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

  • $2,250 Weekly Pay
  • 53,000 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 89.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 46 hours Average full-time
  • 46 years Average age
  • 33.4% female Gender Share

The number of General Managers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to stay fairly stable over the next 5 years:
from 53,000 in 2017 to 52,900 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 20,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: General Managers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: They work in many industries such as Health Care and Social Assistance; Manufacturing; and Retail Trade.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (89%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46.0 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 46 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (56.5%).
  • Gender: 33.4% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200741500
200844200
200945300
201047800
201144200
201254600
201353500
201453300
201551600
201650900
201753000
202252900

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Health Care and Social Assistance14.6
Manufacturing11.7
Retail Trade8.1
Wholesale Trade7.0
Other Industries58.6

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 2017, 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
NSW33.931.6
VIC23.726.2
QLD22.019.7
SA5.16.7
WA10.810.8
TAS1.32.0
NT1.51.1
ACT1.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-241.7-9.99.9
25-3412.0-23.623.6
35-4429.9-21.721.7
45-5431.2-20.820.8
55-5913.9-8.88.8
60-645.0-6.06.0
65 and Over6.4-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Business Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 11-1021.00 - General and Operations Managers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 11-1021.00 - General and Operations Managers.

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