General Managers plan, organise, direct, control and review the day-to-day operations and major functions of commercial, industrial, government and defence organisations through departmental managers and subordinate executives.

A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually needed to work in this job. Around one in two workers have a university degree.

Tasks

  • planning policy, and setting standards and objectives for organisations
  • providing day-to-day direction and management of organisations, and directing and endorsing policy to fulfil objectives, achieve specific goals, and maximise profit and efficiency
  • assessing changing situations and responding accordingly by issuing commands and directives to subordinate staff
  • consulting with immediate subordinates and departmental heads on matters such as methods of operation, equipment requirements, finance, sales and human resources
  • authorising the funding of major policy implementation programs
  • representing the organisation at official occasions, in negotiations, at conventions, seminars, public hearings and forums, and liaising between areas of responsibility
  • preparing, or arranging for the preparation of, reports, budgets and forecasts, and presenting them to governing bodies
  • selecting and managing the performance of senior staff
  • may undertake responsibility for some or all of accounting, sales, marketing, human resources and other specialist operations

Job Titles

  • Corporate General Manager, or Chief Operating Officer
  • Defence Force Senior Officer
  • Corporate General Manager, or Chief Operating Officer

    Manages commercial, industrial, governmental or other organisations through departmental managers and subordinate executives.

    Specialisations: Assistant Commissioner (Police), Hospital Administrator, Managing Editor, Trade Union Secretary

  • Defence Force Senior Officer (also called Air Force, Army, or Navy Senior Officer)

    Manages organisational units of the Australian Defence Forces through subordinate officers.

    Specialisations: Admiral (Navy), Air Chief Marshal (Air Force), Air Commodore (Air Force), Air Marshal (Air Force), Air Vice Marshal (Air Force), Brigadier (Army), Captain (Navy), Colonel (Army), Commander (Navy), Commodore (Navy), General (Army), Group Captain (Air Force), Lieutenant Colonel (Army), Lieutenant General (Army), Major General (Army), Rear Admiral (Navy), Vice Admiral (Navy), Wing Commander (Air Force)

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $2,250 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    51200
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    71.8%
  • Female Share

    28.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    91.1%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 51,200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • General Managers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Manufacturing; and Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 46.3 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $2,250 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 48 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 6 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200539800
200641900
200742200
200841500
200951300
201041600
201151200
201250100
201356600
201452100
201551200
202059100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsGeneral ManagersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings22501230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryGeneral ManagersAll Jobs Average
Full-time91.168.4
Part-time8.931.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)46.340

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services12
Manufacturing11.2
Health Care and Social Assistance8.6
Information Media and Telecommunications8
Other Industries60.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateGeneral ManagersAll Jobs Average
NSW3731.8
VIC21.825.5
QLD21.119.8
SA6.46.8
WA10.911.2
TAS1.12
NT0.71.1
ACT11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketGeneral ManagersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-241.4-9.99.9
25-3414.5-23.423.4
35-4426.4-21.721.7
45-5430.8-21.121.1
55-5913.5-8.78.7
60-647.1-5.95.9
65 and Over6.2-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryGeneral ManagersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males71.8Males53.6
Females28.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationGeneral ManagersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate21.4-8.68.6
Bachelor degree30-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma16-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV9-18.918.9
Year 1218.9-18.718.7
Years 11 & 104.8-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually needed to work in this job.
Around one in two workers have a university degree.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for General Managers who have strong communication skills, provide leadership and direction and can interact with a variety of people.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Administration and Management

    87% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    79% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. Personnel and Human Resources

    75% Important

    Recruiting and training people. Managing pay and other entitlements like sick and holiday leave. Negotiating pay and conditions.

  4. English Language

    74% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  5. Mathematics

    71% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    88% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  2. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    87% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  3. Getting Information

    85% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  4. Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others

    85% Important

    Getting a group of people to work together to finish a task.

  5. Guiding, Directing and Motivating Staff

    83% Important

    Guiding and directing staff, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Occupational Information Network General and Operations Managers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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