General ManagerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Those with strong leadership and interpersonal skills will be a great General Manager. If you love to lead a team and put strategy in action while coordinating operations, a career as a GM could be a great fit. You would run day-to-day operations and follow a plan to help their business operate smoothly. 

The duties and responsibilities of a General Manager are to manage operations and keep the business running. They oversee hiring new employees and are responsible for scheduling the staff. Setting and achieving goals in the workplace is another key part of doing this job well. This position requires a lot of hands-on work and service skills, as well as the ability to work with others. 

Leadership skills are a must when working in a management position and strong communication skills. As a manager, you will be the key component in motivating and overseeing a team to meet company standards. 

Sample job description

We are looking for a General Manager to oversee our company and join our team. As the GM of [Your Company Name], you will play a key role in our management team. You will skillfully and efficiently oversee the whole business to achieve our set monthly goals and maintain our standards of quality. Our success depends on our employees and their attention to detail as well as their ability to communicate effectively with our customers and team.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Hiring and training new staff to perform at their maximum potential
  • Creating, following, and maintaining strategies for growth
  • Manage staff performance 
  • Develop plans for maximum productivity
  • Develop new business relationships and maintain existing relationships
  • Oversee day-to-day operations while setting weekly goals 
  • Maintain project timelines and ensure timely completion

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent (minimum)
  • Bachelor’s degree in business (preferred)
  • Five years of experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • Leadership and maintenance of a large number of employees
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Multitasking while being organized 
  • Basic computer skills required to perform daily activities

Preferred qualifications

  • Certified Manager Certification
  • Project Management Professional Certification
  • American Management Association Certification
  • A Bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience is a plus
  • Analytical skills to make adjustments to meet the goals and objectives set by superiors

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a General Manager is $59,000 per year in the United States, with the potential of 20% of their salary as a cash bonus per year. Salary depends on level of experience, education, industry, and location.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$58,650$79,350
Los Angeles, California$66,150$89,550
Denver, Colorado$55,150$74,600
Washington, DC$67,200$90,900
Miami, Florida$54,900$74,250
Orlando, Florida$50,650$68,500
Tampa, Florida$51,150$69,200
Atlanta, Georgia$53,600$72,600
Chicago, Illinois$61,650$83,450
Boston, Massachusetts$66,700$90,200
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$53,150$71,900
New York City, New York$70,200$94,950
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$57,150$77,300
Dallas, Texas$55,650$75,300
Houston, Texas$55,400$74,950
Seattle, Washington$64,150$86,800
National Average$50,150$67,850

Typical work environment

Typically, General Managers work in an office or retail location in order to direct their employees. Traveling frequently may be a common occurrence, especially in retail, due to having to commute to other departments or stores. Large company GMs can be under a lot of pressure and stress, especially during holidays or busy work weeks, and will typically work 40-hour, or more, weeks. Smaller companies typically deal with less pressure, but still remain busy. General Managers can be located in restaurants, hotels, private firms, organizations, grocery stores, and about every other company that has employees who need managing. 

Typical hours

General managers typically work 40 or more hours a week. As a manager, you have to be prepared to work until the job is finished, and that means you can work over 40 hours per week, with some general managers working all the way up to 60 hour weeks. You will work late nights, weekends, and holidays depending on the industry you manage.

Available certifications

General managers can work in a variety of industries and professions. Here are the certifications that can be useful in any management position:

  • ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification. This certification shows that whoever possesses the certification has sufficient knowledge of food safety and how to operate a kitchen or serve safely. The benefits of this certification are that many restaurant owners look for the ServSafe certificate and will hire those with one rather than someone who does not have this certification. To obtain ServSafe certification, you must go through the proper training, pass the test, and obtain your certification. 
  • Certified Sales Professional. Becoming certified as a sales professional will teach you modern strategies and techniques to master the art of sales. You will obtain the ability to handle large accounts with strategic customers. To be eligible you must have a college diploma, thirty-five hours of education in sales aligned with the CSP framework, have a minimum of four years of experience managing clients, and evidence of meeting and/or exceeding targets for two years. You can be exempt from these requirements if you have at least six years of verified sales experience. After you have obtained this certification you will have an open door to new opportunities. 
  • Certified Management Accountant. The CMA certification is based on financial reporting and planning. You will be able to prepare financial statements, create budgets, supervise accounting staff, and have more opportunities that will make you stand out in the industry. To obtain this certification you must hold an active IMA membership, complete and pass parts one and two of the CMA exam, and hold a bachelor’s degree from a related certification program. 
  • OSHA Safety Certification. Obtaining this certification proves you have industry knowledge on safety topics in the workplace. This means that you can prevent injuries in the workplace and keep it safe and productive. An OSHA 10 card means you have completed 10 hours of OSHA authorized training, but most employers are looking for an OSHA 30 card which means you must complete 30 hours of OSHA courses. 
  • Certified Professional Food Manager. This is an affordable program that offers more convenient and flexible options for those who are looking for a ServSafe certification. This certification can be completed completely online, but you need to take a food manager training course as well as pass the exam. 
  • Project Management Professional. Becoming PMP certified means you can earn 20% more than those without the PMP certification. Applicants must have at least 7,500 hours of project management experience, 35 hours of related education, or have a four-year degree with 4,500 hours of experience leading projects and 35 hours of project management training. 

Career path

To become a GM you must first earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Business Administration, Finance, or other related fields. Internships can be very helpful by giving experience in administrative support, project management, project coordination, scheduling, and teamwork. After completing your degree and internship, you then can find a part-time or full-time position that incorporates the skills you have developed. Collaborating with other professionals can be very beneficial in this field as communication is a key component to becoming a successful manager.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-1021

2020 Employment2,411,900
Projected Employment in 20302,638,200
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 9% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift226,300 increase

The General Manager outlook is positive in the fact that it is rising at 9%. With many brick-and-mortar stores closing or being challenged by online stores, grocery stores and retail stores have less of a need for a general manager. However, larger companies that fulfill online orders are in demand for general managers to operate their day-to-day production. Chief executive managers will decline as much as 10% due to improving office technology, but GMs are increasing because they can fulfill this need. As the industry evolves, managers will have to evolve also and learn new techniques and technology.

Sample interview questions

  • How would you describe your leadership style?
  • Describe someone you coached or mentored. 
  • Talk about a successful work project that involved working with others and multiple teams. 
  • How would you approach a team member who was underperforming? 
  • Describe your management style. 
  • How do you define success in the workplace? 
  • Talk about a time you led an important meeting. 
  • How would you handle conflict between employees?
  • Why are you interested in our company? 
  • How do you manage stress on your team members? 
  • How do you motivate others?
  • What are some improvements you would make while working as general manager?  
  • How do you prioritize your tasks while at work? 
  • What is a difficult situation you faced as a manager?

General Manager Jobs in Ashburn

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