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How do I Become a Regional General Manager?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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On average, it takes 12 to 15 years of progressive work experience to become a regional general manager. This position is part of the upper or senior management structure in a large organization. The regional general manager is often the highest ranked executive for a specific territory. In most firms, they report directly to the vice president level.

A post-secondary education is usually required to become a regional general manager, but candidates with extensive experience who are able to function at the required level may also be accepted. Many regional managers are promoted from within the company, and may have performed customer service or support roles. Candidates without formal business education but with extensive management experience often complete a master's of business administration (MBA) part time. This type of training provides a broader perspective of how other firms and industries deal with their challenges.

The process to become a regional general manager varies by industry. These positions are typically filled internally wherever possible. If not, the job description may be posted in a range of general classified websites, in the management section.

Regional general manager is one of the few positions that can be filled by a candidate in a different industry. Although the products will be different, the requirements of clients in a specific region tend to be unique to that area. As a result, even an internal candidate will have a learning curve.

Related work experience that is helpful when looking to become a regional general manager is a combination of management experience and product knowledge. The regional general manager spends the vast majority of time dealing with administrative issues and high-profile clients. Interpersonal skills become more important than technical skills at this level, which may require a shift in expectations. Team management, supervision, and staff issues are an essential part of this job. Experience in the industry provides valuable insight into standards, expectations and pressures clients are facing.

A regional general manager position is considered middle management within an organizational structure. Promotion to this level of responsibility is the culmination of many years of work, quality performance, and extra effort. Compensation at this level is higher than for other types of management positions, but this is in keeping with a greater performance expectation and longer hours.

The ability to travel within the region and attend meetings of the corporation's head office is a core requirement of this position. Candidates with small children should plan for significant travel and make arrangements for child care on short notice. Many parents accommodate this requirement though a combination of teamwork with their partner, family members, and paid child care services.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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