WHAT DO MERCHANDISE MANAGERS DO?
If you can organize people and inventory with the same efficiency, you might be ready for a career as a merchandise manager. Merchandise managers are in charge of inventory in a warehouse or similar space. They lead a team of inventory or warehouse workers to receive and record new stock as it comes in, and move stock onto trucks or store shelves as needed. Merchandise managers interview and hire employees, create schedules, monitor stock levels at the warehouse and know when to replenish stock. They are focused on time, making sure every item of stock gets to its destination on time, and that there are no shortages on shelves. Depending on the job, merchandise managers may have similar duties to a scheduler or logistician.
HOW MUCH DO MERCHANDISE MANAGERS MAKE?
Again, this depends on where you work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) material recording clerks was $11.59, or $24,100 per year, while schedulers in 2010 earned $34.04 an hour, or $70,800 annually. Merchandise managers can expect wages somewhere between those numbers.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
Employers will want candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree in business, logistics or management or similar. However, years of experience in the logistics, warehouse or inventory field, plus demonstrated management qualifications might suffice.
Those looking for a logistician/scheduler position will need at least an associate's degree in engineering or business.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Communication Skills: Merchandise managers will need to speak with coworkers and customers on a regular basis.
- Leadership Skills: Merchandise managers will need to hire employees and resolve conflicts, as well as keep employees motivated and on-task.
- Critical-Thinking Skills: Merchandise managers will need to devise plans of action and asses those plans regularly.
- Organizational Skills: Multiple orders, people and many moving pieces will keep merchandise managers on their toes.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Merchandise managers will need to be ready when problems arise, or be ready to anticipate problems before they happen.
THE FUTURE OF MERCHANDISE MANAGERS
Increased use of technology and modernization of the inventory process will mean little to no growth for merchandise manager jobs, according to the BLS.