what is a manager?

A manager is a person responsible for all functions of a specific part of a company. You can be in charge of a department or the whole business. You perform all the managerial functions in your capacity, which give you the power to fire, hire, promote and discipline your team members.

Depending on the role, a manager can be referred to as a managing director or supervisor. For instance, top managers in charge of formulating company goals and strategies are considered managing directors. As a managing director, you are the steward of the company's mission and objectives. Functional managers are also considered directors since they ensure efficiency in specific departments of a company. If you head the marketing department, you are referred to as the director.

Supervisors are also managers, but they lead a small section of employees or groups. As a supervisor, you ensure your team members accomplish their tasks and objectives.

To be a successful manager, you need fantastic leadership qualities and problem-solving skills to juggle issues that arise when running the organisation. You also need charisma and great customer service skills to maintain a good image of the company you represent.

Would working as a manager suit your problem-solving abilities? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a manager role.

manager jobs

average salary of a manager

The average salary of a manager in the UK is £45,535 per year according to ONS. However, the figure fluctuates depending on the duties and industry sector. Some industry sectors pay as low as £24,000, while senior managers earn up to £86,000 annually. Aside from wages, managers often receive numerous benefits depending on the position held. A managing director may have a house allowance, personal drivers and other executive privileges, while supervisors may only enjoy health insurance and paid vacation. Managers also receive generous bonuses when they achieve milestones and company targets.

what factors affect the salary of a manager?

If you want to increase your salary as a manager, you can switch to a better-paying industry sector. For instance, a manager in retail earns less compared to a manager in the financial sector. Your experience also influences your pay, and at an entry-level position, you cannot compare your salary with someone who has years of relevant work experience. Better educational qualifications and certifications also improve your experience. For example, a manager with a masters and doctoral degree earns more compared to those with an undergraduate.

Small companies also don't provide a lucrative compensation package, but you will gain experience. Large organisations pay more due to the complexity of work and the higher expectations. It also helps to work in large cities instead of small towns.

Smiling female in meeting at the office.
Smiling female in meeting at the office.

types of managers

You can become a general manager or focus on specific departments and fields in an organisation. Some of the types of managers include:

  • business development manager: as a manager, you develop business expansion plans and strategies. You determine ways to diversify the business to boost income and accelerate expansion.
  • marketing manager: as a marketing manager or director, you oversee the marketing department to ensure they achieve their objectives. Your job is to build the visibility of the company's brand.
  • project manager: when you are a project manager, you put together the resources necessary for achieving a goal. You plan all the aspects of a project, from inception to completion.
  • retail manager: as a retail or store manager, you supervise other workers to ensure good customer service. You also manage inventory and ensure the sales targets are met.

working as a manager

Managers are leaders who inspire other workers to work better and solve any problem that may arise within an organisation. Let's explore some of the daily activities and schedules of a manager.


education and skills

To become a manager, you should start at entry-level positions and gain experience for a managerial position. You also need educational qualifications like:

  • degree: managers need a bachelor's degree in any field, and you can do an undergraduate programme in business administration or take up a degree in a related field. For instance, if you want to become a manager in a manufacturing company, an engineering degree will boost your prospects.
  • master's: a master's in business administration (MBA) is not compulsory, but it increases your competitiveness. If you want to work in large companies, an MBA gives you the relevant skills. Some roles also require a doctoral degree and other certifications to improve your leadership skills and becomes a registered manager.
  • work experience: apart from academic qualifications, you need relevant work experience. You can gain experience in leadership through internships and taking entry-level jobs as you work your way up the ladder.

skills and competencies

Managerial positions require technical skills and competencies. Some of the skills you need include:

  • industry-specific knowledge: as a manager, you need to understand the best practices for smooth operations. That means industry-specific knowledge is important to excel. Sometimes you have to direct employees or formulate strategies, and expertise in the industry helps you determine if the goals are achievable.
  • decision-making skills: managers need to be decisive to determine the direction of a business. You have to make significant decisions on short notice, and decision-making skills ensure effective leadership.
  • time management skills: as a manager, you handle multiple responsibilities at once, and without time management skills, you cannot accomplish your tasks. You also need to manage your team's time and come up with efficient strategies to prioritise tasks.
  • leadership ability: when you are a manager, leadership skills help you motivate employees and drive them towards the company goals. You should also provide support to employees to help them achieve their goals.
  • financial acumen: when you are a manager, financial management enables you to create budgets and develop cost-effective ways to conduct business operations. You also review the business's financial position and determine cash flow problems and how to rectify them.
Two males and a female standing up while having a conversation
Two males and a female standing up while having a conversation


FAQs about working as a manager

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