Learn About Being an Assistant Store Manager

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published December 10, 2019

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

What does an assistant store manager do?

The assistant store manager is responsible for supporting the manager in the daily operations of the store. This includes working with customers and recruiting, hiring and training new employees. And because it is a supervisory position, it also includes overseeing the responsibilities and productivity of the sales associates. Specific duties include:

  • Coaching and supporting other team members

  • Maintaining and monitoring store inventory

  • Greeting and assisting customers when sales associates are busy

  • Processing sales, returns and exchanges and generating and reviewing daily sales reports

  • Interacting with the public via social media and maintaining an online presence

  • Ensuring that the store is clean, safe and presentable for customers

Average salary

Salaries vary according to your geographic location, work history and experience level.

  • Common salary in the U.S.: $13.90 per hour

  • Some salaries range from $7.25 to $32.20 per hour.

Assistant store manager requirements

There are several qualifications required for the position of assistant store manager. They include:

Education

This role typically requires only a high school diploma or GED. Because it is a supervisory position and generally requires experience, some employers allow candidates to substitute a bachelor’s degree for two to three years of experience in the retail industry. Even if you do have the required education, you still may want to consider a bachelor’s degree in business, business management or another related discipline if you intend to pursue a retail management position at a later time.

Training

The majority of the training for this role happens on the job, where newly hired assistant managers learn the processes and procedures of a specific company. Training also happens in associate-level positions before advancing to the role of assistant store manager. Some larger retailers offer management training programs where new hires may spend several days learning the skills and knowledge they need for success in the role. Many college programs also offer management training opportunities and programs that make college graduates more appealing to large retailers. In some cases, especially when the retailer is selling technology, new hires may be expected to complete additional training to obtain complex product knowledge.

Certifications

While candidates are not expected to hold a certification to qualify for a position as assistant store manager, a retail certification can offer proof of a candidate’s drive and ambition while also demonstrating their abilities in key areas like sales and customer service. The most popular certifications for this industry are offered by the philanthropic arm of the National Retail Federation. They include:

Retail Industry Fundamentals Specialist

This certification is ideal for candidates who are looking for a first job in retail or who are developing their workplace-readiness skills. The course material covers the basic customer service and math skills that are used to conduct sales transactions. It also introduces candidates to the retail industry, explores the impact it has on the economy and identifies the diverse jobs that are available.

Customer Service & Sales Certified Specialist

This certification is designed for someone interested in obtaining or who is currently holding a customer-facing role in retail. Through this certification, candidates will gain an in-depth understanding of the customer life cycle, develop strategies to engage customers, assess their needs and close sales. 

Business of Retail Certified Specialist

This certification is well-suited for candidates who are interested in advancing their careers in the retail industry. In this course, candidates will gain an understanding of marketing, merchandising, operations, loss prevention and workplace safety. It also covers the best practices for how to plan a career path and seek promotions.

Skills

Several skill sets can help you succeed in the role of assistant store manager. They include:

Communication

Assistant store managers need excellent communication skills. They need to be able to with a team to share sales strategies, goals and clear instructions for daily responsibilities. They also need to be able to communicate with customers to explain information about products and use active listening skills to understand what products will best meet a customer’s needs. They also need to be able to read non-verbal cues, including but not limited to body language, facial expression and tone of voice to determine how a message is being received and adjust their delivery accordingly.

Interpersonal

These are the "people skills" that enable assistant store managers to be effective leaders. Interpersonal skills include cooperation and teamwork, impulse control and empathy. Assistant store managers must be able to work as part of a team while motivating employees to perform at their best. They need impulse control to stay focused in a busy, fast-paced environment and ignore distractions that can take them off task. They also need empathy to understand different perspectives and offer employees compassionate leadership.

Problem-solving

These skills are essential in this role to ensure customers are satisfied at the end of each store visit. Assistant store managers must rapidly gather and analyze information and process that information to identify a solution. 

Multitasking

Assistant store managers often face interruptions from employees who need their help. They must be able to multi-task to accomplish their daily, weekly and monthly responsibilities, despite those interruptions.

Technical

These refer to math and computer-centric skills that are necessary for this role. Assistant store managers are often required to conduct inventories. They may be expected to run and review financial reports. They must also operate a computer to access reports and operate the store’s point-of-sale system to process returns or exchanges. They must also know to teach these responsibilities to new hires.

Assistant store manager work environment

Assistant store managers typically work in retail environments with the following characteristics:

  • Long hours standing on your feet

  • Using a computer, printer, phones and other office equipment

  • Facilitating communication between employees, customers and management

  • May be required to work evenings, weekend or on holidays

How to become an assistant store manager

These are the typical steps you should take to pursue a position as an assistant store manager:

1. Pursue an education.

Perform a search of all the opening assistant store manager positions in your geographic area. Determine the level of education required to fill the role. Typically only a high school diploma or GED is required, although some candidates use a bachelor’s degree to substitute for work experience.

2. Obtain experience.

Because this is a management position, you will typically be required to bring at least two or more years of experience in a retail environment to the position. If you don’t have any experience, start by pursuing an entry-level associate sales position.

3. Acquire certifications.

A certification can teach you the sales and customer service skills that will make you desirable to employers, even if you lack significant retail experience. Consider pursuing a retail certification to obtain a competitive edge over other candidates.

4. Update your resume.

Once you have the required education, experience and certifications, update your resume. Include your highest level of education as well as relevant experience and certifications you have completed. For each position you have held, highlight responsibilities where you used skills that can transfer to the role of assistant store manager.

5. Apply for jobs.

Search for open assistant store manager positions in your area. Identify the positions for which you are most qualified based on your experience and education. Apply using your updated resume and a cover letter that you have customized for each specific role.

Assistant store manager job description example

Bonus Room Storage is seeking an enthusiastic and ambitious individual for the role of assistant store manager. This person will be responsible for developing customer relationships by identifying their storage needs and providing them with the perfect solution. They are expected to recruit, train and coach new team members as well as provide managerial support for the store manager. The ideal candidate possesses strong selling skills, the ability to anticipate customer needs and problem-solving skills to quickly identify solutions for customer problems. Two to three years of management experience or a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline is required.

Related careers

  • Retail store manager

  • Head cashier

  • Inventory specialist

  • Merchandiser


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