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Category Manager Careers

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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a category manager. For example, did you know that they make an average of $52.42 an hour? That's $109,043 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 21,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a category manager, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.6% of category managers included category strategy, while 10.4% of resumes included supplier performance, and 8.6% of resumes included strategic sourcing. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the category manager job title. But what industry to start with? Most category managers actually find jobs in the retail and manufacturing industries.

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 69.2% of category managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.1% 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.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a category manager. When we researched the most common majors for a category manager, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on category manager resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a category manager. In fact, many category manager jobs require experience in a role such as buyer. Meanwhile, many category managers also have previous career experience in roles such as purchasing manager or store manager.

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Average Salary
$109,043
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
48,609
Job Openings

Category Manager Career Paths

Top Careers Before Category Manager

Buyer
12.6 %

Top Careers After Category Manager

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Category Manager

Category Managers in America make an average salary of $109,043 per year or $52 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $153,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $77,000 per year.
Average Salary
$109,043

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range101k - 175k$134k$133,675
Seattle, WA
Salary Range104k - 163k$131k$130,537
New York, NY
Salary Range99k - 167k$129k$129,042
Hoboken, NJ
Salary Range98k - 166k$128k$128,400
Woonsocket, RI
Salary Range93k - 157k$121k$121,304
Ann Arbor, MI
Salary Range88k - 147k$114k$113,953
$50k
$175k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Category Manager Center Store-Grocery Retail
Category Manager Center Store-Grocery Retail
Job Juncture
Job Juncture
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$75,00003/31/2021
$75,000
Indirect Sourcing Category Manager-Remote
Indirect Sourcing Category Manager-Remote
National Bank of Arizona
National Bank of Arizona
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$80,00003/26/2021
$80,000
Indirect Sourcing Category Manager-Remote
Indirect Sourcing Category Manager-Remote
National Bank of Arizona
National Bank of Arizona
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$80,00003/26/2021
$80,000
Indirect Sourcing Category Manager-Remote
Indirect Sourcing Category Manager-Remote
National Bank of Arizona
National Bank of Arizona
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$80,00003/26/2021
$80,000
Indirect Sourcing Category Manager-Remote
Indirect Sourcing Category Manager-Remote
National Bank of Arizona
National Bank of Arizona
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$80,00003/26/2021
$80,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Category Manager Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Category Manager. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Category Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless 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.

View Detailed Information

Category Manager Demographics

Gender

male

53.7 %

female

42.8 %

unknown

3.5 %

Ethnicity

White

73.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.8 %

Asian

9.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.2 %

French

10.7 %

Chinese

8.6 %
See More Demographics

Category Manager Education

Majors

Business
38.6 %
Marketing
16.0 %

Degrees

Bachelors

69.2 %

Masters

13.1 %

Associate

7.5 %

Top Colleges for Category Managers

1. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

2. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,555
Enrollment
30,360

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

4. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

5. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

6. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

10. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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%
  • See All Category Manager Skills

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 Washington, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Category managers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $128,134. Whereas in New York and New Jersey, they would average $127,637 and $126,514, respectively. While category managers would only make an average of $120,879 in Rhode Island, 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:
1,995
Highest 10% Earn:
$194,000
Location Quotient:
1.71
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Category Manager Jobs:
3,143
Highest 10% Earn:
$201,000
Location Quotient:
1.54
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Jersey

Total Category Manager Jobs:
1,424
Highest 10% Earn:
$200,000
Location Quotient:
1.12
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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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

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ category managers and discovered their number of category manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Kraft Group was the best, especially with an average salary of $89,101. Anheuser-Busch follows up with an average salary of $98,299, and then comes Safeway with an average of $114,231. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a category manager. The employers include Varian Medical Systems, Kerry Holding Co., and Advantage Solutions

1. Kraft Group
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$89,101
Category Managers Hired: 
224+
2. Anheuser-Busch
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$98,299
Category Managers Hired: 
56+
3. Safeway
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$114,231
Category Managers Hired: 
54+
4. SuperValu
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$119,855
Category Managers Hired: 
54+
5. The Coca-Cola Company
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$116,054
Category Managers Hired: 
39+
6. Whirlpool
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$100,578
Category Managers Hired: 
36+

Category Manager Videos

Updated October 2, 2020