Over 1.2 million retail store managers worked in the United States as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These managers run and operate all types of retail establishments -- from small auto parts stores to large department stores. Retail store managers hire and supervise department managers, stockers and clerks, manage labor and inventory expenses and ensure that customers receive a positive shopping experience. If you want to become a retail manager, you can expect to earn a salary averaging more than $40,000 annually.
Average Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of a retail store manager was $40,910 as of May 2012, according to the BLS. The middle group made $28,740 to $47,330, while top earners made over $61,940 per year. To get a job as a retail store manager, you need at least a high school diploma and one or more years of retail experience. Leadership, communication, decision-making and computer skills are also necessary to succeed in retail management.
Retail store managers earn more working for specific types of employers. Their salaries were highest in service-related establishments, such as insurance agencies, according to 2012 BLS data -- $86,820 annually. Those who managed car dealerships made $74,270 per year. If you worked for a building materials or lumber store, you'd earn $42,530, while you'd earn $41,140 in a clothing store. You can expect to earn less in a beer, wine and liquor store or service station mini market at $38,620 and $34,050, respectively.
Rhode Island paid their retail store managers the highest salaries among the states listed, the BLS reported -- $48,320 annually. Those in Pennsylvania and California also earned above-average salaries of $45,440 and $43,820, respectively. If you worked as a retail store manager in Florida, you'd make slightly more than the national average at $41,890. In Illinois and Maine, you'd make $39,270 and $36,640 per year, respectively.
The BLS only predicts an 8 percent increase in employment for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers, or store managers, from 2010 to 2020 -- a below-average growth rate. Retail jobs are highly contingent on the state of the economy. If the economy continues improving, you will likely find more available jobs in this field. You may find more job opportunities as a retail manager in high-growth industries, such as wireless, electronics and sporting goods stores.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail: First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012: First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
- Totaljobs.com: Retail Industry Job Descriptions
- Management Study Guide: Roles and Responsibilities of a Store Manager
- Ditcorp.com: Store Manager
- USA Today: Report: USA's Top 10 Fastest-Growing Retailers
- Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images