Planning, coordinating and directing the daily operations of a business unit, department administrators facilitate organizational efficiency. These professionals can be found in many different fields, such as education, finance and manufacturing, and they generally focus on a particular specialty, like information technology, data security or records management. Mastering the core business concepts required for success in this career can be accomplished by completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in management.

Department Administrator Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment of administrative services managers, including department administrators, will see steady growth in coming years. New jobs will be added as businesses experience an increasing need for professionals who can plan and coordinate the activities of specialized departments.

Job Duties

Specific job duties for department administrators vary by industry and employer. Directing the activities of a department may include establishing goals, hiring and training personnel, overseeing purchasing and preparing work schedules. These professionals may also assist with developing and implementing new plans and procedures.

Typically, department administrators are responsible for preparing, administering and controlling budgets for their department, which frequently involves supervising and approving contracts and expenditures. Reviewing reports, maintaining records and preparing correspondence can be important aspects of the department administrator’s responsibilities.

Department administrators often work closely with other administrators and managers, providing information such as sales projections and expense reports. They may also be responsible for planning travel and maintaining calendars for executives. Many department administrators facilitate and schedule meetings, conferences and presentations.

Most department administrators work in an office setting. A standard 40-hour week is normal for this field; however, flexible hours and overtime are sometimes necessary. Travel may be required, depending on the employer and industry.

Potential Salary for Department administrators

National salary data on PayScale.com indicated that on average, department administrators brought in an annual salary between $43,991 and $81,376 as of October 2010. Recent bachelor’s graduates will typically start out toward the lower end of the range, while the top salaries generally go to department administrators with extensive experience and advanced education.

Education and Training

In most companies, department administrator positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a field such as accounting, finance or business administration. Many employers favor candidates with relevant work experience, which can include internships.

A career as a department administrator can begin with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in management. Coursework typically includes accounting, strategic management, organization theory and business ethics.

Employers can be confident that graduates of a business administration program with a specialization in management are able to:

  • Improve efficiency and quality by streamlining systems and processes.
  • Identify workplace problems and make decisions based on quantitative techniques.
  • Demonstrate effective business communication skills.
  • Facilitate change through the application of contemporary behavior and classic organizational theories.
  • Leverage advanced skills and knowledge to succeed as a department administrator.

Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to pay for a master’s degree.

What Does It Take to Attain a Department Administrator Position?

The best department administrators are self-starters with excellent written and verbal communication skills and computer proficiency. They also have integrity, tact and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships. If you possess these attributes, a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in management will provide the knowledge and credentials you need to embark on a successful department administrator career.

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