For an office manager, every day can bring a variety of projects – all of which relate to ensuring the efficient operation of a company. That’s why office managers should be consummate multi-taskers.
These business professionals often assist with or supervise administrative duties, determine staffing requirements and oversee the office. Additionally, the office manager may be responsible for daily or weekly banking, handling payroll, ordering supplies, performing human resources duties, and working with customers, vendors and suppliers.
Job Outlook for Office Managers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of administrative services managers, a category that includes office managers, will increase by a projected 8% from 2014 to 2024. That’s about the same as the average growth rate for all occupations nationwide during that decade.
There is likely to be significant competition for office manager positions, and applicants with solid interpersonal and organizational skills, management experience, communications capabilities and technology knowhow should have an advantage.
Job Duties for Office Managers
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 variety of settings. The challenges can be significant, especially for those in charge of a large office. Being able to multitask and manage different personalities are keys to success, as are possessing 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 employees’ 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.
Office Manager Salary Potential
The BLS reports that the annual average wage of administrative services managers nationwide was $94,840 as of May 2015. The top 10% of earners had an annual wage in excess of $153,570.
Average salaries were higher for managers in industries such as finance and insurance, professional, scientific and technical services, 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.
Education and Training for Office Managers
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:
- Apply skills from a number of disciplines, including management, accounting and law
- Gain proficiency in the practical applications of computers
- Communicate effectively within a business setting
- Use critical-thinking skills to identify and solve problems
Office managers who aspire to director-level positions may improve their prospects by obtaining a Master of Business Administration degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Is an Office Manager Career a Good Fit For You?
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.