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A department manager is someone who has certain responsibilities over a certain area in a store or within an organization. Take a department store in the mall for example. Each store has several departments which are split up so the store runs efficiently on all ends.

Maybe you'll be the department manager for the kids section in a store at the mall or the electronics section at a Target or Walmart. Wherever you end up, your responsibilities are very similar. You'll be in charge of the area that you're assigned. Which means you're in charge of the team who works within that area.

As department manager, you get to hire and fire individuals, as well as set goals for the team to hit. You'll even be in charge of the department's budget, although a source higher up in the company will need to approve it. And, as long as your team is meeting goals and creating success, then your role as a department manager will be simple.

What Does a Department Manager Do

There are certain skills that many department 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, customer-service skills and communication skills.

Learn more about what a Department Manager does

How To Become a Department Manager

If you're interested in becoming a department manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 45.5% of department managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.7% of department managers have master's degrees. Even though most department 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 Department Manager

Career Path For a Department Manager

In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of store manager you might progress to a role such as district manager eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title district manager.

Department Manager

Average Salary for a Department Manager

Department Managers in America make an average salary of $67,160 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $115,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Department Manager Salary
$67,160 Yearly
$32.29 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Department Manager

The role of a department manager includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general department manager responsibilities:

  • Leads department in a technical, fast paced, deadline driven environment. Develop, lead,
  • The department manager will lead important departmental functions such as production, departmental management, quality initiatives, safety programs,
  • Schedule and direct quality, safety, and production activities for associates in the department develop departmental policies for associates to follow conduct safety training for departmental associates coordinate the human

There are several types of department manager, including:



Responsible for overseeing the entire operation, the manager has a lot of responsibility on his/her or her shoulders. When we say the entire operation, we mean planning, directing, and leading the organization.

Managers should expect to work a little more than a normal 40-hour week. Since they're in charge, they're expected to be available. That's why managers end up typically working 50 hours a week, sometimes you may get away with only working 45 hours, though.

The education requirements for managers vary depending on who you work for. You might be required to have a bachelor's degree, but you might also get away with an associate degree. Now, there are some management positions that require a master's degree but, again, it really all depends on where you take your management career.

  • Average Salary: $58,651
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Store Manager


An important job for store managers is to attract customers into their stores through new strategies. They also have sales goals that they must meet each month and can achieve those goals through training, motivating, mentoring, and giving feedback to their staff.

A store manager's goal is to make sure every customer is satisfied with the customer service they received. The saying, "every customer is right," is definitely not a factual statement, but it's a store manager's motto.

All of these responsibilities lead up to something greater. That's right, 45-50 hour work weeks. Someone has to stay late and make sure the store is perfectly ready for the next day. Typically, this won't be a high stress job, unless it's the holidays or a tax-free weekend. Did someone say Black Friday shopping? Good luck!

  • Average Salary: $46,950
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Department Supervisor


A supervisor is an individual who oversees workplace operations. What separates a supervisor from a manager is that the supervisor does not have hiring and firing authority nor do they have budget authority. They are mainly responsible for the employees' work and actions.

Department Supervisors facilitate business operations in a particular area. Their day-to-day duties include training employees, tracking work performance, developing budget reports, and troubleshooting issues. Besides that, a department supervisor also assists managers in improving business processes and communicating corporate policies to employees.

Employers require department supervisors to have a relevant bachelor's degree in specialized industries such as engineering, but require a minimum of a high school diploma and a focus more on work experience, as in the case of retail sales. They earn, on average, $26 per hour and can lead to bigger roles, such as manager and director of operations.

  • Average Salary: $47,300
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Department Manager Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active department manager jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where department managers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Department Manager Jobs By State

Department Manager Education

Department Manager Majors

34.9 %

Department Manager Degrees


45.5 %


22.0 %

High School Diploma

20.2 %

Top Colleges for Department Managers

1. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Delhi, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




2. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Baylor University

Waco, TX • Private

In-State Tuition




8. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Ball State University

Muncie, IN • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Department 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, 37.6% of department managers listed inventory management on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Department Manager Resume templates

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

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Department Manager diversity

Department Manager Gender Distribution


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

  • Among department managers, 48.2% of them are women, while 51.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among department managers is White, which makes up 61.6% of all department managers.

  • The most common foreign language among department managers is Spanish at 60.6%.

Online Courses For Department Manager That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  

1. Introduction to Operations Management


Learn to analyze and improve business processes in services or in manufacturing by learning how to increase productivity and deliver higher quality standards. Key concepts include process analysis, bottlenecks, flows rates, and inventory levels, and more. After successfully completing this course, you can apply these skills to a real-world business challenge as part of the Wharton Business Foundations Specialization...

2. Complete Inventory Management in Microsoft Excel & TALLY ERP9


Inventory, StockControl, Inventory Control, Microsoft Excel inventory, Stock Calculation, Inventory Valuation, LIFO, FIFO, WACC...

3. Operational Risks Management ORM


Operational Risks Management ORM Case Studies for Risk Management, Compliance, Audit, IS Security, Banking Professionals...

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Best States For a Department Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a department manager. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, New York, California, and Virginia. Department managers make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $95,153. Whereas in New York and California, they would average $85,519 and $79,584, respectively. While department managers would only make an average of $79,162 in Virginia, 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. New Jersey

Total Department Manager Jobs: 3,153
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New York

Total Department Manager Jobs: 5,090
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Virginia

Total Department Manager Jobs: 3,444
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Department Managers

How Do Department Managers Rate Their Jobs?


Based On 1 Ratings

5 Stars

4 Stars

3 Stars

2 Stars

1 Star

Department Manager Reviews

Dec 2019

Improving the sales and providing high quality customer service


Not enough support from manager

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Top Department Manager Employers

Most Common Employers For Department Manager

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1H&M International$72,772$34.99463
4Hobby Lobby$44,245$21.27631
6Sears Holdings$35,819$17.22606
7The Home Depot$35,493$17.062,714
8Office Depot$35,329$16.99813

Becoming a Department Manager FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Department Manager?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a department manager. That is the time it takes to learn specific department manager skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 6 to 8 years years to become a department manager.

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