Detailed Guide forFirst-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers in California
May also be called: Retail Store Managers; Retail Supervisors and Managers; Retail Managers; and Store Managers.
What Would I Do?
First-Line Supervisors and Managers of Retail Sales Workers monitor the work of sales-related workers, such as retail salespersons, cashiers, customer service representatives, stock clerks, order fillers, and sales representatives.
The duties of Retail Supervisors and Managers vary with the size of the retail business. Larger companies usually have numerous levels of management. Those who supervise workers are considered Supervisors. Managers oversee Supervisors. In larger retail establishments, First-Line Supervisors may specialize in one department, such as women’s apparel or housewares.
Retail Supervisors and Managers are generally responsible for interviewing, hiring, and training employees. They also prepare work schedules and assign workers to specific jobs. Their responsibilities may include purchasing, budgeting, accounting, or responding to customer inquiries or complaints. Retail Managers put company policies and security procedures into effect.
Retail Supervisors and Managers must be adaptable to change and willing to learn about newer technologies such as computerized cash registers, bar-coding and scanning technologies, radio frequency inventory control equipment, electronic funds transfer equipment, and time accounting software.
Important Tasks and Related Skills
Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.
|View the skill definitions|
|Task||Skill Used in this Task|
|Monitor sales activities to ensure that customers receive satisfactory service and quality goods.||Customer and Personal Service|
|Confer with company officials to develop methods and procedures to increase sales, expand markets, and promote business.||Administration and Management|
|Hire, train, and evaluate personnel in sales or marketing establishments, promoting or firing workers when appropriate.||Management of Personnel Resources|
|Provide customer service by greeting and assisting customers, and responding to customer inquiries and complaints.||Service Orientation|
|Assign employees to specific duties.||Time Management|
|Instruct staff on how to handle difficult and complicated sales.||Instructing|
|Direct and supervise employees engaged in sales, inventory-taking, reconciling cash receipts, or in performing services for customers.||Oral Expression|
|Estimate consumer demand and determine the types and amounts of goods to be sold.||Deductive Reasoning|
|Examine products purchased for resale or received for storage to assess the condition of each product or item.||Problem Sensitivity|
|Plan and prepare work schedules and keep records of employees' work schedules and time cards.||Judgment and Decision Making|
Below is a definition for each skill.
|View the tasks to skills list|
|Customer and Personal Service||Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.|
|Administration and Management||Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.|
|Management of Personnel Resources||Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.|
|Service Orientation||Actively looking for ways to help people.|
|Time Management||Managing one's own time and the time of others.|
|Instructing||Teaching others how to do something.|
|Oral Expression||The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.|
|Deductive Reasoning||The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.|
|Problem Sensitivity||The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.|
|Judgment and Decision Making||Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.|
A large portion of the Retail Supervisors and Managers’ day is spent on the sales floor, supervising employees or selling merchandise. Some of their time is spent in the office completing work schedules or merchandise orders.
Retail Supervisors and Managers work at least 40 hours a week. They sometimes work long irregular hours including evenings and weekends during special sale events, holidays, or inventory. Schedules are likely to be changed regularly. Retail Supervisors and Managers are also called in to work on short notice to substitute for employees who are unable to report to work.
Will This Job Fit Me?
The job of Retail Supervisor or Manager will appeal to those who enjoy taking the initiative to start up and carry out projects. The Retail Supervisor or Manager occupation satisfies those with enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations often involve leading people and making many decisions that may require risk taking and often deals with business.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
The median wage in 2016 for Retail Sales Supervisors in California is $39,454 annually, or $18.97 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Benefit packages vary from company to company. Many Retail Supervisors and Managers may expect to receive paid vacation, health insurance, 401k retirement plans, and employee discounts on personal purchases.
What is the Job Outlook?
Future employment opportunities for Retail Supervisors and Managers will be limited because retailers are hiring more sales staff and increasing the responsibilities of existing Retail Supervisors.
The trend of increased Internet sales and electronic commerce may reduce the number of sales workers and therefore reduce the need for additional Retail Supervisors and Managers. The majority of job openings will occur as Retail Supervisors and Managers promote into higher management positions, transfer to other occupations, or retire from the labor force.
Projections of Employment
In California, the number of Retail Sales Supervisors is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Retail Sales Supervisors are expected to increase by 5.6 percent, or 8,300 jobs between 2014 and 2024.
|Estimated Employment and Projected Growth|
Retail Sales Supervisors
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Due to Net
|View Projected Growth for All Areas|
Annual Job Openings
In California, an average of 830 new job openings per year is expected for Retail Sales Supervisors, plus an additional 3,310 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 4,140 job openings.
|Estimated Average Annual Job Openings|
Retail Sales Supervisors
|Jobs From Growth||Jobs Due to|
|View Data for All Areas|
How Do I Qualify?
Education, Training, and Other Requirements
Educational requirements vary widely from company to company. Some large employers may require Retail Store Managers to have an associate or bachelor’s degree along with retail experience. Many employers prefer to hire First-Line Supervisors with a high school diploma or equivalent. Large retail chains often offer company-sponsored formal management trainee programs that include classroom and on-site training.
Many Retail Supervisors and Managers learn the basics of merchandising, customer service, and company policies through work experience by beginning their careers on the sales floor as cashiers or customer service representatives. The amount and type of experience required will vary from company to company. Some larger companies prefer to hire employees with experience in “Big Box” large retail settings.
Early Career Planning
High school preparation courses in accounting, marketing, management, psychology, sociology, public speaking, and computer technology provide a helpful background for those pursing a career in Retail Supervision and Management. Also, part-time entry retail jobs provide valuable experience.
Formal continuing education is not required for Retail Supervisors and Managers. However, it is a good idea for Supervisors and Managers to keep abreast of both technological and company policy changes. Larger retail companies offer training programs that cover all functions of the company’s operation.
Where Can I Find Training?
There are two ways to search for training information:
- Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Consumer Merchandising/Retailing Management, Retail and Retail Operations.
- Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.
Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.
Where Would I Work?
The largest industries employing Retail Sales Supervisors are as follows:
|Industry Title||Percent of Total Employment for Occupation in California|
|Clothing Stores ||10.1%|
|Building Material and Supplies Dealers ||6.8%|
|Other General Merchandise Stores ||6.2%|
|Health and Personal Care Stores ||4.9%|
|Gasoline Stations ||3.7%|
Finding a Job
Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Many schools operate placement centers for their students. Jobs may also be found through classified advertisements in newspapers and trade publications. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.
To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).
Yellow Page Headings
You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Retail Sales Supervisors.
- Building Materials
- Clothes & Apparel
- Department Stores
- Employment Agencies
- Grocers & Markets-Retail
- Health & Diet Food Products-Retail
- Medical Equipment & Supplies
- Sales Training
- Shopping Centers & Malls
- Shopping Service
Find Possible Employers
To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:
- Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
- Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
- Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
- Contact the employer for possible employment.
Where Could This Job Lead?
In many retail establishments, managers are promoted from within the company. In small retail establishments, where the number of positions is limited, advancement to a higher management position may come slowly. Large establishments often have extensive career ladder programs and may offer supervisors the opportunity to transfer to another store in the chain or to a central office. Some managers may need to relocate every few years in order to advance. Retail Supervisors may also advance to positions in advertising, marketing, promotions, and public relations. They may also become purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents.
Below is a list of occupations related to Retail Sales Supervisors with links to more information.
|Food Service Managers||Guide|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||Guide|
|Human Resources Specialists||Guide|
|Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers||Guide|
These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.
For the Career Professional
The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.
|SOC - Standard Occupational Classification||41-1011|
|O*NET - Occupational Information Network|
| First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers||41-1011.00|
| Interest Codes (RIASEC)||ECS|
|CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs|
| Floriculture/Floristry Operations and Management ||010608 |
| E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce ||520208 |
| Retail Management ||520212 |
| Retailing and Retail Operations ||521803 |
| Selling Skills and Sales Operations ||521804 |
| General Merchandising, Sales, & Related Marketing Operations||521899 |
| Business, Management, Marketing, & Related Support Services||529999 |
|TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)|
| Floriculture /Floristry||010920|
| Retail Store Operations and Management||050650|
| Sales and Salesmanship||050940|
| E-Commerce (business emphasis)||050970|
| Other Business and Management||059900|
| E-Commerce (technology emphasis)||070910|