Hiring a Category Manager: Job Description, Pay & More

There is high demand in the job market for category managers. From 2012 to 2021, available jobs increased by over 160 percent, and growth is expected to steady over the next decade.

We know how important they are to help a goods-based company run, so it’s essential to develop an accurate, detailed job description, ask the right interview questions, and know that the compensation you’re offering is in line with market standards.

So let’s go through some of these details when hiring a category manager so you can make the best addition for your business.

Nailing the Category Manager Job Description

The category manager job has a wide range of responsibilities, all with the goal of creating and increasing customer satisfaction and efficiency for a business selling its goods and services.

Category managers oversee both physical stores and online retail.

These responsibilities can include:

  • Researching and analyzing customer behavior
  • Developing strategies for increasing customer satisfaction
  • Establishing and maintaining strong relationships and communication within the supply chain
  • Assessing products within the category and determining which have the highest and lowest demand
  • Determining how to address low-demand products
  • Analyzing sales of and developing goals for category products
  • Planning budgets, marketing, inventory, pricing, and positioning for products
  • Working with management to help sell product in line with company goals

Category manager duties often cross paths with other departments and functions, such as sales, marketing, product development, and suppliers.

Requirements and Qualifications

Once you’ve locked down the responsibilities, make sure to flesh out all of the requirements and qualifications you’ll need for the position. This can change from store to store, so tailor this in the job descriptions to your specific needs.

Detail if you’re looking for someone to help with category management at a store or with e-commerce initiatives. Some roles blend both! But whatever your needs are will be important to note, as you’ll have applicants with varying experience applying to this role.

Skills for a Category Manager

Some of these requirements could be having certain skill sets.

These can include:

  • Category and product knowledge
  • Research, data analysis, and interpretation of said data
  • Procurement experience
  • Written and oral communication
  • Negotiation skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making
  • Sales and marketing
  • Leadership
  • Team management

If you need a certain length of experience with these, too, make sure to note that.


You’ll need to decide what level of experience and education matters most to your team and the role.

Many employers want a category manager to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business or marketing. Some candidates may also have advanced degrees like an MBA.

Various institutions and associations offer certifications in category management, and they require years of courses and experience to obtain.

Category Manager Pay

As we’d mentioned before, category managers are expected to see pretty consistent demand over the next half decade, according to the BLS.

The bureau also reports the average pay for this role and similar roles is around $75,000 per year. However, this differs based on the candidate’s experience, your location, their education level, and other factors.

Category Manager Interview Questions

Here are some interview questions you can ask in your next category manager interview:

  • Can you share an example of a successful product launch you were a part of?
  • Tell me about a time you had to write a long-term strategy. How did you approach it?
  • What tools do you use to manage communication with a variety of internal and external stakeholders?
  • How do you balance the needs of the customer with the needs of the organization?
  • What market research methods do you think would be most effective for a company like ours, and why?

Finding the Right Category Manager Hire

We know how tough the hiring process can be—we do it for a living!

If you need help finding your next category manager, let us know. Insight Global makes hiring easy.

Let us know your needs below, and we can find quality candidates for you—and fast.

Hire a Category Manager with Insight Global

Questions? Call us toll-free: 855-485-8853