For Category Managers, yearly average wages total $81K annually. Total cash earnings of Category Managers range from $50K on the low end to $130K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $20K and $10K, respectively. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by geography and experience level. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Category Managers making up 59 percent of survey respondents. Work is enjoyable for Category Managers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$49,756 - $118,390
(Median)
$50K
$81K
$120K
MEDIAN: $80,607
10%
50%
90%

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$9.14 - $40.49
(Median)
$9
$20
$40
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$49,756 - $118,390  
   
Bonus
$1,485 - $20,371  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $10,304  
Commission
$19,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$49,802 - $129,552  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 842
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$9.14 - $40.49  
   
Overtime
$9.72 - $105.70  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$1,485 - $20,371  
   
Commission
$19,000  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $10,304  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$49,802 - $129,552  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 18
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Job Description for Category Manager

A category manager determines the layout of products in a store, using sophisticated demographic data to assess possible product assortment schemes, select an option, ensure the selected scheme is employed, and monitor the scheme's performance. Along with organizing a product assortment scheme, a category manager also creates charts and diagrams so that the company's annual plans are broken down into seasonal and monthly assortment change calendars.

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Category Manager Tasks

  • Develop annual category plans which include current situation analysis, vision and strategy and specific category plans.
  • Narrow categories and work with suppliers to narrow products supplied to the company.
  • Identify leverage opportunities, work with procurement, negotiate contracts, supply agreements and programs.
  • Manage, improve and recommend the product assortment for the company.
  • Verify plans and provide explanations for variances in budgeted sales and gross profit.

Common Career Paths for Category Manager


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There are some Category Managers — though it's uncommon — that transition into Senior Product Managers, where earnings are an average $124K annually. A lot of Category Managers advance their careers by becoming Business Development Managers and National Account Managers. However, those positions offer $8K less and $1K less per year on average.

Category Manager Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Category Manager


Category Managers flock to Kraft Foods, Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $114K lead the pack in compensation.

With a median salary of only $40K (183 percent less than the top paying company), Victoria's Secret lags significantly in the earnings department.

Popular Skills for Category Manager


Survey results imply that Category Managers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Sourcing, Contract Negotiation, Project Management, and Market Research are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 15 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Merchandising, Marketing Management, and Microsoft Word. Most people skilled in Data Analysis are similarly competent in Negotiation and Contract Negotiation.

Pay by Experience Level for Category Manager

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $73K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $90K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $98K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $102K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $86,685

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Category Managers will find that Chicago offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 31 percent. Category Managers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+18 percent), Seattle (+12 percent), Pleasanton (+9 percent), and Los Angeles (+8 percent). Cincinnati is the lowest-paying area, 14 percent south of the national average. Memphis and Phoenix are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 13 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively.

Category Manager Reviews

What is it like working as a Category Manager at Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC?

Category Manager in Tigard:
"Good place to work."
Pros: Had a great leadership development program. Also learned a lot and was able to switch roles after a couple of years to an analyst which I have enjoyed even more.
Cons: Not always happy with the compensation that is given.

What is it like working as a Category Manager?

Category Manager in Chicago:
"Groupon is great!"
Pros: Independence, flexibility, office culture and work environment are great!
Cons: Can be quite demanding on your time.

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Experience Affects Category Manager Salaries




National Average
$87,000


Skills That Affect Category Manager Salaries

up arrow 15%



Market Research
up arrow 4%

Negotiation
up arrow 2%

Strategic Marketing
up arrow 2%

Purchasing
up arrow 1%

Strategic Sales
up arrow 1%

National Average
$87,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Powerpoint
up arrow 4%





Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 111 votes.

Gender

Female
41 %
Male
59 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
26%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 86%
medical benefits
Vision: 74%
dental benefits
None: 7%
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