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.

What Does a Department Supervisor Do

There are certain skills that many department supervisors 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 communication skills, leadership skills and management skills.

Learn more about what a Department Supervisor does

How To Become a Department Supervisor

If you're interested in becoming a department supervisor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 45.1% of department supervisors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.5% of department supervisors have master's degrees. Even though most department supervisors 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 Supervisor

Department Supervisor Career Paths

Average Salary for a Department Supervisor

Department Supervisors in America make an average salary of $47,300 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $66,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $33,000 per year.
Average Department Supervisor Salary
$47,300 Yearly
$22.74 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Department Supervisor

The role of a department supervisor 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 supervisor responsibilities:

  • Performs daily walk of department promotes store sales
  • Supervise the work activities of associates within his/her area communicate store objectives to associates using the appropriate programs
  • Supervises all phases of the graphics department. Qualified candidate will ensure efficiency, cost effectiveness, accuracy

There are several types of department supervisor, including:



Supervisors have a super-important job (didn't see that one coming, did you?). From setting goals for employees to organizing the workflow in the office, supervisors oversee all operations.

In the same breath, supervisors are a great resource for employees to look to. Supervisors are always trying to figure out how to do things more efficiently while making sure everyone is staying on top of their goals.

Unless you're needed to stay later, typically you'll only work a 40-hour week as a supervisor. The majority of employers will only hire supervisors who have a bachelor's degree. Sometimes there are options for those with only a high school diploma, you just have to find the right employer.

  • Average Salary: $53,902
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Shift Supervisor


Show me the money! As shift supervisor, it's your duty to count the money in the cash drawer (sometimes several times a day) to make sure your team is staying on track. But that's not all.

During your day, you get to be in charge of the team. You'll be in charge of telling employees where they'll be working and making sure that everyone shows up to their shift. In other words, you are the team leader. If you jump off a bridge, so does everyone else.

Before you jump off the bridge, you should know that you'll probably only be working 30-40 hours a week. Which isn't that bad. Sure, it's not retirement, but you got to have something to pay the bills. And this sure will get the job done.

  • Average Salary: $34,141
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Department Manager


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.

  • Average Salary: $67,160
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Department Supervisor Jobs

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

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Department Supervisor Jobs By State

Department Supervisor Education

Department Supervisor Majors

34.4 %

Department Supervisor Degrees


45.1 %


23.7 %

High School Diploma

19.2 %

Top Colleges for Department Supervisors

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 Supervisor

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, 20.9% of department supervisors listed store management on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and leadership skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Department Supervisor Resume templates

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

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Department Supervisor diversity

Department Supervisor Gender Distribution


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

  • Among department supervisors, 42.1% of them are women, while 57.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among department supervisors is White, which makes up 61.2% of all department supervisors.

  • The most common foreign language among department supervisors is Spanish at 63.6%.

Online Courses For Department Supervisor That You May Like

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Best States For a Department Supervisor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a department supervisor. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Department supervisors make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $70,183. Whereas in New York and Massachusetts, they would average $65,925 and $65,784, respectively. While department supervisors would only make an average of $59,339 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. Tennessee

Total Department Supervisor Jobs: 1,831
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Michigan

Total Department Supervisor Jobs: 2,142
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New Jersey

Total Department Supervisor Jobs: 1,762
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Department Supervisors

How Do Department Supervisors Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Department Supervisor Employers

Most Common Employers For Department Supervisor

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2H&M International$45,999$22.11231
4Sam's Club$39,444$18.9688
8Sears Holdings$36,974$17.78103
9Best Buy$36,540$17.57445

Department Supervisor Videos

Becoming a Department Supervisor FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Margin Department Supervisor?

It takes three to five years to become a margin department supervisor. Specifically, that is the typical time it takes for starting from an entry-level position in a margin department to be eligible for a supervisor position. While there are no specific educational requirements, it's recommended to have at least a two-year associate's degree.

How Much Does A Department Supervisor Make At Lowes?

A department supervisor at Lowes makes, on average, $40,098 a year ($20 an hour). This can range from as little as $19,500 a year to as high as $80,000 a year. Factors such as location and department impact how much a department supervisor makes at Lowes.

What Are The 5 Roles Of A Supervisor?

The five roles of a supervisor are educator, sponsor, coach, counselor, and director. Every supervisor role utilizes some combination of these five roles when leading a team.

A supervisor acts as an educator when their employees and team members are new, when processes or conditions change, or when discussing performance expectations.

What Is A Margin Department Supervisor?

A margin department supervisor is someone who oversees the operations of the margin department. This can mean approving or denying credit to clients and monitoring account activity. A margin department supervisor is there to ensure compliance with all relevant government regulations.

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