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General Manager vs. Assistant Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A general manager and an assistant manager are both responsible for overseeing the operations of a business. Though their roles are similar, there are several key differences between these two positions. In this article, we discuss the duties of a general manager and an assistant manager, the qualifications each position requires and the average salary you can expect to earn in each role.

What is a General Manager?

The General Manager is responsible for the overall management of a company or organization. They develop and implement strategies and policies to ensure that the company meets its goals and objectives. The General Manager also oversees the daily operations of the company and manages the staff. They may delegate tasks to the Assistant Manager or other employees, but ultimately they are responsible for the company’s success or failure. The General Manager must be able to make decisions quickly and efficiently in order to keep the company running smoothly.

What is an Assistant Manager?

Assistant Managers are responsible for helping to oversee the daily operations of a business. This can include tasks such as supervising employees, handling customer service issues, managing schedules, and stocking supplies. In some cases, Assistant Managers may also be responsible for training new employees and handling disciplinary issues. Assistant Managers typically report to the general manager or owner of the business. They may also be responsible for opening and closing the business, as well as overseeing shift changes.

General Manager vs. Assistant Manager

Here are the main differences between a general manager and an assistant manager.

Job Duties

General managers oversee the entire business, while assistant managers focus on a specific department or team. An assistant manager’s daily tasks depend on the type of business and their department. They might schedule employees’ work shifts, train new hires, monitor productivity and ensure customers have a positive shopping experience. Assistant managers in customer-facing departments like sales or customer service may greet customers, answer questions and make sure transactions go smoothly. General managers typically spend most of their time in an office, where they review reports, evaluate data and develop strategies for improvement.

Job Requirements

The job requirements for a general manager and an assistant manager vary depending on the industry in which they work. However, most general managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field, along with several years of experience in management. Additionally, many general managers have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a related field. Some industries also require general managers to be licensed, such as in the food service industry.

Assistant managers typically need at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require an associate’s degree or higher. Additionally, assistant managers should have several years of experience working in the same or a similar industry as the one in which they hope to become an assistant manager. Many assistant managers start their careers in entry-level positions and work their way up through the company.

Work Environment

General managers typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to visit locations and meet with employees. They often spend their days completing paperwork and reviewing reports from the staff. Assistant managers usually work in a restaurant or retail store environment. They may work long hours on their feet and interact with customers daily.


The specific skills used on the job by a general manager and an assistant manager can differ depending on the company, but there are some similarities and differences between the two positions. Both general managers and assistant managers need to have excellent communication skills to interact with employees, customers and other stakeholders. They also both need to be able to effectively delegate tasks and manage time.

However, general managers typically have more responsibility than assistant managers, so they need to have stronger leadership skills. They may also need to have more knowledge about the company’s products or services and the industry in general. Additionally, general managers may need to be more adept at financial planning and analysis, as they are often responsible for creating and managing budgets.


The average salary for a general manager is $63,331 per year, while the average salary for an assistant manager is $46,860 per year. The salary for both positions may vary depending on the industry, the size of the company and the location of the job.


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