A general manager can describe a variety of people within the organization or business. While some places, particularly larger ones, may have a designated person for this job, that is not the case everywhere. These professionals can be considered the brains and gears of a business. They have a lot of responsibility to generate innovative ideas and to keep the business in smooth working order. The general manager job description will help uncover the ambiguity around what they actually do.

The article includes a summary, a list of key responsibilities, required skills, the education and experience needed, and what a typical work schedule and job outlook is for them.

What Does a General Manager Do?

The word general means a place or thing that is ill-defined without a concise understanding of what that is. This gives some insight into the imprecise nature of a general manager. They do things such as creating policies, project management, leading teams, and overseeing the operations of a business.

As part of a general manager job specifications, they typically need their bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. Many of them will have their master’s degree. However, there are people in this role without post-secondary education. Experience is an absolute requirement for this position. The median salary is $97,730.

general manager job description part of a team

General Manager Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities

They have complex and varied job duties. The list below indicates a few general manager responsibilities. When considering using these for your own resume, make sure to personalize them. For example, expand on the second bullet point to speak to an innovative practice you have already developed with a team.

  • Supervise the day-to-day operations of a business and intervene when necessary to adjust performance.
  • Work on a team to develop innovative and efficient business practices.
  • Assess what evidence is acceptable to show that the business has reached its goals and made new ones.
  • Delegate management responsibilities to various department or floor managers, while maintaining management of the upper hierarchy.
  • Keep training available for employees to achieve the goals expected of them.
  • Work with human resources to identify required and preferred skills for different jobs.
  • Analyze inventory and make strategic purchases.

These responsibilities are based on a list by The Balance.

General Manager Required Skills

  • Organization skills. Part of the general manager job description is to balance many different tasks. Being organized and keeping strong records are essential components to making progress and improving practice.
  • Equilibrium skills. Equilibrium, in this sense, is talking about the balance between being willing to fail and preserving the reputation and finances of a business. Pushing boundaries and developing innovations are failure-prone processes. A good manager will take strategic risks and limit losses.
  • Interpersonal skills. Meetings, management of people, interacting with customers, and interviewing potential hires are daily responsibilities of these professionals. Having strong interpersonal skills like the ability to start a conversation or respect the diversity of perspectives are invaluable.
  • Leadership skills. These professionals may be expected to develop and enact new policies and procedures. Being able to successfully implement change requires strong leadership skills that value people’s opinions and provide a direction for them to grow and improve. It’s one of the primary skills and key responsibilities in the general manager job description.

How to Become a General Manager

The vast majority of general managers will have a bachelor’s degree. Common degree fields are business, finance, marketing, or organizational leadership. If you are interested in being one, you should reach out to one and see what it is like. Look for a school that is accredited. There are 777 schools that have an AASB accreditation. These are the schools to look at when focusing on a business-related degree.

Education & Training Requirements

Attainment of a bachelor’s degree is widespread for general managers. However, this is not a requirement. In some businesses, the right amount of work experience could be considered the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree. These professionals who work for large organizations will often need to have their Master’s of Business Administration.

There are no requirements for general managers to earn certificates or licenses. However, professionals who seek out voluntary certificates can have an edge in the job market. The Institute of Certified Professional Managers offers the certified manager certificate. These credentials show a commitment to being the best professional that one can be and signify to an employer that this person is serious about their work.

Work Experience

Previous experience is a requirement for the vast majority of positions. These professionals have a lot of responsibility managing complex tasks. In addition, they work independently. Someone who has learned extensively at lower levels of management and is self-motivated is an excellent candidate for being taking on this role.

An issue that prevents people from advancing to the desired position today is the rapidly changing workplace. In the past, there would be training rotations through different parts of a business so general managers could learn how the system works together. This system no longer works. New training feature hands-on case studies or hypothetical situations to train people to think on their feet and accelerate the experience required to receive this job title.

Students can take internships in the field or industry they think they want to work in. While they will not go from an internship into a general management role, it can provide an introduction to various aspects of a business. This experience will only benefit these students as they become young professionals.

Work Schedules

These professionals will have varied work schedules. It is not uncommon in the general manager job description to see them need to work more than 40 hours per week. This is particularly true when a major project, client, or deadline is coming up.

Harvard Business Review features a typical day for a successful general manager. This individual arrives at the office at 7:35 and leaves at 5:45. During the course of the day, he balances reporting of progress by his subordinates with work meetings with talking with clients. On the day he was observed, his boss and himself had to discuss how to deal with an employee whose work had become a problem. What is striking in this detailed description of the day is how seamless the interaction between formal and informal communication happens.

Career Prospects

For all levels of upper management, the job is estimated to grow at 6 percent through 2024. This includes other executive positions. General managers who have experience in managing and helping companies through mergers have a great opportunity for advancement in their job.

The general manager salary is, the median, of $97,730. The highest paying industries for are: insurance and employee benefit funds, security and commodity exchanges, financial investment, pools, and funds, and scientific research and development services.

People who are interested in moving up the ranks to this level need to develop strong skills in sales, management, and leadership. This could mean additional learning on the job or supervising a more experienced colleague.


These professionals will typically have to work at least forty hours in a week. When looking at the general manager job description, you understand they have a lot of ownership in the success or struggles of a business. If you are interested in a job with a higher level of pay and feel you have the right combination of education and experience, then being a general manager may be ideal for you. Keep in mind that you will also have to work with others, so make sure to read an operations manager job description to see which would be a better fit for you.