An office manager is responsible for the smooth operation of a company’s day-to-day business. Office managers wear many hats. He or she may open the office and handle the daily administrative staffing requirements. Additionally, the office manager may make the 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 11% through the year 2018. Office managers should gain additional administrative support thanks to continuing advances in technology.
With more applicants than job openings, the competition for office manager positions is expected to be fierce. Those office managers who have team-building and leadership abilities, effective communication skills and proficiency in the latest technology are well positioned for success.
An office manager is typically responsible for managing the office budget as well as the ordering and maintenance of business supplies and equipment. The office manager may also assign departmental resources to projects and assist with scheduling for company executives.
Office managers are usually 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, liaising with payroll and coordinating contracts.
Depending on the type of business and company, the office manager position can be a routine, 9-to-5 job or entail a busy, high-pressure environment. The challenges can be significant, especially for those in charge of a large office. Being able to multi-task and manage different personalities is very important. Office management provides a very structured environment with clearly defined duties, and is best suited to those with strong financial, organizational and interpersonal skills.
Office managers need to be firm about the needs of the office to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible. 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, but can also take the brunt of the blame when something goes wrong in the office, even when it’s out of their control. If you’re considering a position as an office manager, it helps to have a strong problem-solving skills and the ability to stay cool under pressure.
The BLS reports that the median annual income of office managers was $46,910 in May 2009, with the middle 50% of workers earning between $36,270 and $60,590. The lowest 10% had salaries in the $28,400 range, while the top 10% made upwards of $75,000. Associate’s degree holders with less experience generally start out at the lower end of the scale, with further experience and training leading to higher incomes.
The educational requirements for most office managers are postsecondary education, with a minimum of an associate’s degree. The first step for those seeking employment as an office manager can be an associate’s degree in business administration.
A typical business administration education helps students learn how to:
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 the ideal career for you.