Career Development

What Does a Parts Manager Do?

Find out what a parts manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a parts manager.

A parts manager is responsible for managing the inventory of a company’s parts and supplies. They are tasked with ensuring that all employees have access to the parts they need to do their jobs, as well as making sure that these parts are stored in an organized fashion so they can be easily found when needed.

Parts managers may also be responsible for ordering new parts or supplies when existing ones run low. This includes researching potential suppliers and negotiating deals with them to ensure the best possible price on whatever it is the company needs.

Parts Manager Job Duties

Parts managers typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Managing inventory levels by ordering new parts as needed to meet customer demand
  • Maintaining relationships with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of quality products at competitive prices
  • Interpreting engineering drawings and schematics to determine appropriate part specifications
  • Working with purchasing agents to obtain bids from vendors for new orders
  • Ensuring that all paperwork associated with each job is kept in order, including invoices, shipping manifests, and purchase orders
  • Coordinating with customers to schedule delivery of new orders or repairs to existing products
  • Communicating with other departments about orders, shipments, and other pertinent information regarding inventory
  • Coordinating with production teams to ensure that all orders are processed efficiently and on time
  • Maintaining records of inventory levels and ordering new parts as needed to meet demand

Parts Manager Salary & Outlook

Salaries for parts managers vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $56,500 ($27.16/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of parts managers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Demand for automotive parts will depend on the condition of the economy and the production needs of automobile manufacturers. As automotive manufacturing continues to become more efficient, fewer workers will be needed to produce the same number of cars.

Parts Manager Job Requirements

A parts manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A high school diploma or GED certificate is often a minimum requirement for an entry-level parts manager position. Some companies may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business or supply chain management.

Training & Experience: Many parts managers learn the specific processes and procedures of their role while on the job. Training for this role may last for a few months and may include shadowing current parts managers or other employees in the same role. Training often includes learning about the company’s computer systems, inventory management and customer service procedures.

Some parts managers may have previous experience in a related role, such as a parts clerk or a sales associate. These roles provide experience in customer service and working with automotive parts. Parts managers may also have experience in other industries, such as manufacturing or construction.

Certifications & Licenses: Though not required, many parts managers pursue certification through the Professional Truck Driver Institute to improve their qualifications and increase their earning potential.

Parts Manager Skills

Parts managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Leadership: Leadership skills can help you as a parts manager because you may be responsible for supervising other employees. Leadership skills can help you motivate your team and encourage them to work to their full potential. You can also use leadership skills to delegate tasks and motivate your team to complete their assignments.

Communication: Parts managers often communicate with their team and customers. You can use your communication skills to relay information to your team and help them understand company policies. You can also use your communication skills to answer customer questions and provide them with the information they need.

Problem-solving: Parts managers often have to solve problems that arise during the workday. For example, if a customer needs a part that the store doesn’t have in stock, the parts manager may need to find a solution to the problem. This could mean finding a similar part or finding a way to get the part from another store.

Decision-making: Parts managers often have to make decisions about which parts to order and how much to order. This requires them to have a thorough understanding of the company’s sales and production goals, as well as the needs of their customers. Making effective decisions can help parts managers save money and ensure their company has the parts it needs to function.

Organization: Parts managers often use organization skills to keep track of inventory, order new parts and ensure that their team has the parts they need to complete their work. Organization skills can also help you keep track of employee schedules, invoices and other important documents.

Parts Manager Work Environment

Parts managers work in a variety of settings, including auto dealerships, auto and truck repair shops, and parts stores. They may also work for companies that manufacture or distribute auto parts. Most parts managers work full time, and some may work more than 40 hours per week. Parts managers typically work Monday through Friday during regular business hours, although they may occasionally work evenings or weekends to meet customer needs. Parts managers may be required to travel to attend trade shows or to visit suppliers.

Parts Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how parts managers work. Parts managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for a More Flexible Workforce

The need for a more flexible workforce is becoming increasingly important as businesses strive to stay competitive in a rapidly changing economy. This trend is leading to an increased demand for parts managers who are able to work remotely or on short notice.

Parts managers who are able to adapt to this new reality will be in high demand, as they will be able to provide businesses with the flexibility they need to stay successful. In order to take advantage of this trend, parts managers should focus on developing skills that allow them to work independently and manage their own time effectively.

Automation Will Continue to Grow

As automation continues to grow, parts managers will need to learn how to manage and oversee automated systems.

This trend will require parts managers to be familiar with the latest automation technologies and how to use them effectively. They will also need to be able to train employees on how to use these technologies so that they can be used to improve efficiency and productivity.

A Greater Focus on Supply Chain Management

As businesses become more reliant on supply chain management, parts managers will need to develop expertise in this area.

Parts managers will need to be able to manage inventory levels and ensure that products are delivered on time and in the correct quantities. They will also need to be able to identify potential problems in the supply chain and find solutions to fix them.

How to Become a Parts Manager

A career as a parts manager can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to work with people, solve problems, and make things happen. You’ll also have the chance to develop your skills in areas such as logistics, inventory management, and customer service.

To be successful in this role, you need to be able to think strategically and see the big picture. You also need to be able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and stay organized. And finally, you need to be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

Related: How to Write a Parts Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

Parts managers typically start out as parts clerks or parts specialists. With experience, they may be promoted to parts manager or assistant parts manager. Some parts managers eventually become store managers or district managers.

Parts Manager Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are passionate about the machines that we sell, service, and rent. Our parts department is a critical part of keeping our machines running and our customers happy. We are looking for an experienced parts manager to lead our team. The ideal candidate will have experience in the construction or agricultural industry, managing inventory, ordering parts, and working with vendors. They will be highly organized, detail-oriented, and have excellent customer service skills. The parts manager will be responsible for ensuring that our parts department runs smoothly and efficiently.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain an inventory of parts and supplies necessary to meet the demands of the business
  • Order parts and supplies as needed to keep inventory levels at an optimal level
  • Receive and unpack parts and supplies, checking for damage and discrepancies
  • Inspect incoming shipments against purchase orders or invoices to ensure accuracy
  • Stock shelves or racks in a neat and orderly fashion
  • Locate and retrieve parts and supplies as requested by customers or employees
  • Process customer orders and returns in a timely and efficient manner
  • Keep accurate records of all transactions using computerized inventory management systems
  • Generate reports as needed to track inventory levels, trends, or issues
  • Work with vendors to resolve problems with shortages, damaged goods, or billing discrepancies
  • Negotiate pricing discounts or extended payment terms with vendors when possible
  • Train new employees on proper procedures for receiving, stocking, and retrieving parts and supplies

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in automotive parts sales or management
  • Proven track record of achieving sales goals
  • Excellent negotiation and customer service skills
  • Strong leadership and team-building ability
  • Working knowledge of computers and Microsoft Office applications

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or Master’s degree in business or related field
  • 7+ years experience in automotive parts sales or management
  • Experience with inventory management software
  • Familiarity with import/export regulations
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English)

Similar Jobs


What Does a Software Automation Engineer Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Histotechnician Do?