An office manager is responsible for the smooth functioning of a company’s day-to-day business operations. Also known as a business office manager or administrative services manager, office managers wear many hats. They may handle daily administrative staffing requirements, make bank deposits, sign company checks, handle payroll, order supplies, hire and manage staff, and interact with customers, vendors and suppliers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for office managers is expected to increase 12% between 2012 and 2022, which is slightly higher than the average growth for all occupations. Applicants with team-building and leadership abilities, effective communication skills and proficiency in the latest technologies should have stronger employment prospects.
An office manager is typically responsible for managing the office budget as well as the ordering and maintenance of business supplies and equipment. These professionals may also assign departmental resources to projects and assist with scheduling for company executives.
Office managers are often the go-to person for questions concerning a company’s daily activities. In some companies, the office manager may take on additional duties such as conducting employee orientation and training, and coordinating contracts.
Depending on the type of business and the size of the company, office managers may work in a traditional 9-to-5 setting or a high-pressure environment. The challenges can be significant, especially for those in charge of a large office. Being able to multitask and manage different personalities is very important, as are strong financial and organizational skills.
Office managers need to be firm about the needs of the office to ensure it runs efficiently. This means staying on top of workers’ deadlines and productivity, and regularly communicating with the executive management or company owners.
Individuals in this role typically enjoy a high degree of visibility and responsibility, so it helps to have excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to stay cool under pressure.
The BLS reports that the average income of administrative services managers nationwide was $90,190 a year as of May 2013. The top 10% of earners had an annual salary in excess of $145,000.
Average salaries were higher for managers in industries such as finance and insurance, healthcare, and state and local government, the BLS notes.
Prospective salaries and employment opportunities are influenced by numerous factors, including regional market conditions, and a candidate’s work experience and educational attainment.
An undergraduate degree such as an associate’s degree in Business Administration or a BA in Business Administration with a specialization in Management can provide prospective office managers with the foundation for career advancement.
A degree program in business administration should prepare students to:
Office managers who aspire to director-level positions may improve their prospects by attaining a Master of Business Administration degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you have strong business and organizational skills and are up to the challenge of coordinating projects, managing staff and overseeing an office, then an office manager job could be an excellent career choice for you.