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I think the answer to this question is highly dependent on several factors. The specific company is going to be of primary importance. Other factors such as location, demographics, and the general economy should also be taken into account. That said, it might be best for you to get as many personal stories as possible to help you get a well rounded idea of what the general "life of a manager" is all about.
My roommate in college was the manager of Starbucks for our final years of college. His promotion was substantial and his benefits rivaled those of people who were working in companies after earning 4-year degrees. In 2001 he was making at least 40K a year (I actually think it was higher) which was far more than the rest of us part-time working students could hope for. On the other hand, he was working full time and had to cut back on his school hours significantly. Most days, he opened the store and was there by 5:30am. Most days, he worked fully 8 hours. Anytime an employee called in sick, he was notified first (no matter where he was nor what time it was) and if the employee could not find a replacement (and he could not find one) he had to go in and cover the shift. This meant working an average of 60 hours a week, typically. He was in charge of hiring and firing, as well as on the job training. For the most part, he enjoyed this because he was able to hire people he believed would work best for him.
As far as his personal life went, I can say that I really never saw him unless he was at work. His balance between work and school was really stressful and the thing that was sacrificed first was sleep. He was often sick because of this. His schedule was far from predictable, which was fine for a college student, but would have been next to impossible if he had a family to take care of or be accountable to. Our group of friends rarely made long-term plans which included him because we just expected him to be working. (He almost always worked on Thanksgiving Day.)
On a more positive side, it seemed he could go into any Starbucks, virtually anywhere in the country, and get free drinks. He also had the option of moving out of town with the promise of a job where ever he moved. Starbucks is one company that really takes care of its employees, especially the ones they have really invested in. When he decided to move to Boston he was able to transfer to a Starbucks there, come in as assistant manager right away, and get on a track for a quick promotion to manager. Right away he would make enough money to cover the cost of living in a bigger city.
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