The Average Salary of a General Manager


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for management professionals will grow by 2 percent through 2016, resulting in the creation of 26,000 new jobs for general managers. A general manager is a top-level executive or manager in a business who is responsible for a number of tasks, including writing policies, developing strategic plans, and overseeing daily activities of the entire organization. The average salary of a general manager depends upon a number of factors including his length of employment, industry, and geographical location, reports

Work Experience

  • A general manager's salary depends largely upon how much work experience she has in the field. According to, in September 2009, general managers with four or less years of work experience earned an average salary of between $35,390 and $60,597. The average salary range for five to nine years of experience was $41,458 to $71,729. With 10 to 18 years of experience, general managers averaged between $48,992 and $86,184. General managers with 20 years of experience or more earned between $55,841 and $102,527.

Industry Type

  • In Septemer 2009, industry also influenced the average salary of general managers. The manufacturing and distribution industry was the highest-paying area, with salaries between $56,064 and $96,330. The shipping and transportation industry paid between $49,949 and $82,906, while restaurants paid between $36,918 to $57,634 and were the lowest-paying employers. General managers working in retail averaged between $41,808 and $67,515.

Educational Background

  • The education level of general managers also affects average salary ranges. The highest paid managers held MBA degrees, earning between $65,661 and $124,396. Those with only high school diplomas averaged the lowest salaries at between $40,990 and $69,023. General managers who earned Bachelors of Science, Arts or Business Administration degrees were paid maximum average salaries of $98,778, $90,365 and $79,624, respectively.


  • The area where a general manager works also affects her salary range. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in May 2008, the areas with the highest concentration of general managers were the District of Columbia and Alaska, where workers earned average salaries of $123,240 and $77,000, respectively. The states with the highest annual average pay for general managers were New Jersey at $152,390 and Washington at $132,470.


  • In September 2009, many managers received additional benefits that increased their overall compensation packages. General managers earned an average of between 1.5 and 2.9 weeks of paid vacation and average annual bonuses of between $2,492 and $9,789. Additionally, general managers received yearly commission payments of between $5,045 and $11,685 and average annual profit sharing payments of between $1,750 and $5,084. Other common benefits for general managers included paid holidays and sick days, 401k retirement plans, life or disability insurance, company cars or cell phones and tuition reimbursement for educational courses.


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