvania State University

7.8%

Michigan State University

7.3%

Texas A&M University

5.5%

Indiana University Bloomington

5.0%

Cornell University

4.6%

Eastern Michigan University

4.6%

Saint Joseph's University

4.6%

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

4.6%

University of Oklahoma

4.6%

New York University

4.1%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.1%

Texas Tech University

4.1%

University of Texas at Austin

4.1%

Northern Illinois University

4.1%

Oklahoma State University

4.1%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.7%

Webster University

3.7%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.7%
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Majors

Business

40.6%

Marketing

15.3%

Management

8.7%

Finance

4.4%

Communication

3.7%

Supply Chain Management

3.5%

Psychology

3.4%

Accounting

3.0%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

2.7%

Economics

2.0%

Political Science

1.8%

Project Management

1.3%

Criminal Justice

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Public Relations

1.3%

Graphic Design

1.3%

Sociology

1.2%

Education

1.0%

Business Economics

1.0%

English

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

55.6%

Masters

27.0%

Associate

7.0%

High School Diploma

4.9%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.3%
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What Is It Like To Work As A Category Manager

5.0

What was your job title?

Category Manager.. Show More

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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Updated May 18, 2020