Supervisor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Supervisor, or Team Leader, is responsible for overseeing a group of employees within a professional setting. Their duties include relaying information between their team and upper management, guiding their team through daily work activities or projects and monitoring employee performance to ensure maximum productivity.

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Supervisor duties and responsibilities 

A Supervisor’s main goal is to manage a team of employees by providing constant feedback and communicating the company’s goals. Some of their primary day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Managing the workflow of their employees, creating team schedules and delegating tasks
  • Assessing the work performance of their employees and identifying areas that need improvement
  • Ensuring that business goals, deadlines and performance standards are met
  • Training and onboarding new hires to make sure they understand their roles
  • Setting goals for workers and making sure they comply with the company’s plans and vision
  • Recommend new employees to the human resources team based on an assessment of their performance
  • Reporting performance records and evaluations to HR and senior management
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What does a Supervisor do? 

Supervisors typically work for corporations across industries in a variety of different professional settings, including offices, construction sites or manufacturing plants. They work closely with a set number of employees to ensure they meet organizational standards and respective quotas. Their job is to use their knowledge of company culture and procedures to train new hires and ensure that employees uphold the values of their company through daily work activities. They may also be responsible for writing performance evaluations and communicating with members of the human resources department about employees.

Supervisor skills and qualifications

Supervisors are crucial assets for any business. By leading teams of employees, managing tasks and coming up with solutions, they help reduce your workload and keep the workplace clean and organized, so the position demands a strong set of skills, such as:

  • Advanced leadership and team management skills
  • Attention to detail and problem-solving skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • Expertise in a specific industry
  • Knowledge of company policies
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to maintain a consistent teamwork mentality
  • Computer skills and knowledge of collaboration tools

Supervisor salary expectations 

Supervisors earn an average of $14.73 per hour in the United States. This pay rate may vary depending on a candidate’s education, level of experience and industry.

Supervisor education and training requirements 

Some employers accept applicants with only a high school diploma for Supervisor positions. However, most prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in business management or office administration, depending on the scope of the role and organization. Some companies also hire Supervisors who have less education if they have prior experience in leadership roles or project management. If you’re looking to hire Supervisors in a specific industry, it’s good to consider someone who has prior education or certification in that field.

Supervisor experience requirements 

While it’s good to consider hiring Supervisors with experience in the business industry, it’s also a good idea to look for candidates with experience in your specific field. For instance, employers may decide to promote a lower-level worker into a Supervisor role within the same industry. This is because Supervisors should know about the practices, techniques and equipment used in your firm. Many Supervisors work their way up in their specific industry for this reason, though employers may also choose to hire applicants with prior leadership experience or relevant experience in a similar field.

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Frequently asked questions about Supervisors


What is the difference between a Supervisor and an Assistant Manager?

The difference between a Supervisor and an Assistant Manager is seniority and the scope of their job responsibilities. For example, a Supervisor generally has previous experience working in an entry-level role. This experience qualifies them to take on a leadership role for employees during a work shift. In contrast, Assistant Managers typically have previous experience in a Supervisor role and therefore work closely with the Manager to perform more tasks relating to payroll, hiring, budgeting and handling complex customer needs.

Assistant Managers may be responsible for employees in the absence of the Manager and the Supervisor. However, Supervisors typically have a more direct responsibility to delegating tasks among employees and ensuring productivity.


What are the daily duties of a Supervisor?

On a typical day, a Supervisor starts by reviewing the employees on schedule for their shift. They speak with a management professional, either in-person or over the phone, to receive quota details and other important information to relay to employees. They greet employees as they arrive and speak with them to determine goals and tasks for them to complete. Throughout the shift, the Supervisor monitors employee activities, answers employee questions and ensures that employees receive adequate break times.


What makes a good Supervisor?

A good Supervisor has a natural ability to lead, enabling them to enforce company policies and develop strategies to encourage productivity among employees. They have excellent interpersonal communication, allowing them to adjust their communication tactics to speak with lower-level employees or upper management professions. Further, a good Supervisor cares about the well-being of their team members and makes sure they have the resources they need to complete their jobs well. A good Supervisor also understands their weaknesses as a leader and strives to improve those areas to effectively perform their job duties.


Who does a Supervisor report to?

Supervisors typically report to a Department Manager or General Manager at their workplace. These individuals act as a point of communication between Supervisors and lower-level employees. They also act as the overarching decision-makers when hiring new employees, instituting new company policies or disciplining employee actions. They may also report to an Assistant Manager if the Manager is unavailable.

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