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The Definitive Guide: How To Become A Supervisor

Published on: 23 Oct 2018
supervisor hero

Are you hardworking, authoritative and dependable? Are you driven and striving to climb the corporate ladder? A supervisor role could be for you.

What is a supervisor?

  • Job Description

    A supervisory role is a lower-level managerial role. It can be seen as the ‘middle man’ between team members and the higher management – you will need to manage staff whilst keeping management happy by ensuring your team meet all targets.

    A supervisor has the duty of managing and supporting members of the team, whilst planning and directing projects and workloads. A supervisor is responsible for resolving any problems that may arise.

    Being promoted to a supervisor is a great achievement – you will get higher pay, more responsibility and job perks, however there are some downsides. You will be expected to take on much more work than you may be used to, but you will be given any necessary training to prepare you. You will need to be patient whilst learning the ropes and know that in time it will become easier. You may sometimes feel as though you are caught in the middle between the staff and the higher management team. You could receive complaints from staff about workloads, insufficient salaries or lack of staff, whilst having higher management constantly reminding you of cutting costs and increasing productivity.

  • Hours of Work

    Working hours will vary depending on the type of industry you end up in. In a full time position, your working day can be anything from 8 -12 hours. You may have to be flexible, working some evenings and weekends.

  • Main Responsibilities

    So, what will your main responsibilities as a supervisor be?

    Duties will typically include:

    • Leading a team and helping them to meet targets
    • Planning rotas
    • Allocating work to members of the team
    • Carrying out appraisals
    • Resolving workplace problems
    • Dealing with customer complaints
    • Training staff
    • Conducting team meetings

Key Supervisor Qualifications

No degree, no problem.

There are no set qualifications needed to become a supervisor. Usually, you will need a couple of years’ experience within a job before being promoted to a supervisor. This is to ensure that you are clued up on how the company operates, how to meet targets and how to solve any problems that may arise. Your general manager may see potential in you to become the next supervisor.

Any qualification in leadership will benefit you, and where you do not need to have a degree, having the extra education will only be an advantage to you when applying for a position. Some courses you could look into are:

  • Level 2 Award and Certificate in Leadership and Team Skills
  • Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Leadership and Management
  • Level 5 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Leadership and Management
supervisor educaion

An apprenticeship could be a great way to gain experience whilst studying. You can look for supervisor apprenticeships in specific industries and companies that may interest you – whether it’s your favourite clothes shop, a gym, a bar or a theme park!

Vital Supervisor Skills

Have you got what it takes? These are the skills you’ll need for the role

Firstly you’ll need to have great leadership skills. You will also need to have:

  • Motivational skills
  • Time Management
  • Excellent customer service
  • Decision-making skills
  • Communication skills
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • Confidence

You will also need to be trustworthy, fair, authoritative and consistent – Even when you are having a bad day, you will always need to be approachable to those you work with. Consistency is a sign of great leadership skills.

What is a Supervisor’s Salary?

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty…

The average starting salary for a supervisor based on full time hours is £15,000. As a more experienced supervisor you can earn £30,000 or more – based on the size of the team you are managing, the location you are working in and the type of industry.

supervisor salary

How to become a Supervisor

Now that you know what a supervisor does, how do you become one?

Once you have mastered working within a certain job role (for example in retail) and proved yourself to be a hard working member of the team, you can work your way up to be a supervisor. There may be opportunities for In-house management training schemes.

Having experience in leadership is a plus and will benefit you when applying for a supervisor role, so make sure to include any experience on your CV, whether it’s managing a team of 2 people, or being captain of your football team. It all counts!

How to Develop a Supervisor Career

If you can put your all into the company that you are working for, show that you are hard working and dedicated, you could work your way up the ladder to an assistant manager position within the organisation. You could also take a management course and apply for higher-level management jobs in other companies.

This is only the beginning – success starts here.

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