An assistant supervisor helps organize and guide a company’s employees. Assistant supervisors work in a variety of industries, from marketing to sales to food service to hospitality. Their duties range widely as well, as assistant supervisors may hire, train and schedule employees, as well as handle employee performance reviews. Mostly, they assist a supervisor in incorporating a company’s guidelines and mission.
Assistant supervisors are usually expected to help their manager motivate a staff and get it to work as a team. Many assistant supervisors lead by example, as they often perform many of the same tasks of the staff, taking charge when the manager is off the clock. Assistant supervisors are often a link between the employees and the manager, communicating the questions and concerns of each to the other.
Assistant supervisors need to be strong communicators with outstanding leadership skills. They must be organized, motivated, confident and in many cases, energetic. They also likely need basic computer and math skills to help with scheduling and maintaining a budget. On top of that, they need to be able to follow the instructions of their own supervisor. Mostly, assistant supervisors need to be able to multitask, as many perform a wide variety of duties.
Requirements to become an assistant supervisor vary greatly by industry and individual company. All need to have obtained at least a high school diploma, with many needing a bachelor’s degree as well. Depending on the industry, they might need a certification as well. Also, assistant supervisors in every industry typically spend time as members of the staff before being promoted--or at the very least, have been assistant supervisors in a related field.
There will be a need for assistant supervisors as long as there are companies, meaning opportunities should be solid. For instance, jobs for lodging supervisors were expected to increase 5 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the same growth rate projected for sales supervisors and those in the food service industry during the same time frame.
Salaries for assistant supervisors vary greatly by industry. According to PayScale.com, assistant supervisors in retail earned from $28,000 to more than $53,000 per year in April 2010. Meanwhile, assistant restaurant supervisors made from $25,000 to more than $39,000.