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.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 95,700 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 89% of people employed as General Managers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 23 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 49 hours per week in their main job. This is 5 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than two-thirds of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||General Managers||All Jobs Average|
Around 72% of General Managers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of General Managers is 46 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 29% of the workforce. This is 19 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||General Managers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||5.7||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Extensive industry experience is needed to work as a General Manager. Many workers have a university qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Business Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||General Managers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||21.7||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||4.7||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for General Managers who have strong communication skills, provide leadership and direction and can interact with a variety of people.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Reading work related information.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
55%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
55%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
54%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
54%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
48%Management of financial resources
Figuring out how money is needed to do something, and keeping track of the money that's being spent.
46%Management of material resources
Providing the right equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do work.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Looking for ways to help people.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
74%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
72%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
63%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
62%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
58%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
57%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
55%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
55%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
45%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
45%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
38%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
37%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
33%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
52%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
See details that are far away.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
32%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
73%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
70%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
68%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
64%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
64%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
64%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
63%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
63%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
62%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
62%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
61%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
60%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
59%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
59%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
59%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
58%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
58%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
52%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
51%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
50%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
Use electronic mail.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
96%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work with people in a group or team.
96%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
93%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
91%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
91%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
91%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
88%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
85%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
Work to strict deadlines.
83%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
80%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
79%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
72%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
71%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.