13 management careers (with primary duties and salaries)

Updated 17 July 2023

Image description

A woman in business attire stands next to a list with the title "Management careers" and these items:

- Contract manager
- Project manager
- Finance manager
- Product manager
- Insurance manager
- Communications director

Working as a manager for an organisation can have several advantages. Managers typically significantly influence company culture and can earn a good salary. If you're looking for a career as a manager, understanding the managerial roles that suit your skills, industry experience, interests and goals is important. In this article, we explain what management careers are and outline 13 types of manager careers, including the primary duties and average salaries for each.

What are management careers?

Management careers involve overseeing an organisation's operations and employees. Companies often require managers to have a high level of experience and in-depth knowledge of the specific business or industry they work in. Larger organisations typically divide their managerial positions into the following four types:

Executive managers

Executive managers are top-level managers who make important business decisions for the company, including restructuring departments and launching new products. Their job titles often have the word 'chief', such as chief financial officer, chief security officer and chief executive officer. An executive manager's responsibilities can also include planning and overseeing a company's long-term growth plans, deciding when to take a business public and approving strategic partnerships with other companies.

Middle managers

Middle managers report to executive managers and oversee the implementation of company goals at departmental levels. Their job titles often include the word 'director', such as sales director or director of operations. A middle manager's duties may involve coordinating communication between departments and company executives, mentoring and training lower-level managers for career advancement and helping top-level managers develop and implement growth strategies.

First-line managers

If you're looking for an entry-level position as a manager, you may consider a first-line managerial job. This role involves overseeing the work of non-management employees and ensuring they meet an organisation's goals. It can also include communicating their needs to middle managers.

Team leaders

These entry-level management roles entail overseeing specific tasks, projects or products. Team leaders can work with other managers to ensure a company delivers quality work on time. They may also hire and train new employees and assign tasks.

13 management careers

Different management positions have various requirements and expectations. Here are 13 careers in management, including their primary duties and average salaries:

1. Retail manager

National average salary: £26,360 per year

Primary duties: Retail managers are professionals who oversee a store's daily operations. They can manage sales floors, develop opening and closing schedules and hire and train junior employees. Their responsibilities can also include managing inventory and sales records, maintaining cash registers, replenishing stock and ensuring the store has adequate sales personnel. Some stores may require managers to provide daily sales reports, monitor the floor for safety and cleanliness, and communicate employee concerns and customer feedback to store executives.

Related: What is a retail manager CV and how to write one

2. Office manager

National average salary: £28,485 per year

Primary duties: Office managers coordinate and oversee staff in a company's offices. They can assign projects, monitor employees' performance, handle confidential records, chair employee meetings, manage office budgets and order supplies. They can also have human resource (HR) responsibilities, such as hiring and training new staff. These types of managers can work in various industries and often have opportunities for promotion. Office management may be the career for you if you enjoy working with people and can perform well under pressure.

Related: Office manager skills (with definition and examples)

3. Restaurant manager

National average salary: £29,754 per year

Primary duties: Restaurant managers oversee dining establishments. Their responsibilities include planning menus that reflect the restaurant's overall theme and customer demand, supervising staff to ensure they arrive on time and fulfil their duties and resolving customer complaints. Depending on the type of establishment, they may also manage budgets and expenses, order and track supplies and ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.

Related: Restaurant management: duties, salary and essential skills

4. Chief information officer (CIO)

National average salary: £32,964 per year

Primary duties: CIOs are highly experienced information technology (IT) specialists who deploy and manage a company's computer technology system. They ensure an organisation's IT system complements its business objectives. Their duties can also include designing and implementing IT strategies, sourcing IT vendors and negotiating contacts, training in-house IT staff and updating other executives on the company's IT status. CIOs can also develop intrusion detection and prevention systems to protect an organisation's network from cyber threats.

Related: How to become a chief information officer (plus duties)

5. Foreman

National average salary: £36,679 per year

Primary duties: A foreman supervises employees or subcontractors on a construction project and is responsible for ensuring their safety at work. Their duties may include updating senior management on a project's progress and communicating employees' needs. Foremen may also order supplies, ensure compliance with safety standards, assign tasks, oversee on-site operations and train and mentor junior employees and apprentices.

Related: What does a foreman do? (With duties and requirements)

6. Business development manager

National average salary: £38,289 per year

Primary duties: Business development managers help organisations make strategic decisions to maximise new opportunities, such as technological advancements. Their role can include analysing a company's internal functions and evaluating competitors' operations to identify areas for improvement. They can also conduct consumer research to help organisations customise their products and advertising campaigns to their target market.

7. HR manager

National average salary: £41,517 per year

Primary duties: HR managers' main responsibility is to support a company's employees and ensure they have appropriate work environments and the required expertise and tools to perform their duties. Their role can also include screening and hiring new staff, creating staff training protocols, processing payrolls, establishing safe work environments and creating organisational policies. HR professionals can also support employees in their professional development.

Related: What is a human resource (HR) professional? (With roles)

8. Contract manager

National average salary: £44,023 per year

Primary duties: Contract managers negotiate, write and revise contracts for companies. They can work for diverse organisations, such as insurance companies, financial services providers and law firms. Their responsibilities can include overseeing the accuracy of contract details, creating contracts that help companies reach their goals and ensuring agreements meet legal requirements. They can also approve contract conditions, use estimators to ensure contract costs are reasonable and evaluate proposals for potential risks.

9. Project manager

National average salary: £44,724 per year

Primary duties: Project managers are responsible for the overall planning and completion of projects. They can screen and hire project teams, find contractors and negotiate their wages, assign tasks to team members and close a project once it's complete. They typically communicate with project owners to understand their expectations and update them regularly on projects' progress. A career in this role may require a bachelor's degree in project management, business law, business management or managerial economics.

10. Finance manager

National average salary: £44,876 per year

Primary duties: Finance managers are specialists who oversee an organisation's finances and help it plan its profits, raise and allocate funds and evaluate financial performance. They can also lead a team of financial experts to create and track budgets. A career in finance management typically requires a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or business management. Because this is a higher-level management position, you may also need industry experience and professional certifications, such as a Certified Public Accountant.

Related: What does a personal finance manager do? (With skills)

11. Product manager

National average salary: £53,625 per year

Primary duties: Product managers are experts who oversee a product's lifecycle, from planning to production, advertising, pricing and launch. They typically conduct market research to identify popular products, evaluate the success of competitors' products and determine customers' needs. They can also create product management strategies to ensure products meet the company's goals and address customers' needs. A product manager's duties may include generating ideas for new products, identifying improvements to existing products and updating company executives on product development progress.


  • How to get into product management (Requirements and skills)

  • How much does a product manager make (with duties and tips)

12. Insurance manager

National average salary: £55,746 per year

Primary duties: Insurance managers typically supervise the employees of an insurance firm, including agents, underwriters and actuaries. They can process agents' commissions, investigate and approve claims and create filing systems to track client records. These managers may also develop and enforce operation policies, work with appraisers and actuaries to set premiums and update executives on the company's financial status.

Related: List of 14 insurance careers plus salary information

13. Communications director

National average salary: £66,872 per year

Primary duties: Communication directors develop communication material about the company to share with employees, clients, media outlets and development partners. They typically work with a team to create campaign materials and write press releases and product descriptions. They can also interact with clients and are often responsible for managing a company's communications budget, promoting product launches and ensuring the organisation maintains a consistent brand voice across its communication materials.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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