Lead Category Manager Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Lead Category Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Lead Category Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Lead Category Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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How to Become a category manager

If you're considering starting your Category Manager career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Category Manager and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Category Manager career.
Contents

1

Earn a Degree

To begin your Category Manager career path, a Bachelor's Degree in Business or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Category Manager internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

2

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Category Manager, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Category Manager field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Category Manager specialty.

3

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Category Manager

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in Business or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Category Manager. In general, you can become a Category Manager after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Category Manager role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified purchasing manager.

4

Advance in Your Category Manager Career

Following entry-level, there are several Category Manager career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Category Manager to progress to the senior category manager position. Each advanced Category Manager position requires approximately 2 years of experience at each level to advance in your Category Manager career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Category Manager career path.

5

Continued Education for Your Category Manager Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Category Manager career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Graduate Degree in Business can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Graduate Degree typically make $141,854 compared to $62,013 for those without that type of degree.

Seniority Levels

L4

Lead Category Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
$99,988 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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L5

Principal Category Manager

No Years of Experience Reports
$84,608 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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L6

Associate Director of Sales

5 - 7Years of Experience
$78,190 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

Lead Category Manager Career Path

$130K
$115K
$100K
$85K
$70K
L4
L6
Seniority Levels

Related careers in the Operations Industry

Interested in other Operations careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Lead Category Manager skills. Discover some of the most common Lead Category Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.