Advice » Career Development» Education & Training » Retail Management Trainin ...
Retail Management Training Options

Retail Management Training Options

So you want to be a retail manager? Do you have what it takes?

Retail managers are the people charged with making a store, group of stores or a retail company profitable. They thrive on making it all click week after week and year after year. They are passionate about the products and services their stores offer and care about developing the kind of atmosphere customers will flock to.

Most retail managers develop the following skills before specializing in store operations, buying, planning or any other area:

  • Selecting, directing and evaluating personnel.
  • Internal layout, store operations and security.
  • The buying/procurement process.
  • Pricing and selling.
  • Advertising, promotion and publicity.

How can you build your skill set to be a retail manager?

Start as a Retail Management Trainee

According to the National Retail Federation, this position is the foot in the door available throughout the retail industry. And, luckily, most well-known retail stores have management training programs.

Training programs usually combine on-the-job training with short courses in special aspects of retailing. Some companies, such as Federated Department Stores, develop separate management training programs for candidates pursuing different career paths. For example, it offers training for store management, purchasing management and a merchandise-planning training program. Other companies have more general programs for management trainees.

Management trainees are paid staff. They receive the same benefits as other employees and work the same hours. Salaries range from $20,000 to $35,000 per year. Sometimes being a management trainee is synonymous with being an assistant manager; the trainee works in the store and reports directly to a department or store manager from day one. These programs heavily emphasize on-the-job training with relatively little classroom time. In other programs, class time is more intensive, especially early in the program. Such programs don't let a trainee out on the floor until he or she has demonstrated a good foundation for the business.

What Do I Need?

Large retailers have formal training programs for managerial candidates. Generally, retailers look for prospects with bachelor's degrees. If you have an associate's degree or a good retail work history, you may also qualify. Entering a management training program can be quite competitive, however, so a degree can give you an edge.

A degree in a business discipline is helpful. But keep this in mind: Retailers are looking for managers with more than knowledge of accounting or management theory. Retail managers have backgrounds ranging from art history to zoology. Some have no college degrees and have worked their way up from the sales floor.

Successful managers are:

  • Positive and enthusiastic.
  • Energetic and outgoing.
  • Hard-working (able and willing to put in long hours).
  • Good with people.
  • Honest.
  • Calm under pressure.
  • Mature.
  • Adaptable.
  • Analytical.
  • Organized.
  • Decisive.

In addition, managers and trainees need to have:

  • Effective communication skills.
  • Good health and stamina. Retail managers are on their feet and active most of the day.
  • Leadership qualities.
  • A willingness to relocate (this will enhance career advancement prospects).

Where Do I Start?

Management training positions are posted, and qualified candidates are recruited, just as they are for any other position in retail organizations. Here are some places to look for openings:

  • Company Web sites.
  • Newspaper classified ads.
  • Retail trade publications.
  • Internet job sites, like
  • College career centers.
  • Personnel departments located in retail stores.
  • Community job fairs.
  • Personal contact with store managers.

As a retail manager, you will want to invest a lot of passion in the store and what you sell to make it a successful experience for the company and yourself. Try looking for opportunities at the places you like to shop.

What Happens in Training?

In most retail management training, candidates are exposed to all facets of the business. Typically, a new trainee will spend six months to three years in various departments to learn the company and industry. For example, a store management trainee receives training in merchandising, finance, marketing, operations and human resources. In the department, the trainee does what the regular staff does. In addition, he or she is groomed to manage the nonmanagement personnel in this department. Many trainees usually work first as sales assistants. Later, they are assigned to various branches or departments as junior managers.

At the end of the training period, trainees are expected to be ready to move into management as either assistant managers or managers. Promotion into management generally occurs after nine months to two years on the job.

Learn more about retail careers.

Latest Jobs

Accounting Principals
Posted: 06/30/2015
Walnut Creek, CA, 94596
Accounting Principals
Posted: 06/30/2015
Chicago, IL, 60608
Accounting Principals
Posted: 06/30/2015
Baldwin Park, CA, 91706
Ajilon Professional Staffing
Posted: 06/30/2015
Houston, TX, 77057
Accounting Principals
Posted: 06/30/2015
Princeton, NJ, 08540

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-218