Management

Managers are leaders inside of an organization. They oversee the work of individual and teams of employees and provide direction and guidance. They must know how and when to delegate work to other workers and managers and when it is necessary to be directly involved.

Managers in specific divisions have different responsibilities, depending on their job's focus. An employee-training manager may supervise the development and implementation of company training programs, whereas a construction manager would oversee the planning and execution of a building project. They either define the idea and purpose of the project or communicate it to subordinates in a clear and motivating fashion.

While managers may focus on different aspects and functions of an organization or company, their basic priorities are to manage and coordinate all aspects of a project, whether their focus is elementary school students or ranch hands, five employees or five hundred. Because they direct and coordinate the components (human or otherwise) of a project, they must have a sound understanding of all aspects of the project. It is their responsibility to guide the team's work, to evaluate the quality and pace of completion, and to provide support and clarity through the process.

There can be managers at different levels in a company or organization and can include everyone from so-called "middle managers" to company executives.

Duties in these positions can include:

  • Developing training materials, guidelines, and meetings to teach or refine skill sets for employees
  • Reviewing employee performances and evaluating the quality of their work
  • Planning future projects and actions in detail
  • Coordinating employees and resources
  • Supervising staff and completed work
  • Constructing and calculating budgets and timelines

BECOMING A MANAGER

It is a manager's job to guide a project to successful completion, and monitor the progress along the way. How exactly someone knows how to do that it may truly be the 'special sauce' of careers in management..

The critical ingredients to become a manager are education, experience, and people skills. Of course, not every person promoted to a management position is suited for the job, but successful managers bring out the best in the people they lead. This requires the manager to be knowledgeable about the company's work or project and to also have a deep understanding of how to guide, direct, motivate, and inspire their workers. Having good people skills, communication skills, and interest in the work and the employees are highly useful for a career in management.

Enrolling in accredited training programs or schools can speed along the process, and can provide specific help in getting the future worker prepared for certification, licensing, and other requirements. Alternatively, on-the-job training may be offered, where the worker starts at an entry-level positions, learns as he or she works, until he or she is ready to be promoted or take exams for certification. For less complicated work, like with general household repair jobs, it may be enough for entry-level workers to shadow experienced ones and learn skills on the job. More formal apprenticeships may also be offered for longer periods.

The critical ingredients to become a manager are education, experience, and people skills. Of course, not every person promoted to a management position is suited for the job, but successful managers bring out the best in the people they lead. This requires the manager to be knowledgeable about the company's work or project and to also have a deep understanding of how to guide, direct, motivate, and inspire their workers. Having good people skills, communication skills, and interest in the work and the employees are highly useful for a career in management.

It takes time, education, and effort for an employee to work his or her way up to a management position. Few (if any) people dive right into a management position at the start of their career. It is possible for someone to work their way to management from an entry-level position, without a college degree, but it substantially more difficult. A bachelor's degree, and in some cases a master's, is a general-but not absolute-requirement. Further in a worker's career, additional training and education l can be a good addition to someone looking to advance their career or improve their skills. Certificate programs are offered through universities and other organizations, and companies sometimes arrange for training for promising managers.

IMPORTANT QUALITIES

  • Communication skills Because managers lead and direct teams of employees, they must be able to clearly explain the objectives and expectations of a project. They must strike a balance between motivating and regulating employees and their work. That balance relies on the manager's ability to communicate the vision for the project, the improvements that need to be made, and the employees' understanding of the expectations they need to meet. Excellent communication skills are imperative here.
  • Critical-thinking skills. Few projects run smoothly, much less exactly the way they were designed. Managers must be able to design, implement, and reconfigure an objective or project, but they must also be ready to whip out their problem-solving skills. Being able to analyze a situation or problem and find a solution is an essential aspect of a manager's responsibilities.
  • Decision-making skills. When it comes down to the wire, the manager makes the call. Knowing when and why to decide on a course of action takes time and experience to learn. Because the manager is analyzing the larger picture, they must be able to make decisions based on their understanding and awareness of all the factors involved.
  • Interpersonal skills. A good manager knows how to navigate different employees' personalities, motivations, and capabilities. Managers must be trustworthy and approachable to workers who need help and direction. Relationships between coworkers and teammates can be unsteady at times, and knowing the right approach to take in a given situation relies on solid people skills.
  • Leadership skills. A leader must convince people he is worth following! They must be able to motivate and communicate effectively in order to produce successful work. .

JOB OUTLOOK

The competitive nature of these positions means an applicant’s qualifications should be as strong as possible. In some fields, a master’s degree will go a long way, while in others, years of proven work experience will be valued more. Even with growth projected to be on par with the national average for all occupations, there are not many management positions available at any given time. There may be more growth in the computer and information technology field than in the healthcare industry, which changes the projections. As older workers retire, new opportunities will open up, of course.

  Occupation Description Entry-Level Education 2012 Median Pay
Administrative services managers Administrative services managers

Administrative services managers plan, direct, and coordinate supportive services of an organization. Their specific responsibilities vary by the type of organization and may include keeping records, distributing mail, and planning and maintaining facilities.'

Bachelor's degree $81,080
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in a product or service. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.'

Bachelor's degree $115,750
Architectural and engineering managers Architectural and engineering managers

Architectural and engineering managers plan, coordinate, and direct activities in architectural and engineering companies.'

Bachelor's degree $124,870
Compensation and benefits managers Compensation and benefits managers

Compensation managers plan, direct, and coordinate how much an organization pays its employees and how employees are paid. Benefits managers plan, direct, and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits that an organization offers its employees.'

Bachelor's degree $95,250
Computer and information systems managers Computer and information systems managers

Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals.'

Bachelor's degree $120,950
Construction managers Construction managers

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from development to completion.'

Bachelor's degree $82,790
Elementary, middle, and high school principals Elementary, middle, and high school principals

Elementary, middle, and high school principals are responsible for managing all school operations. They manage daily school activities, coordinate curricula, and oversee teachers and other school staff to provide a safe and productive learning environment for students.'

Master's degree $0
Emergency management directors Emergency management directors

Emergency management directors prepare plans and procedures for responding to natural disasters or other emergencies. They also lead the response during and after emergencies, often in coordination with fire and law enforcement officials, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.'

Bachelor's degree $59,770
Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers run establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products.' High school diploma or equivalent $69,300
Financial managers Financial managers Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.' Bachelor's degree $109,740
Food service managers Food service managers Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages to customers. Managers ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience. ' High school diploma or equivalent $47,960
Human resources managers Human resources managers

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.'

Bachelor's degree $99,720
Industrial production managers Industrial production managers

Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.'

Bachelor's degree $89,190
Lodging managers Lodging managers

Lodging managers ensure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience at a hotel, motel, or other types of establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the establishment is run efficiently and profitably.'

High school diploma or equivalent $46,810
Medical and health services managers Medical and health services managers

Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They might manage an entire facility or specialize in managing a specific clinical area or department, or manage a medical practice for a group of physicians. Medical and health services managers must be able to adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.'

Bachelor's degree $88,580
Natural sciences managers Natural sciences managers

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.'

Bachelor's degree $115,730
Postsecondary education administrators Postsecondary education administrators

Postsecondary education administrators oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities. Their job duties vary depending on the area of the college they manage, such as admissions, student life, or the office of the registrar.'

Master's degree $86,490
Preschool and childcare center directors Preschool and childcare center directors

Preschool and childcare center directors direct and lead staffs, oversee daily activities, and prepare plans and budgets. They are responsible for all aspects of their center’s program. '

Bachelor's degree $43,950
Property, real estate, and community association managers Property, real estate, and community association managers Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They make sure the property looks nice, operates smoothly, and preserves its resale value.' High school diploma or equivalent $52,610
Public relations and fundraising managers Public relations and fundraising managers Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.' Bachelor's degree $95,450
Sales managers Sales managers

Sales managers direct sales teams of organizations. They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for the sales representatives of the organization.'

Bachelor's degree $105,260
Social and community service managers Social and community service managers

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They direct and lead staff who provide services to the public.'

Bachelor's degree $59,970
Top executives Top executives

Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.'

Bachelor's degree $101,650
Training and development managers Training and development managers

Training and development managers plan, direct, and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees. They also oversee a staff of training and development specialists.'

Bachelor's degree $95,400
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