Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Farmers' market managers oversee the vendors, products and staff at farmers' markets. The role has many varying responsibilities, given the complex nature and makeup of farmers' markets throughout the country. Market manager duties include scheduling and tracking the participation of individual vendors, collecting participation fees, tracking inventory sales, and recruiting and supervising staff. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies market managers as first-line retail sales supervisors.
According to May 2010 data from the BLS, first-line supervisors of retail sales workers across all industries earn an annual average salary of $39,890. This equates to an hourly salary of $19.18 when factored out across a standard 40-hour work week, before deductions for taxes and benefits. BLS statistics indicate that supervisory average salary for grocery stores is actually slightly less than this industry average, $39,130 per year, or $18.81 hourly. BLS data indicate professionals in the lowest 10th percentile of earnings for this occupation made $22,210 per year, or $10.67 per hour.
Factors Affecting Salary
The major factors affecting the salaries of farmers' market managers are market size and depth of supervisory responsibilities. Market managers in low population areas, consisting of only a few contributing vendors, may take on coordination responsibility on a strictly volunteer basis. Larger markets in more heavily settled regions, which are funded by farm cooperatives or community organizations, can host hundreds of vendors and require large staffs for merchandising and customer support, all of which falls under managerial supervision.
Salary By State
According to BLS data, first-line retail supervisors in Rhode Island lead all other states in annual mean salary, with $46,140 per year, or $22.18 per hour. The New York City metropolitan area leads all U.S. cities, with a mean wage for retail managers at $22.77 per hour, or $47,370. States offering managers less than $34,960 per year include Mississippi, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
Relevant Background and Experience
While there are no precise educational requirements for farmers' market managers, experience in non-durable goods merchandising, retail sales and distributing is recommended. Most training is done on the job. Communication, marketing and financial skills are necessary to increase the number of customers, appropriately coordinate vendors, and recruit new wholesalers. Farmers' market managers must also be well versed in the appropriate licensing and permitting laws required in the jurisdiction where their farmers' market operates.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics; Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition; Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
- Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11; Farmers, Ranchers and Agricultural Managers
- "Occupational Outlook Quarterly;" Careers in Organic Food Production, Adam Bibler, Fall, 2010
- Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010; 41-1011 First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
- "Farmers Market Manager Training Manual"; Farmers Market Federation of NY
Maxwell Wallace has been a professional freelance copywriter since 1999. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications. An avid surfer, Wallace enjoys writing about travel and outdoor activities throughout the world. He holds a Bachelor of Science in communication and journalism from Suffolk University, Boston.