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Management Careers

Management is a broad and diverse employment sector. All organizations need managers, and this need provides a wide range of career options. If you possess leadership, administration and delegation skills, and the idea of managing people and resources is appealing, consider a career in management.

Most management positions require a bachelor's degree, but median pay, experience requirements, training and certifications vary for different types of positions. Make sure to review the qualifications needed for the management category of interest so you will be competitive when you search for jobs.

Some examples of the types of management positions, qualifications and pay include the following:

  • Administrative services managers plan, direct and coordinate the supportive services of an organization. A bachelor's degree is required for this position, and the median pay is $90,050 per year.
  • Advertising, promotion and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. Typically, you need work experience in a related occupation like advertising, marketing or sales. A bachelor's degree is required, and the median pay is $127,560 per year.
  • Architectural and engineering managers plan and direct activities in architectural and engineering firms. Typically, you are required to have more than five years of experience and possess appropriate licenses. A bachelor's degree is required, and the median pay is $134,730 per year.
  • Computer and information systems managers are responsible for managing computer-related activities of an organization and normally have at least five years of related work experience. A bachelor's degree is required, and the median pay is $135,800 per year.
  • Construction managers supervise construction projects from start to completion and require moderate on-the-job training. A bachelor's degree is required, and the median pay is $89,300 per year.
  • Financial managers develop strategies and plans for the financial health of their organization and normally have more than five years of experience. A bachelor's degree is required, and the median pay is $89,300 per year.
  • Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and other establishments that serve food and beverages and typically need fewer than five years of experience to get started. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, and the median pay is $50,820 per year.
  • Sales managers direct an organization's sales team and can usually start with fewer than five years of experience. A bachelor's degree is required, and the median pay is $117,960 per year.

No matter the area of management that appeals to you, many of the skills you will gain as a manager are transferable to other types of management positions. You should be successful in any management position if you possess the following traits and abilities:

  • Being open to new ways of looking at things
  • Expecting excellence of yourself and others
  • Setting goals, inspiring and motivating team members, and sharing recognition and success
  • Having a clear vision, focusing on key priorities and eliminating what is not important
  • Possessing good organization and follow-through skills
  • Listening, providing feedback and dealing with conflict directly and fairly
  • Managing time wisely

Working in management can involve unexpected schedule changes and may include long hours. You need to be flexible, dependable, and credible and possess the leadership and social skills necessary to manage employees from diverse backgrounds effectively. 

Managers in every industry have a wide range of workplace responsibilities. In addition to overseeing employee productivity, you will be responsible for setting and meeting goals, resolving conflicts and planning short-term and long-term strategy. You are accountable for missed deadlines or quotas, unhappy customers and budget overages. You must be willing to deal with employee management including discipline, hiring and firing.

As a manager, you should strive to achieve a work-life balance by learning to pace yourself, focusing on what you enjoy and taking the time to recharge. Make sure to schedule regular time for you and your family to keep your home and yourself happy.

Education and training

To learn more about management careers, review the Research Occupations tool on MySECO and investigate your options. Take SECO self-assessments to make sure your skills and interests align with your career choice. Talk to others in the field and get their feedback. Once you have made the decision to pursue a career in management, you can explore the many tools and resources on MySECO to assist you with education planning. College Scorecard is a great starting point for researching and selecting an education institution. You can also use the Scholarship Finder to locate funding relevant to the military community to pay for classes. See if you are eligible for the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship to help with education or licensure costs.

If time to earn a degree and money to pay for your education are a concern, think about completing a two-year associate degree, possibly in business management, through a community college, technical school or university, particularly if you are eligible for My Career Advancement Account assistance. Try to find a program where the credits you earn will transfer toward your bachelor's degree. With an associate degree, you may find employment, earn income and start gaining experience until you're ready to complete your bachelor's degree.

Finding employment

Once you've met the education and experience requirements to become a manager, it's time to find a job in your occupation. One of the first places to look is the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Hundreds of partner employers have made the commitment to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers. A recent search of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search provided job listings using the keyword 'Manager', including thousands of positions in a variety of industries.

You can also search your local state and national job bank for management positions or use MySECO's Job Search Tools, which include the following:

Consider volunteering, if possible, or doing an internship and proactively networking to build your contacts and gain experience. Tell family, friends, co-workers and all others that you are hoping to work in management and ask for contacts they might have who can help you build and expand your network. Remember, networking is the most effective job search method.

Professional organizations and networking

You may wish to consider joining a professional organization to gain a better understanding of current industry trends in management. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Networking with other professionals gives you an edge in meeting people who may have the connections you need to obtain an interview or restart your career at your new location. They may provide important information about available internships and jobs, additional learning opportunities, seminars, networking events, hiring fairs and more. Read The Value of Professional Associations for more information on how becoming a member can help enhance your career.

Next steps

Call 800-342-9647 and speak with a career coach to discuss career or education choices, searching for a job or overcoming challenges. Coaches are available to review your resume, practice interviewing, discuss networking or assist you in understanding employer requirements for this field.

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