What is a General Manager

General managers are pretty important in the workplace. Employees look up to people in these positions for guidance on policies and management of daily operations. A general manager can be useful in almost every industry, that's why this is a great position if you're looking for lots of opportunity.

General Managers are generally found in business settings, but they can also work in industries like the sound recording industry. There's no limit to where you can take this position. The possibilities are truly endless.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a general manager. For example, did you know that they make an average of $39.8 an hour? That's $82,775 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 150,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a General Manager Do

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

Learn more about what a General Manager does

How To Become a General Manager

If you're interested in becoming a general manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 56.2% of general managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.2% of general managers have master's degrees. Even though most general 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 general manager. When we researched the most common majors for a general manager, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on general manager resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$82,775
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
354,094
Job Openings
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General Manager Career Paths

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Average Salary for a General Manager

General Managers in America make an average salary of $82,775 per year or $40 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $128,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $53,000 per year.
Average Salary
$82,775
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General 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 General 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 General Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless General Manager resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View General Manager Resume Examples And Templates

General Manager Demographics

General Manager Gender Statistics

male

67.3 %

female

29.6 %

unknown

3.1 %

General Manager Ethnicity Statistics

White

72.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.0 %

Asian

6.0 %

General Manager Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

54.9 %

French

8.4 %

Portuguese

4.2 %
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General Manager Education

General Manager Majors

38.7 %

General Manager Degrees

Bachelors

56.2 %

Associate

18.7 %

High School Diploma

12.0 %

Top Colleges for General Managers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

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

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

6. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

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

7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

9. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

10. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030
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Top Skills For a General 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, 23.5% of general managers listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and leadership skills are important as well.

12 General Manager RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a General Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a general manager. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Nevada, and New Jersey. General managers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $106,762. Whereas in California and Nevada, they would average $105,238 and $104,812, respectively. While general managers would only make an average of $99,107 in New Jersey, 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. Nevada

Total General Manager Jobs:
931
Highest 10% Earn:
$193,000
Location Quotient:
0.93
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. California

Total General Manager Jobs:
13,137
Highest 10% Earn:
$195,000
Location Quotient:
0.93
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. Wisconsin

Total General Manager Jobs:
2,768
Highest 10% Earn:
$165,000
Location Quotient:
1.04
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
Full List Of Best States For General Managers

How Do General Manager Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

4.0

General ManagerJuly 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoGeneral ManagerJuly 2019

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

I have direct impact on building structure into the organisation. Creating policies that make our company safe and efficient. Develop and mentor employees to achieve company goals. Show More

What do you NOT like?

The only thing that would make my career a little better is the pay. Show More

Zippia Official Logo

4.0

ManagerJune 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoManagerJune 2019

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

People Busy Money Busy and variety in a job Solving problems Show More

What do you NOT like?

Lack of benefits Lifting heavy things Sitting at a desk entitely Show More

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

General ManagerMay 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoGeneral ManagerMay 2019

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

Being the captain of the team and encouraging positive results. Show More

What do you NOT like?

The company I worked for didn't do a lot to upgrade their processes and got caught up in some greedy business that hasn't paid off for the company. Show More

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Top General 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 general managers and discovered their number of general manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that McDonald's was the best, especially with an average salary of $39,730. Domino's Pizza follows up with an average salary of $33,255, and then comes Burger King with an average of $41,249. 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 general manager. The employers include General Electric, Cambium Learning Group, and Twilio

General Manager Videos

General Manager FAQs

Is a GM higher than a director?

No, a general manager is not higher than a director. General managers typically report to directors of operation and are ranked just below them in a company's hierarchy.

The distinction between the two professions is defined by their education and experience. The superior ranking of a director of operations sometimes comes down to advanced degrees or certifications.

A director of operations may hold an MBA and/or project manager certification. Both of these qualifications can set them apart from a general manager.

The biggest distinction between a general manager and a director of operations is the amount of job experience they have. Only very few directors have less than ten years of experience. Because directors oversee general managers, it is important that they have worked in that capacity or are very familiar with the GM's duties.

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Is a general manager higher than a VP?

No, a general manager is not higher than a VP. Although companies can structure their management hierarchy in a variety of ways, general managers have a focus on the day-to-day operations of a division of a company or stand-alone branch.

General managers will report to upper management, which in turn set the GM's goals and targets. Vice presidents often work with general managers of divisions within the company to ensure that the overall goals of the company are being met.

It is also the role of a vice president to appoint division general managers if necessary and make sure that the larger company goals are reflected in the decisions made by general managers for their individual divisions.

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What is a good salary for a general manager?

A good salary for a general manager is $100,000 per year, or close to it. There are many factors that influence the salary of a general manager, including their work experience and field of expertise.

The average annual salary for a new general manager is approximately $53,000. These managers have two or fewer years of experience. That salary can escalate to nearly $59,000 for managers with ten years of experience. Seasoned general managers with ten to twenty years of experience make an average of $65,000 to $70,000 annually.

Since many companies and corporations employ general managers, the specific field of expertise of the general manager influences salary numbers.

General managers with degrees in agriculture and engineering make an average of $90,000 a year. General managers that work in these specialized areas and have senior-level experience often make well over $100,000 annually.

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What is the career path for a general manager?

The career path for a general manager requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and some management experience. General managers typically earn bachelor's degrees in business management, administration, or finance.

These degrees, along with internships and entry-level management experience, will prepare them for the many responsibilities of a general manager.

Because of the numerous responsibilities of a general manager, working in full-time positions that offer experience with teams, budgets, and the daily overseeing operations of a company or division is very important.

GMs have often worked in the role of a project manager or functioned as the head of a branch or division of a company. All of these work experiences help prepare a general manager for both day-to-day and big picture responsibilities connected to the job.

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What is the difference between COO and general manager?

The biggest difference between a COO and a general manager involves the scope of their responsibilities. A COO is the second-highest member of management and typically oversees multiple general managers.

There isn't one specific type of COO. Rather, each company chooses a COO to meet its specific needs. While general managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a company division, a COO is often hired to fulfill several unique responsibilities.

Some COO hires are agents of change for a company. They are brought in to change the culture and oversee changes in strategy and personnel. Other times, an experienced COO is hired to mentor a less experienced CEO.

The role of a general manager nearly always focuses on running a division and overseeing employees, while a COO may be hired to act in a variety of unique roles at the top of a company's management team.

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Updated August 18, 2021