Cosmetic Department Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Oct 20, 2021

Cosmetic department managers supervise staff and manage the operation of cosmetics departments in retail stores. They require retail experience in cosmetics as well as knowledge of retail sales. A high school diploma or GED is often required and usually preferred, and on-the-job training is typically provided.

Essential Information

Cosmetic department managers are retail supervisors who help customers, set sales goals and manage employees. They have detailed knowledge of the cosmetics industry and offer advice about the use of cosmetics. While a high school diploma or GED certificate is generally required, experience in cosmetics sales and customer service is the most important qualification for cosmetic department managers.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) -5% for all first-line supervisors of retail sales workers*
Median Salary (2019) $40,350 for all first-line supervisors of retail sales workers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description and Duties

Working in the cosmetics department of a large clothing or general retail store, these managers oversee and set the schedules of sales assistants in their department. They keep track of sales and profitability, set sales goals and monitor employee performance. They also interact with customers at the cosmetics counter.

According to job listings posted at and, cosmetic department or counter managers also frequently act as beauty experts or consultants for customers, providing tips and passing on knowledge of brands and cosmetic techniques. They train sales staff in these areas as well. Cosmetics counter managers are also in charge of arranging counter displays.

Salary Info

In May 2019, the BLS reported that workers in the 90th percentile or higher earned $70,060 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $26,290 or less per year. The salary for cosmetic department managers might be commission-based, or they might receive a sales commission bonus, depending on their employer.

Job Requirements

Experience in retail and cosmetics sales is required to become a cosmetic department manager. The level of experience required varies by company, but ideal candidates usually have over two years of experience in cosmetics sales, merchandising, customer service and management. Candidates must also show a proven ability to set and meet maximized sales goals.

Additional job requirements include communication skills, computer sales software experience and organizational abilities. Employers also look for candidates with strong knowledge of the cosmetics industry, including trends, brand information and cosmetic artistry.

Most employers don't have formal education requirements for department managers, but they do prefer those with a high school diploma or GED. On-the-job training for managers is common. A college degree might rarely be required for cosmetics managers, depending on their responsibilities.

Cosmetic department managers typically have a high school diploma and experience in retail cosmetic sales. These positions may be salaried, commission-based or a mixture of both. Employment opportunities in the field are expected to decline from 2019-2029.

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