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Start a Career in the Franchise Industry and Make +$100K

inspiration multi-unit franchising numbers planning Jun 04, 2024
Career in the Franchise Industry

I usually direct my blog to franchisees, multi-unit franchisees, district managers, or even franchise owners. But this one is different. This is dedicated to the young generation that is about to, or has recently entered the workforce and is trying to make a future for themselves. 

First, let’s review some facts about education:

  • The average public college tuition for a state college is about $25,000 per year, including room, board, and supplies. 
  • If you go out-state, that goes up to $40,000 per year. And I’m not even talking about private universities or Ivy League.
  • So, going to college means spending between $100,000 to $160,000 on average. 
  • On the other hand, the average starting salary of a graduated, four-year degree student, is about $60,000 a year

That means that after 4 years of college and hopefully getting a degree, you’ll get into over $100,000 in debt and, sadly, no promise for a job. And, if you do have one, the salary won’t be enough to pay that off.

But, how can you get there? Let me tell you a little bit about how this will work.

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Growing within the Franchise Industry

Working in the franchise industry is a career opportunity where you get paid while you learn how to do a particular job. I know that first hand: I started as a pizza delivery driver and minimum wage, many years ago. And I have made a career out of this amazing industry!

Yes, you do start making around $10 an hour. If you work a full-time job, working 40 hours a week, you’ll have a $20,000 annual income. If you are a good employee, have a good work ethic, arrive on time and don't call out, learn the job, are a team player, and demonstrate you are reliable with that type of responsibility, within six months you could get promoted to assistant manager. 

This position makes around $15 an hour, which means you’ll be making around $30,000 a year. That's a 50% increase in six months!

If within the next six months, you learn how to run the business and the brand, how to take care of customers and employees, and support and help unit managers in whatever they need, you will be noticed and become a highly appreciated employee. 

Also, considering there is a high turnover in this industry, at some point, there will be a manager position opening for you. If you have demonstrated the ability, skills, and behaviors of a great leader, you could get promoted to a unit manager

Keep learning: Unit Manager: Leadership and Management Skills to be Effective

As a unit manager, you’ll earn about $20 an hour and have an annual base salary of approximately $50,000. And, since franchise organizations have bonus structures, you could make up to $60,000 a year if you achieve the necessary goals to deserve a bonus. 

Now, as a unit manager, you’ll have a lot to learn, and that will come from your experience but also from implementation, practice, and demonstration. You should be in this position for a couple of years but those will be dedicated to learning and developing yourself.

If you mature all of your knowledge and understand business management, leadership, and how to implement the business and brand systems, you could become a candidate for the next position, which is the multi-unit leader or district manager position

These men and women oversee multiple units, visiting one by one, and inspiring others to implement the brand and business systems with a high level of excellence. This is a critical and challenging job and being a unit manager for a couple of years sets the ground for becoming a successful district manager.

Once you become a district manager, your salary will probably start at around $70,000 plus bonus. And if you do a fantastic job, within a year you could be making upwards of $80,000 plus bonuses, getting you to about $100,000 annually

Don’t miss: Top 5 Traits of a Successful District Manager

  • That means that, within 4 years, and little by little, you can work yourself up in a multi-unit organization and grow into a salary that a graduate from college cannot even aspire to, and what’s more, with zero debt. 

You can have this growth in brands within the food industry, in personal care or education services, in the fitness industry, or even in retail. As long as you are in a multi-unit franchise organization that focuses on and prioritizes the development of its team members, this is possible for you!


What You Need to Thrive in a Franchise Career

Going to college means you get to experience 4 years of fun, friends, and parties, and your responsibility is basically to study, do homework, and pass exams. But it comes with a price of about $100,000 to $160,000 in debt, which will be over your head for many years until you figure out how to pay that. Sounds stressful, doesn’t it?

Or you could choose a career in the franchise industry, get paid to learn, and, within four years, make $100,000 a year. 

But there are some things that you'll have to do to achieve this because it doesn’t just happen. I know… it took me over 10 years to get there! I would have loved to have someone say these things to me to accelerate the process:

  • Focus on acquiring business knowledge, such as: 
    • KPI and how to measure them
    • Do an efficient inventory and a proper schedule
    • Reduce costs and waste
    • Read a profit and loss statement
    • Do local store marketing
    • Phases of the employee lifecycle
    • Have an effective people management
    • Make smart business decisions


  • You also need to learn certain behaviors and skills, including:
    • Impeccable work ethics
    • Punctuality
    • Respect for team members and leaders
    • Leadership
    • Inspire and motivate people
    • Willingness to take responsibilities
    • Being coachable

A Science or Business Management degree will not give you all this knowledge. Trust me, I have one of those. 

As a matter of fact, I only have it because it was a requirement for me to keep growing in the corporate world. And, since I was already making enough money with my franchise job, I was able to pay for my college education. 

So, if you think about it, the franchise industry gave me growth opportunities twice: once by scaling within a global company and then by paying me a business degree.

But, where can you get that business knowledge, abilities, and skills within 4 years? Not all multi-unit organizations can give you this information. But you have two options:

  1. Look for a multi-unit franchise organization you can work for that prioritizes training and bench development
  2. Find third-party resources where you can obtain those skills.

I have good news for you: The American Franchise Academy is one of those resources you can reach out to help you achieve this goal within 4 years. 

We have created three development programs, specifically designed to help you in this journey:

  1. MANAGE 1.0. A four-week program that teaches the basics of how to run a small business. 
  2. MANAGE 2.0. Within 5 weeks, obtain the high-level skills you need to run a small business.
  3. LEAD. A 10-week multi-unit leadership certification program that teaches how to do the district manager's job successfully to make the most money.

Explore our programs by clicking here!

We teach each of these classes once a quarter, so don’t miss the next one and enroll to start getting this practical knowledge to be an excellent unit manager or district manager, under a $5,000 investment. 

If you are about to finish high school or get into college, I hope this gave you a clear idea of how you can get to that $100,000-a-year salary you want and deserve by joining the franchise industry.

Remember: a franchise can give you the knowledge, but your commitment and work ethic will open many more doors for your growth. And with the sum of these, anything is possible!



  • Have you considered having a career in the franchise industry?
  • What are the most attractive things you evaluate when choosing a career path?
  • How much business knowledge and management skills do you have?
  • What are your best qualities as an employee?