Area Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

An Area Manager, or Regional Manager, has operational and financial responsibility for a defined region or territory. Their duties include providing training and development for staff, ensuring quality consistency across the region and increasing sales and profitability in their region.


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Area Manager duties and responsibilities

Area Managers use leadership and problem-solving skills to manage managers in certain geographical locations. Area Managers have the following responsibilities:

  • Recruit, hire and train new managers in their direct area
  • Offer consultation and recommendations to store managers on overcoming operations challenges
  • Monitor sales and work toward meeting quarterly objectives
  • Minimize cost and labor by reviewing schedules and inventory use
  • Visit stores to evaluate operations, cleanliness and efficiency of each area


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What does an Area Manager do?

Area Managers are hired by a variety of organizations to oversee the company’s day-to-day operations in a designated territory or region. The daily responsibilities of these professionals vary but often involve overseeing budgeting, quality, P&L statements, hiring and training. They also perform duties that include setting financial goals, establishing sales targets, working with upper management and using various business finance principles to accomplish tasks. Some Area Managers travel between several offices within their territory to perform their duties.


Area Manager skills and qualifications

Successful Area Managers often have certain prerequisites or qualifications, which include:

  • Leadership: Strongly developed leadership skills are crucial as an Area Manager. Area Managers will use advanced leadership skills to inspire, mentor and encourage store-level managers to reach quarterly and annual goals.
  • Communication: Because an Area Manager may be responsible for a large number of managers in a certain area, they may often have to manage from a distance. Strong written and verbal communication skills are important in this role.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics and reporting skills are useful as an Area Manager. Area Managers will use basic to intermediate mathematical skills to report costs, profits and losses to district management.
  • Problem-solving: It is the responsibility of the Area Manager to identify and overcome problems. They may deal with employment, operation or inventory cost challenges and will need to develop strategies to solve them.


Area Manager salary expectations

The average yearly salary for an Area Manager is $59,718. Area Manager salaries may vary depending on geographical location, size of the Area Managed and the industry in which the Area Manager works. An Area Manager that manages a large group of managers in a technical capacity can expect to earn more than an entry-level Area Manager who oversees a smaller number of managers in the retail industry. The level of experience and certifications can also affect the expected salary. An Area Manager with more specialized experience can expect to earn a higher salary.


Area Manager education and training requirements

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a business-related industry is often required to become an Area Manager. Area Managers may come from programs in business administration, marketing, business leadership or sales. Some candidates will have previous training, either in an internship role or in a previous management position. Some Area Managers will work their way up from store-level supervisor to assistant manager, general manager and then Area Manager. Area managers may continue their training in order to obtain a position as a district manager in the same industry.


Area Manager experience requirements

Previous experience is often required to become an Area Manager. Candidates may come from other industries in a management role or they may move from a store-level manager role to Area Manager with additional on-the-job training. Prior experience in the industry is also often required. Area Managers can work in many different industries including retail, food, manufacturing and technology.


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Frequently asked questions about Area Managers


What makes a good Area Manager?

Area Managers require a broad range of skills in order to be successful, as they work directly with employees and clients and also oversee various financial data for an organization. The following are  common characteristics seen among successful Area Managers:

  • They possess strong financial skills that allow them to contribute to the revenue and profits in their area.
  • They have solid communication abilities and can communicate effectively with a variety of audiences, including employees, clients and upper management.
  • They have good customer-facing skills and are able to interact with customers in a positive way to promote excellent customer satisfaction.
  • They regularly offer workplace coaching and mentoring opportunities for the employees they oversee.
  • They work well under pressure.
  • They possess good multitasking abilities and successfully switch between various tasks with ease.
  • They allow their teams and managers to work on their own and don’t spend their days micromanaging other employees in their region.


What's the difference between an Area Manager and Divisional Manager?

Area Managers are middle- to senior-management professionals who oversee the business functions of a company within a set region and report directly to a Managing Director or another chief executive. The primary focus of an Area Manager is their specific geographic region in which they are in charge.

Divisional Managers are middle to senior management professionals who have responsibility for a particular division within a company. For example, if a company offers both electronic products and software, a Division Manager would oversee one of those divisions.


Is a Regional Manager higher than a Manager?

Whether a Regional Manager is considered an upper-level employee compared to a manager is dependent on the company in which they work. Some companies view managers and Regional Managers as the same in terms of status, whereas other companies put Regional Managers in charge of overseeing other managers within their region.


Who reports to an Area Manager?

Who reports to an Area Manager will depend on the type of company and the region in which the Area Manager works. For example, if an Area Manager works for a retail company and oversees several retail stores within their set territory, the manager of each individual retail store in that territory would report to the Area Manager. Other employees that may report to an Area Manager include sales staff and customer service employees.

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