What does a Category Manager do?

Category managers work in the retail world where they find, market, and evaluate products and merchandise for companies. They review products, evaluate suppliers, and develop merchandising initiatives with vendors and suppliers. They work in various retail establishments, including clothing, or food, and examine the aspects of merchandising. This could include the evaluation of supplies or maintenance of levels of inventory

Category managers research current trends and a company’s selling philosophies to procure the best merchandise for the lowest cost; they also assist with the development of selling strategies, product marketing, and sales support. Category managers need fluency with marketing, sales, and supply chain management and must be equal parts creative and analytical when making decisions. Category managers need a minimum bachelor's degree in supply chain management, finance, or business administration; some employers favor an MBA.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Category Manager Salaries

Average Base Pay

$93,792 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
Median: $94K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Category Manager Career Path

Learn how to become a Category Manager, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Category Manager
Sales Leader
See Career Path

Category Manager Insights

Read what Category Manager professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Associate Category Manager
Jan 14, 2021

“We work a lot of late nights and this does not provide a good work life balance.”

Pristyn CarePristyn Care
Category Manager
Aug 29, 2020

“I started by journey as a BDM here and I have got ample opportunities to grow here.”

Category Buying Manager
Oct 3, 2020

“historically they had good progression but reality is now its not a long term career path”

Good Energy (UK)Good Energy (UK)
Customer Insight Manager
Jul 30, 2019

“The building is not the best but this is being addressed by the building of a new HQ.”

Category Manager
Oct 16, 2021

“Be sure to negotiate a good package because you wont have a work life balance.”

AVP- Category Management
Oct 11, 2021

“Good Pay and Good Brand”

Micron TechnologyMicron Technology
Senior Category Manager
May 3, 2021

“Good benefit and working hour is acceptable”

Senior Category Manager
Feb 12, 2021

“PTO and Corporate Holidays are good.”

See More

Category Manager Interviews

Related Careers

Digital Marketing
No skills overlap
Program Manager
13% skills overlap
Project Manager
50% skills overlap
Marketing Manager
25% skills overlap

Category Manager Jobs

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a category manager

When working as a category manager, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Excellent Communication, Negotiation, EXCEL Access, Microsoft Office Suite, and Powerpoint.

The most similar professions to category manager are:
  • Digital Marketing
  • Program Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Marketing Manager

The most common qualifications to become a category manager include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.