What is a Senior Manager

If you know what a manager does, the work of a senior manager will not come as a shocking surprise. They do pretty much the same, only with many more years of experience under their belt and typically focusing their energies on one specific area of the company's processes.

The decisions senior managers make impact the company on a more strategic level. They create goals for the company and manage budgets, approve hiring and firing of staff, oversee the work of supervisors, and monitor productivity and performance.

You rise to this position step by step on the corporate ladder if you nailed your previous positions and kept networking diligently. Your efforts will pay off because senior managers make $132,720 a year on average.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior manager. For example, did you know that they make an average of $57.34 an hour? That's $119,277 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 Senior Manager Do

There are certain skills that many senior 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 management skills, problem-solving skills and time-management skills.

Learn more about what a Senior Manager does

How To Become a Senior Manager

If you're interested in becoming a senior manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.9% of senior managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.1% of senior managers have master's degrees. Even though most senior 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 senior manager. When we researched the most common majors for a senior manager, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior manager resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$119,277
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
418,943
Job Openings
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Senior Manager Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Senior Manager

Senior Managers in America make an average salary of $119,277 per year or $57 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $156,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $90,000 per year.
Average Salary
$119,277
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Senior 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 Senior 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 Senior Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Senior 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 Senior Manager Resume Examples And Templates

Senior Manager Demographics

Senior Manager Gender Statistics

male

65.1 %

female

30.6 %

unknown

4.2 %

Senior Manager Ethnicity Statistics

White

72.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.3 %

Asian

6.1 %

Senior Manager Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

37.1 %

French

13.2 %

German

6.8 %
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Senior Manager Education

Senior Manager Majors

29.7 %
6.9 %

Senior Manager Degrees

Bachelors

67.9 %

Masters

20.1 %

Associate

6.6 %

Top Colleges for Senior 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 Senior 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, 10.0% of senior managers listed procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as management skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

  • Procedures, 10.0%
  • Analytics, 9.3%
  • Project Management, 6.4%
  • Portfolio, 5.2%
  • Business Development, 4.5%
  • Other Skills, 64.6%
  • See All Senior Manager Skills

12 Senior Manager RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Senior Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior manager. The best states for people in this position are New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Alaska. Senior managers make the most in New York with an average salary of $134,986. Whereas in New Jersey and Virginia, they would average $133,229 and $132,663, respectively. While senior managers would only make an average of $131,256 in Alaska, 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. Virginia

Total Senior Manager Jobs:
3,975
Highest 10% Earn:
$199,000
Location Quotient:
1.16
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 Senior Manager Jobs:
5,374
Highest 10% Earn:
$202,000
Location Quotient:
1.15
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. Washington

Total Senior Manager Jobs:
5,246
Highest 10% Earn:
$199,000
Location Quotient:
1.98
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 Senior Managers

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Top Senior 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 senior managers and discovered their number of senior manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Cognizant was the best, especially with an average salary of $88,811. Deloitte follows up with an average salary of $142,406, and then comes Ernst & Young with an average of $138,609. 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 senior manager. The employers include Twitter, Dell, and Applied Materials

Senior Manager Videos

Senior Manager FAQs

How do you get promoted to senior manager?

To get promoted to senior manager requires between five to nine years of experience working as a manager in that field.

A successful manager should have several well-developed soft skills and have a strong understanding of the business. 57% of senior managers report that soft skills are more important than hard skills for their day-to-day duties. Of those soft skills, senior managers say the three most important are leadership, communication, and collaboration.

The top ten desired skills for senior management positions are:

  • Inspire and motivate others: 38%

  • Display high integrity and honesty: 37%

  • Solve problems and analyze issues: 37%

  • Drive results: 36%

  • Communicate powerfully and prolifically: 35%

  • Collaborate and promote teamwork: 33%

  • Build relationships: 30%

  • Display technical or professional expertise: 27%

  • Display a strategic perspective: 24%

  • Develop others: 21%

Tips for getting promoted to a senior manager:

  • Find a mentor. Ideally, a senior-level manager or two and talk to them about how they got to their position and ask them for advice.

  • Be a mentor. If you can motivate others to perform better in their jobs, you can safely assume the role of a manager. The idea here is to build a solid network of interpersonal relationships, which is necessary for managerial positions. You have to take responsibility for others and guide them to the right path. To become a good manager, you need to become a great mentor first. So, take in the position and carve your way to success better.

  • Set your own goals. With that information in mind, develop a plan for how soon you want to make your next move. The best time to start looking for your next job is today! Always be on the alert for your next opportunity.

  • Keep an open mind. As you move up, seek opportunities to broaden your experience. As your know-how expands, you'll be able to look at challenges and opportunities from more than one point of view. This will give you a leg up on people who've spent their entire career in one area of the company.

  • Stand out in your current role. Your boss may not remember something you did six months ago. So tackle a significant project shortly before your review. Consider tackling projects that no one else wants! Deliver the desired results, and you've got a story to tell - a story that ends when you get promoted to senior management.

  • Develop leadership skills. Show genuine interest in others - both professionally and personally. People follow people they respect. You gain respect when you show respect.

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How long does it take to become a senior manager?

It takes five to ten years to become a senior manager.

Most senior project managers have a bachelor's or master's degree in business, communications, business administration, or an industry-specific field. Close to 70% of senior managers have a bachelor's degree, and 20% of senior managers have master's degrees.

Depending on your education level, you can advance faster to a senior position. For example, someone with a doctorate may take only a year or two working as a manager before being promoted to senior manager.

While someone with a master's degree may take three to five years, and someone with a bachelor's degree may take about five to ten years working as a manager before being promoted to senior manager.

The educational level also impacts your ability to get promoted from senior manager to general manager. For example, a senior manager with a doctorate may only need three to four years of experience.

At the same time, someone with a master's degree may require at least six years working as a senior manager before being considered for promotion to the general manager (i.e., executive director). A senior manager with just a bachelor's degree may need to work eight to ten years before eligibility for promotion.

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Is a senior manager an executive?

No, a senior manager is not an executive. There are three levels of management starting with the manager, followed by the senior manager, and then the executive or general manager.

A senior manager typically works under an executive manager in a large corporation with several management levels. Beyond that, there are several main differences between a senior manager and an executive.

An executive manager focuses on the company or organization as a whole, plans budgets, and decides which departments or projects senior managers should run.

In contrast, senior management roles include:

  • Managing budgets

  • Assigning roles

  • Managing priorities

  • Guiding direct reports on various projects

  • Approving Human Resources requests

  • Communicating with other company leaders

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Is senior manager higher than general manager?

No, a senior manager is not higher than a general manager. A senior manager typically works under a general manager in a large corporation with several management levels. There are several main differences between a senior manager and a general manager.

A general management focuses on the company or organization as a whole. While a senior manager focuses on just one department, team, or area of responsibility rather than the whole company.

A general manager role may be to plan budgets, including that of the senior manager. In addition, a general manager typically decides which departments senior managers should run as well as which departments or projects.

A senior manager has similar responsibilities, such as managing budgets or assigning roles, but just on a smaller scale focusing on a particular area of responsibility rather than the whole company like a general manager.

Other responsibilities of a senior manager may include:

  • Managing priorities

  • Guiding direct reports on various projects

  • Managing budgets for your department

  • Approving human resources requests

  • Communicating with other company leaders

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What do you call a senior manager?

You can call a senior manager an executive manager, top management, upper management, higher management, or simply seniors.

The levels of managers:

  • Associate manager

  • Senior associate

  • Manager

  • Senior manager

  • Partner

Senior management jobs generally include positions within the following groups: Director, Vice President, C-level, and CEO.

Depending on the company's size and the industry in which it operates, you could find that the same job title has different meanings, different responsibilities, and a very different salary.

A company director position in many companies is considered a senior management position responsible for the strategic and tactical management of a significant piece of the company. This position earns between $146,400 to $219,600 a year.

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What does a senior manager get paid?

A senior manager gets paid an average of $130,938 per year.

Manager salaries based on the number of years of experience:

  • Associate manager - $60,000 a year

  • Senior associate - $80,000 a year

  • Manager - $100,000 a year

  • Senior manager - $130,000 a year

  • Partner - $180,000 a year

  • Share of profit or equity - $200,000 a year

Top paying states for senior management positions:

  • New York - $112,255 a year or $53.97 an hour

  • New Hampshire - $108,772 or $52.29 an hour

  • California - $107,659 a year or $51.76 an hour

  • Vermont - $102,766 a year or $49.41 an hour

  • Idaho - $101,425 a year or $48.76 an hour

  • Massachusetts - $100,767 a year or $48.45 an hour

  • Wyoming - $100,269 a year or $48.21 an hour

The lowest paying states for senior management positions:

  • Mississippi - $81,783 a year or $39.32 an hour

  • Arkansas - $81,397 a year or $39.13 an hour

  • Michigan - $81,312 a year or $39.09 an hour

  • Illinois - $80,955 a year or $38.92 an hour

  • Texas - $80,487 a year or $38.70 an hour

  • Missouri - $79,567 a year or $38.25 an hour

  • North Carolina - $74,086 a year or $35.62 an hour

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What level is senior manager?

A senior manager is the second level of management. There are three levels of management. These are manager, senior manager, and general manager.

Within each of these levels are further sublevels and various job titles. For example, a manager can start as an associate manager then become a senior associate manager before being promoted to a senior manager position.

A manager is considered the first level of management. A manager usually supervises employees directly, or in larger companies, a second-level manager might be a manager who manages supervisors.

The duties and responsibilities of a first-line manager are similar to those of a supervisor. However, the general manager has more responsibility for personnel, more HR responsibility, and more discretion. They usually supervise a small group of employees doing the same or similar work. The manager usually has a minimum of one to four years of experience.

The second level (or third level sometimes in larger companies) is a senior manager. The responsibilities of a senior manager are essentially the same as those of a manager. They are responsible for the administrative and functional direction of a group of employees. They generally have more discretion and greater financial authority than other managers. A senior manager has between five to nine years of management experience.

The third level (or fourth in larger companies) is known as the general manager or executive. A general manager often oversees all the functions of a company by supervising the managers of those functions.

The general manager is also the company's hiring authority, although they may also delegate that authority to subordinate managers. It usually takes over ten years in a senior management role to become a general manager.

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Updated August 18, 2021