Businesses, institutions, agencies and other organizations need a qualified crew or staff to run efficiently and properly. The supervisor job description explains the duties, abilities, and background needed for the person that can run the crews in order to make sure they perform their jobs adequately and shifts to be successful.

What Does a Supervisor Professional Do?

Supervisors manage shifts and the staff who fill them. The supervisor job description involves assignments, employee recruitment and development, giving directions, oversight of operations and affording feedback. Beyond the management of the work and workers, supervisors must plan, control finances and serve and satisfy customers, vendors and others with whom the organization deals.

supervisor job description

Supervisor Job Description For Resume – Responsibilities

  • Assign employees to specific tasks, crews, and stations.
  • Direct performance of tasks. Also, schedule employee shifts, production, deliveries, and sales activities.
  • Instruct employees, especially new hires, on employer policies and standards. As well as train or assist in the training of new employees.
  • Inspect products, equipment, and work areas. As well as enforcing safety regulations and standards imposed by governmental agencies and industry associations.
  • Hire, promote, demote or terminate employees based on work performance. Also, evaluate the performance of employees and suggest improvements.
  • Report workplace injuries and other incidents to upper-level management or human resources director.
  • Prepare proposed budgets, review payroll, transportation costs, overhead in store, plant or other facilities, and other expenditures.
  • Address complaints and disputes from customers, vendors, suppliers and service providers.
  • Calculate earnings, employee commissions, bonuses, expenses and other figures.
  • Create policies to address sales and credit terms, such as due dates for payments.

Supervisor Job Essential Skills

Communication Skills. Supervisors need to clearly and concisely communicate instructions and policies to employees. Communication skills include listening to subordinates, management and those outside the organization. Supervisors, especially in retail, must respond promptly and professionally to customer questions, disputes, and complaints. These disagreements may involve refund or exchange policies and policies.

Decision Making Skills. The supervisor job description implicates the ability of these professionals to determine staffing levels and job assignments, evaluate those decisions and staff performance and adjust as necessary. Supervisors may hire, reward or terminate employees.

Management Skills. Management skills consist of delegating responsibilities, directing employees, reviewing performance and resolving disputes between staff members. Supervisors must constantly monitor employees and their work and review records of sales, production quantities, and comments or other indicators of production or service quality.

Technical Skills. In certain settings, such as maintenance or manufacturing, supervisors need skills in using tools, diagnostic equipment, and handling vehicle or other equipment parts. These supervisors should have mechanical abilities in order to guide workers in assembly or repair work.

How to Become a Supervisor Professional

Supervisors often need a background in the particular sectors or industries of their employers. Prior work experience in those settings forms part of the supervisor job description. To find those with experience, companies may promote workers to supervisor jobs as well as hire from outside.

The setting can also determine the level of education needed of those seeking supervisor positions.

Education & Training Requirements

Supervisors must normally have at least a high school diploma and may need at least some college courses, if not a degree. According to O*NET, two out of ten “First-Line Supervisors of Retail Workers” have some college instruction but not a degree. Approximately 15 percent have an associate’s degree.

In the “Office and Administrative Support” field, 45 percent of front-line supervisors hold a bachelor’s degree. High school graduates comprise 23 percent of front-line supervisors in production and operations, with another 14 percent having some college classes.

Supervisors overall may find it helpful to have post-secondary classes in business and management. For work in certain industrial or maintenance settings, prospective supervisors should have industry-specific classes. Supervisors in maintenance or mechanic shops should take classes in HVAC or auto repairs. Some college courses in engineering can help qualify applicants for supervisor roles in production plants or distribution facilities. In the retail field, relevant courses may include sales and marketing.

Work Experience

Normally, supervisors should have prior work experience, either in leadership roles or in the particular industry in which they seek to serve as supervisors. Leadership experience can come from jobs such as crew leader or crew trainers, foreperson and assistant supervisor.

Many supervisors become so through promotion or through demonstrating expertise in the particular field of work. Candidates for maintenance supervisor positions should tout their history of working with heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; boilers, appliances, and machines. Supervisors for auto dealerships and vehicle fleet shops typically have worked in automobile mechanical or body repair.

Work Schedules

Supervisors fill full-time shifts. The hours and days turn on the type of employer. Many retail establishments operate 24 hours per day and seven days per week. In these settings, supervisors can anticipate evenings, late nights and weekends. Holiday work is possible in places that open during Christmas holidays, such as hotels, residential care facilities, hospitals, correctional institutions and some retail pharmacies. In office settings, supervisors work mostly on weekdays and during traditional business hours.

Career Prospects

According to O*NET, employment of first-line supervisors in office and administrative settings should grow between five percent to eight percent through 2024. This rate suggests a continuing demand for medical services, financial services and other professional services that may require supervisors in office or administrative environments.

In the retail sector, the increase of employment of first-line supervisors should range between two percent and four percent. Online shopping and e-commerce have become increasingly prominent players in retailers as consumers seek to preserve the time and gas otherwise spent shopping at physical locations. With less activity in physical stores may come fewer stores and a reduction of the need for retail supervisors.

The production and operations sector is projected to experience a two percent decline in employment of first-line supervisors by 2024. Manufacturing jobs numbers have consistently decreased over numerous years. Pew Research Center says that manufacturing presently represents 8.5 percent of jobs in the United States, contrasted with 32.1 percent of the jobs in 1953. Automation and the migration of manufacturing operations overseas for lower labor costs have contributed to fewer manufacturing jobs. This in turns reduces the need for supervisors.


Supervisor jobs require both management skills and the ability to perform the work. In this sense, supervisors guide and model the work as well as giving directions. Staffing, evaluation and budgeting constitute part of the supervisor job description. Prospects for these jobs appear stronger in office settings and weaker in the manufacturing arena.