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Average Salary of Department Store Managers

Updated on July 15, 2012

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

A department store is so named because it offers retail goods under several different departments such as shoes, women’s clothing, furniture and cosmetics. For the business to function efficiently and profitably, each department requires a manager who can coordinate staff and plan business strategy. Each of the major functions, such as human resources and administration, and the entire store also need someone in charge.

General Managers

General managers set sales goals and plan strategy for all of the department store. They answer only to the owner or board of directors but are responsible for the salespeople, vendors and customers of the business. Many chief executive officers rise through the departmental ranks in positions of increasing responsibility. They may have master’s degrees in business or related fields. General managers must meet frequently with and delegate major tasks to other department store managers. As of May 2011, they earned a mean $40.77 per hour or $84,800 per year states the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Human Resources Managers

HR managers recruit, interview, train, hire, and handle the benefits and wages of department store staff. They meet frequently with department managers and top executives to ensure that staffing needs are met and that all regulations regarding employees are followed. In larger organizations, they may specialize in such functions as training or compensation. They usually need a bachelor’s degree in business administration or human resources. Voluntary certification can show expertise in their fields and can make jobs easier to find. Human resources managers earned a mean $43.38 per hour or $90,240 per year.

Administration Managers

Department stores produce much information that needs to be organized and filed for easy access. They can store customer names and addresses, vendor contracts, employee wage figures and sales reports. The clerks and administrative assistants who handle this paperwork fall under the supervision of administration managers. These managers collect and distribute company-wide information such as sales schedules, buy and store supplies such as cash register receipts, and oversee maintenance of electrical systems such as ceiling lights. They received $37.27 per hour or $77,510 per year.

Sales Managers

The heads of departments are generally sales managers, who may have risen to the position from sales clerks jobs. Though they may have started at their store with only a high school diploma, many employers require that their managers have a minimum bachelor’s degree. Their total compensation may combine a base salary, commissions and bonuses for meeting sales objectives. They are responsible for increasing profits in their departments, and must train and motivate the sales staff to meet performance goals. Sales managers were paid a mean $32.50 per hour or $67,600 per year.


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    • howtoguides2learn profile image

      Vidhya L 

      5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Good list! thumbs up

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Great information and detailing of the job responsibilities at different levels. Surprising the sales manages make less than the HRM's or Admin managers.

      Voted up and interesting. Shared.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Moonlake, these are averages for the entire nation according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Are your salaries for California? Here they're lucky to make $11.00 to $12.00 for a Sales Managers. Most people here would be jumping with joy to make those salaries. We have very low pay in this area.

      Enjoyed reading your hub lots of good information. Voted Up.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      6 years ago from Asia

      The salaries were actually higher than I was expecting. Mind you, with the current approach to work, they probably work hard for every dime lol

      Sharing, up and useful.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I've done retail a few times, b.Malin, and agree with you.

    • Alex Jose profile image

      Alex Jose 

      6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Never knew about all this until i saw your hub. Thanks for such an informative hub. Voted up as interesting.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      6 years ago

      Retail is NOT Fun...the hours are horrendous...Human Resource Mg. would depend on the Company...GE HR's do very well, six figures...don't ask me how I know, I do. As usual a very Interesting Hub Alocsin., especially for someone getting ready to choose a Career.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      These "mean" salary ranges are very impressive. Who knew? Thanks for the information.

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      good researched hub, alocsin.

      did not know about this until now. realizing the headache these guys undergo to keep the store sane...they kinda deserve it.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      I would have guessed store managers made more consider the daily headaches they must deal with. Very enlightning look into this field of work. Well done!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Good stats here. I do think that sales managers should earn more given all the customer service activities they get pulled in to! I vote up.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi, I was really suprised to see how much they each earn. I don't think we come anywhere near this over here in England, or maybe they do. I have worked in stores before, inbetween working in an office, and I was just above minimum wage, maybe I was in the wrong stores! lol! voted up! cheers nell

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Like teaches12345 already stated, these salaries are higher than I would have expected. Am sure that they work hard and long hours for it and they must have good people skills. Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Thank you for this peek into retail management. I had no idea! I lasted 2 days at Walmart. I just can't do the whole retail thing. :) Great hub and voted up!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      This is a great resource article Alocsin. Great for anyone looking for these types of positions. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      The salary range is much higher than I would have imagined. Guess it doesn't hurt to keep climbing the ladder in the department store arena.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      The customer service reps definitely don't make that much, but if you can get into upper management, you can do well for yourself. That's great. Awesome stats and numbers. Many votes.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am amazed how much department store managers get! It is an eye-opener for sure! Voted up for interesting!

    • Wesley Meacham profile image

      Wesley Meacham 

      6 years ago from Wuhan, China

      That sounds about right. I've worked in many retail environments though never in management. What I've been told by a couple of managers is that GMs tend to make a lot of money. However, from what I've seen they usually work a lot for it too.

    • Natashalh profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      Wow. I've done a lot of front-line retail, and those folks sure don't make as much! My all-time worst paying job ever (min wage) was at a retail store. My other retail jobs come in just above with awesome wages like 15 cents above minimum wage.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very valuable information for those choosing careers or going into new ones!

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Isabella Mukanda-Shamambo 

      6 years ago from Fort Myers

      Thanks for the stats and information about jobs in department stores. Those numbers look really good to me, mostly falling in the range of 3 to 4 times more than what most ordinary workers in various fields are paid around the country (I meant the majority) of workers who do a lot of hard work too.


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