How do I Become a Retail Supervisor?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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The position of retail supervisor is one that a person can work up to from an entry level job. Typically, a person interested in this job, secures it by gaining experience in retail work before applying. In most cases, an individual who wants to become a retail supervisor can do so with a high school or General Educational Development (GED) diploma. College is usually not a requirement. Going to college and earning a bachelor’s degree may make advancing to a supervisory position easier, however.

While many people think of college as preparation for a career, an individual often can start acquiring important work skills while in high school. For example, a retail supervisor needs excellent communication, organizational, and math skills. These are things an individual can begin to work on while in high school. If his high school also offers courses in accounting, economics, and business, these courses can help a person succeed in his retail career as well.


Though having a college degree isn’t mandatory for someone who wants to become a retail supervisor, securing one may translate into more job opportunities. There are some companies that do require their new supervisors to have associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. Even if a company doesn’t specifically require a degree, having one can make a job applicant more competitive. When a hiring manager reviews resumes, a candidate with a degree may be given preference over an applicant who has only a diploma. Likewise, a retail company may allow a candidate with a degree to advance faster than one who has a high school diploma or GED.

If an individual does decide to go to college in preparation to become a retail supervisor, there are some majors that may be especially suited to this career. Among them are business, accounting, and marketing, and courses in communication, psychology, and management may prove helpful as well. An individual who wants to become a retail supervisor may do so with a bachelor’s degree in just about any major, however. Some aspiring retail supervisors may also secure internships to gain the experience they need to supervise others. This may allow them to advance to supervising more quickly.

For many, becoming a retail supervisor means working up to the position. This may mean starting on the sales floor or working as a cashier and gradually gaining experience that will help the candidate to qualify for the position. Some companies require a couple of years of retail experience, but others may prefer to hire supervisors with much more experience. Generally, retail companies provide training for their new supervisors, though the length and content of the training may vary from company to company.


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