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How to become a General Manager

The most important prerequisite for becoming a general manager is to know the business that you want to manage. Prospective general managers should gain many years of experience in the desired field. For example, if you want to be the GM of a steakhouse, a starting point for some people would be to join the waitstaff, then progress to the role of front of the house supervisor and continue moving up from there. Having deep knowledge of steak and feeling comfortable working in the restaurant industry would increase the candidate's chances as a GM.

A post-secondary degree is not necessary to become a general manager, although some level of required education may be necessary depending on the company. Most general managers hold a bachelor's degree or, at the very least, a high school diploma.

How to become: Operations Manager · Restaurant Manager · Store Manager · Assistant Manager · Manager
These qualifications are required: ASE Certification · Food Handler Certification · ServSafe
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What skills help General Managers find jobs?

  • Analysis skills
  • Basic math
  • Budgeting
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service
  • Employment & labor law
  • English
  • Food service
  • Guest services
  • Hospitality
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Career progression for General Manager

Education levels for General Managers

Based on the requirements of General Manager job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
High school diploma or GED50.7%
Bachelor's degree26.6%
Associate's degree17.9%
Master's degree4.5%
Doctoral degree0.2%
Middle school education0.1%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a General Manager in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$37,900
4 - 8$40,200
8 - 12$46,900
12 - 16$52,800
16 - 20$57,700
20 - 24$60,600
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Common qualifications for General Managers

CPR Certification

AED Certification

ASE Certification

Food Safety Certification


Driver's License

Food Handler Certification

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Common questions about career advices for a General Manager

What skills should I have to be a general manager?

  • The ability to make tough decisions throughout the day.
  • Strong leadership ability.
  • Confident giving orders.
  • Excellent communication, both written and verbal.
  • Very organized and self-motivated.
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities.
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