what is a manager?

A manager is responsible for all the functions of a specific part of a company. You can be in charge of a department or the whole business. As a manager, you perform all the managerial functions in your capacity, which gives you the autonomy to hire people, help develop their skills, conduct performance reviews, promote and challenge your team members. Managers work in various industries like construction, retail, mining, marketing and financial services.

what are the responsibilities of a manager?

Depending on the role, a manager is sometimes referred to as a managing director or supervisor. As a managing director, you are the steward of the company's mission and objectives. Top managers who formulate company goals and strategies are considered managing directors or general managers. Functional managers are also considered directors since they ensure efficiency in specific departments of a company. You are referred to as the marketing director if you head the marketing department.

Supervisors are also managers but 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 require fantastic leadership qualities and problem-solving skills to juggle issues that arise when running the organisation. It is also important to have great interpersonal and customer service skills to maintain a good image of the company you represent. Your people skills help you lead employees towards the company's goals.

manager roles

average salary of a manager

The median salary of a manager is $113,498 per year in Australia. In an entry-level position, a manager usually takes home a salary of $86,943 annually. As a high-ranking manager, your earnings can increase to $147,678 annually. The remuneration packages differ depending on the management level or specialism. For instance, a general manager earns an average salary of $155,000 annually, with some companies paying as high as $190,000 annually. Departmental managers fall into a different salary range. For instance, the median remuneration package of a marketing manager is $105,000 per year, with experienced managers taking home over $120,000 annually.

what influences the salary of a manager?

As a manager, your salary prospects depend on the industry sector and your position in the organisation. Working in some business sectors like mining or construction attracts higher remuneration due to the complexity of the role. Your earnings also significantly increase if you are a high-ranking manager, such as a general manager, who oversees the operations and administrative functions of the entire organisation. The location also affects the salary of a manager since companies in metro areas pay higher wages.

Want to know what you will earn as a manager? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

manager salary

types of managers

You can become a general manager or focus on specific departments and fields in an organisation. Some typical managerial roles include:

  • mining manager: as a mining manager, you are responsible for organising and planning activities in a mine. You plan the future mine production and oversee the tunneling and development of the mine. You also supervise the building and design of entryways and transportation in the mines to promote the safety of workers.
  • business development 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 it achieves its objectives. Your job is to build the visibility of the company's brand and ensure the marketing team adopts the correct messaging for the brand.
  • project manager: when you are a project manager, you put together the resources necessary for achieving a specific 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.
  • account manager: as an account manager you oversee the sales, service, and marketing of a company's products or services to its customers or clients.
close up - female smiling
close up - female smiling

working as a manager

As a manager, you lead a team of professionals. Hence, the role requires excellent leadership skills and motivational abilities. Let's explore the specific duties and work environments of managers.


manager education and skills

Some of the educational qualifications of a manager include:

  • bachelor's degree: to become a manager, you need strong managerial and administrative skills. You also require industry-specific knowledge in your area of interest. Ensure you pursue a relevant course for the management position you want, like operations management, human resource management and business administration. Bachelors degrees that would be suitable for this career are: bachelor of arts, master of business administration, bachelor of science, bachelor of commerce. 
  • work experience: managers require extensive work experience to understand industry processes and activities involved in project execution. Most managers start with internships and entry-level positions before working their way up the career ladder to top-level managerial jobs.

manager skills and competencies

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

  • commercial acumen: the ability to make sound decisions in a business setting. This includes the ability to understand financial statements, identify opportunities and risks, and make decisions that will improve the bottom line.
  • analytical thinking: the ability to break down information into smaller parts in order to better understand it.
  • industry-specific knowledge: as a manager, it is crucial to understand the best practices for smooth operation. That means industry-specific knowledge is important to excel. Sometimes you direct employees or formulate strategies, and expertise in the industry helps you determine if goals are achievable.
  • decision-making skills: managers are decisive since they determine the direction of a business. They often make significant decisions on short notice, so 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 manage your team's time and devise efficient strategies to prioritise tasks.
  • leadership ability: when you are a manager, leadership skills help you motivate employees to achieve company objectives. You also provide support to employees to help them reach their goals.
  • financial insight: 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.

FAQs about working as a manager

Here are the most asked questions about working as a manager:

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