How to Become a Stock Manager: Duties, Skills and Salary

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A stock manager manages, tracks and maintains inventory. They work in various industries and typically have good organisational and leadership skills. Understanding how to become a stock manager is helpful if you're considering a career in stock management. In this article, we explain what a stock manager does, provide steps for becoming one, list some typical responsibilities, outline the skills expected of a stock manager, describe the typical work environment and detail how much you can earn.

What is a stock manager?

A stock manager, sometimes referred to as an inventory manager, oversees the stock levels of an organisation's products, materials or supplies. Their role may involve leading a team to monitor, record and receive new stock coming into a business. In addition, they may oversee orders shipped out to customers or suppliers. Stock managers work for companies of various sizes in many industries, including retail, wholesale and manufacturing.

Stock managers require relevant work experience, education and qualifications. A stock manager typically takes charge of organisational planning and contract negotiations with suppliers. Their primary duty is to manage and monitor stock levels to help maximise business efficiency. They may also take responsibility for organising employee shifts.

Related: How to Become an Area Manager (With Duties and Salary)

How to become a stock manager

If you're interested in discovering how to become a stock manager, you can follow these steps:

1. Complete a university degree

Many employers require stock managers to have a university degree specialising in business administration or operations. For example, employers may seek candidates with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Supply Chain Management or a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. These courses teach practical business skills, including logistics management, economics, accounting and leadership. In addition, a degree in business administration can teach you about relationship management, strategic thinking and decision making.

While studying, you're likely to cover real-world examples as part of your course. In addition, you may wish to identify opportunities for internships or work experience where you can get a better understanding of how a stock manager works in practice. Internships can also offer you the chance to build relationships and develop your network, which may be beneficial when you complete your studies and begin searching for work.

2. Get work experience

Some stock managers begin their work in entry-level roles as stock clerks or packers. These roles are an excellent way to build your knowledge about supply chain management and learn about different organisational processes before applying for more senior positions. Many employers look for candidates with experience working in inventory, stock control or distribution when recruiting for management positions. Working as a stock control clerk or in a warehouse helps you become familiar with stock management and supply chain software. You can also learn about equipment and occupational health and safety procedures.

3. Complete additional certifications

Depending on your area of specialisation during your bachelor's degree, you may wish to consider further accreditation in stock management. Stock managers often use specific software tools. It may benefit you to undertake a certification showcasing your capabilities to potential employers. In addition, completing a specialist certification highlights your commitment to ongoing development. Although many stock manager roles include on-the-job training, you can consider developing your skills by undertaking additional qualifications.

4. Apply for stock manager jobs

When you're applying for roles, ensure you tailor your resume and cover letter for each job application. Look for keywords in the job description and include these in your application. This can help a hiring manager quickly identify that you have the skills and knowledge for the role. When looking for positions, search online and contact the professional network you may have formed when gaining work experience or during your studies to ask about job opportunities.

Related: What Does a Store Manager Do? (Full Skills List and Duties)

5. Join a professional organisation

There are several available professional organisation options if you're looking to work as a stock manager. You may consider joining a supply chain association. These organisations, like The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia, may offer various events and career development opportunities to explore that may help advance your career.

Another option is a not-for-profit accreditation body for supply chain management that offers membership options. Members have access to learning, including short courses and professional certifications. Being part of a national membership group can help you grow your network, hear about jobs openings and access training.

Typical responsibilities of a stock manager

Some typical responsibilities can include:

  • overseeing a range of supplies, products and materials

  • supervising stock clerks and warehouse staff

  • monitoring stock levels, identifying shortages and ordering additional supplies

  • using various monitoring software programs to track stock levels

  • sourcing appropriate suppliers and building good working relationships

  • hiring and training staff, delegating tasks and organising rosters for team members

  • generating and presenting detailed operational and stock reports

  • conducting audits of suppliers and analysing cost-effective deals

  • analysing sales figures and forecasting future stock requirements

  • liaising with suppliers to resolve issues

  • preparing stock for shipping and delivery

  • designing inventory tracking systems to optimise procedures

Related: How to Become an Operations Manager (with Skills and Salary)

Skills required to be a stock manager

The following skills are important if your interest lies in stock management or control:

Leadership skills

As a stock manager, you're typically responsible for managing various employees. These may include warehouse employees and stock clerks. Good leadership can help ensure your team remains motivated to complete their tasks, resulting in higher productivity. Being a good leader also means actively listening to your team and responding to their needs.

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles

Attention to detail

A stock manager keeps the proper stock levels to meet customer demands. Expert attention to detail can help to ensure you're ordering the correct amount of products to meet the organisation's needs. It can also help you identify any issues with the supply chain early enough to respond and make changes.

Related: Attention to Detail: Definition and Examples

Interpersonal skills

As a stock manager, you're likely to engage with a wide range of people. Relationship management is a key aspect of your role. You're likely to work with suppliers, warehouse staff and other professional contacts. Excellent communication skills and emotional intelligence are important to maintaining good working relationships. They can also help to ensure that there's no miscommunication. Being able to write and deliver clear instructions is helpful in this role.

Related: Why Interpersonal Communication is so Important at Work

Analytical skills

Stock managers require sound analytical skills for tracking and monitoring data. For example, if you're recommending significant changes to stock management processes, analysing a company's financial statements and logistics management can help persuade key stakeholders. By analysing customer behaviour, you can determine future supply trends and better maintain stock levels.

Computer literacy

Most inventory managers use stock monitoring or supply chain software tools. These can help keep track of stock levels and determine when to reorder. Forecasting tools can also help them predict future inventory needs.

Maths skills

In addition to using computer software, some businesses may require you to track stock levels manually. A good understanding of basic maths skills can be essential when using manual tracking. Even if you're using software, your maths skills when reviewing reports can help detect and correct errors if any tracking reports seem wrong. Maths skills can also help you with forecasting and planning stock levels.

Physical fitness

Depending on the industry you work in, a stock manager may require a decent level of physical fitness. Some aspects of the role may be physically demanding, such as lifting heavy items. In addition, you may be on your feet often, moving between different locations when checking stock levels.

Related: What Does a Stock Controller Do? (Duties and Skills)

Typical work environment for a stock manager

Stock managers usually work standard business hours and average around 40 hours per week, depending on the industry. They work in various business settings, including manufacturing or retail. If you're working in retail, you may work weekends and evenings, depending on store trading hours. Working as a stock manager means you're usually active, regularly moving around sales floors, storage rooms or warehouses. You may also lift stock or operate machinery.

Average salary for a stock manager

The national average salary for a stock manager is $83,136 per year. Where you live and the industry you work in can affect how much you can earn. For example, the average salary for a stock manager in Brisbane is $64,118 per year, compared to $85,657 per year in Perth.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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