Business Administration Jobs & Career Guide

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Business Administration CareersWhat is A Business Administrator?

The modern business environment requires constant monitoring and informed decision-making in order to function at peak efficiency.  Both the day-to-day processes needed for normal operation and projects aimed at improving the business depend on the efforts of leaders and planners with strong organizational skills and familiarity with every aspect of the corporate world.  This coordination is at the core of  business administration jobs.  Business administrators are responsible for making sure that the details are taken care of in an organization.

A business administrator might also be assigned to lead a team of salespeople, coordinating sales routes and determining strategies to grow an existing customer base, or with managing a regional branch of a manufacturing company, looking after the requirements for standard operations while planning for future growth and changes to the market.

Business administration jobs can be found in the public sector as well, where they may be responsible for the financial or personnel operations of city governments, school boards, or other government-related groups. Business administrator jobs are found wherever a large number of details must be coordinated in order to ensure that the efforts of a group of people result in the most effective possible outcome.

What is a Business Administrator Responsible For?

The focus of a particular business administration job is determined by the mission of the organization, and by the administrator’s role within the group.  However, there are several key functions that are found in most business administration jobs, no matter what type of organization.  These jobs include planning, budgeting, staffing, organizing, directing, and quality control.

The task of planning involves a variety of activities at a number of different levels.  The planning aspect of a business administration career may involve something as broad as determining new strategies for growth for the whole organization.  Planning tasks may also involve more specific roles such as working out the sequence of steps for the development of a new product, or creating a road map for updating mission critical software.  Planning calls for those in business administration jobs to combine a big-picture perspective with knowledge of the details of how an organization works, and to determine how to take the organization from where it is to where it needs to be.

Budgeting, another crucial role in business administration jobs, means prioritizing the financial needs of the company based upon the amount of money available.  Invoices and salaries must be paid, supplies must be ordered, and research and new projects must be funded, and it is the job of the business administrator to make sure that every aspect of the business is funded while staying within appropriate financial boundaries.

The task of staffing, the hiring and training of employees to fill the personnel requirements of the company, is a frequent part of most business administration careers.  Every organization needs the right mix of people in order to function, and it is often the responsibility of a business manager to handle filling positions, providing training where necessary, and even handling discipline and termination when needed.

Once a business has plans in place, budgets determined, and personnel needs taken care of, the job of a business administrator becomes organizing these resources, determining how resources should be distributed and how employees should be assigned to get the job done.  The organizational skills required in business administration jobs ensure that every aspect of the business has the people and supplies needed to accomplish their assigned tasks.

The directing of employees, issuing instructions and information so that everyone knows their role in the process and what is expected of them, can be the most challenging and rewarding part of a business administration job.  Making sure that everyone is working effectively toward the common goal is essential to the success of the organization and everyone involved, and this is the job of the business administrator.

No matter what product or service the company or organization offers, quality control is necessary to detect and fix any problems or defects.  Business administration jobs frequently include roles responsible for setting up quality control measures to ensure that the client or customer has their expectations met by a quality offering from the organization.

Where Does a Business Administrator work?

Business Administration CareersBusiness administration jobs can be found in a variety of work environments.  Because of the central role that the business administrator plays in business processes of the organization, they are most often found at the location where business operations are happening.   Whether the business is located in a factory, an office building, a construction site, or any other setting, people in business administration careers will frequently be found on-site, monitoring supply levels, equipment operation, the efficiency and well-being of employees, and many other factors necessary to success.  Being located near the core operations which he or she oversees allows the business administrator to know from minute to minute what progress is being made, and to respond quickly to any problems that arise.

In today’s global business environment, many businesses and organizations have locations in more than one area, city, or country.  The supervision and coordination that is an essential part of business administration jobs becomes even more important when a business is spread out over a large geographical area.  In order to ensure that business operations are running smoothly in a distributed business environment, many business administrators spend much of their careers on the road.  These individuals often work from the road using email, cellular phones, and other technologies to stay in contact with employees and supervisors.  They may work from temporary offices at business sites, hotels, internet cafes, or other locations where equipment is available to allow the communication and planning necessary to carry out the management and coordination needed to keep the business functioning.

In response to rising costs of travel and increasing traffic in major cities, many businesses now offer the option of telecommuting for business administration jobs.  Using internet-based communication tools, planning, organizing, budgeting, and other administrative tasks can be performed from nearly any location.  Companies are discovering that full-time or part-time telecommuting can in many cases increase employee productivity and job satisfaction by reducing the stress associated with traveling and commuting.  As highways become more crowded and the cost of commuting increases, more and more businesses may find that telecommuting is an effective option for both the organization and the employee.

What Degree is Required To Become a Business Administrator?

Business Administration jobs can be approached from a number of different educational backgrounds.  Almost all jobs in business administration require a college degree of some kind for positions above entry-level.  While some careers in business administration are built on experience gained from a career started at entry-level with no degree, getting a job will be easier and there will be much more opportunity for advancement for business administrators with a degree.

Degrees that aren’t directly related to jobs in business administration can be beneficial in building a career.  Degrees from four-year, two-year or vocational colleges in related fields such as accounting can provide a background in money management and other essential business skills.  Even degrees in subjects such as English or History can be helpful in getting a business administration job, because these degrees show the employer that the job applicant is trained in written communication and research.

The most common educational path to business administration jobs is the business administration degree program.  Many colleges and technical schools offer Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees, where students are taught the science and methods of business management.  Many colleges and universities also offer the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, which provides much more in-depth and specialized training and instruction in the skills and perspectives needed for Business Administration jobs.

Master of Business Administration programs typically are broken down into specialized divisions such as Accounting, Finance, Management of Information Systems (MIS) or International Business, but any of these paths will provide the student with the education needed to begin a career in business administration.  A degree in business is also advantageous in finding business administration jobs because it communicates to the employer that the student has been formally trained in recognized strategies and best-practices for the management of businesses and organizations.

Business Administration Career Path

For people who choose careers in business administration, entry-level positions often emphasize training, either formalized or on-the-job.  Business administration jobs for beginners may also involve small and focused areas of responsibility, to allow the business administrator to learn the organizational culture and to get to know other employees before taking on more responsibility.  Career progression for business administrators is achieved by demonstrating capable management of a unit, area, or group within a business.

The path of a successful business administration career will usually consist of taking on greater and greater responsibilities, overseeing the operations of more staff and resources, and taking an increasingly active role in the guidance and operation of the organization.  A motivated, effective, and hard-working business administrator can look forward to increasingly exciting and challenging opportunities to advance and improve his or her part of the company through overseeing business processes and guiding the organization through growth and change.

Business Administration Job Requirements

For people interested in pursuing business administration jobs, or people with business administration jobs who are interested in improving their skill level and prospects for promotion, there are numerous programs available for education and certification in the field of business administration.

Careers in business administration are not licensed in the same way that professions such as law or medicine are licensed, meaning that someone seeking a business administration career does not have to be licensed in order to be hired for a business administration job.  However, many formal certifications are available which allow job candidates to communicate their expertise to potential employers by participating in formalized degrees or certificate programs.

Most colleges and universities with business administration degree programs also offer business administration certificate programs.  Some of these programs are for non-business-degree-seeking students in other fields, who wish to acquire the skills necessary for business administration roles in other professional areas.  Other programs are certifications for specialized business administration skills, such as tax accounting, copyright and intellectual property management, or internet commerce.

These more specialized certifications are sought by students as enhancements to business administration degree programs, in order to enhance their professional knowledge and increase their prospects for finding jobs after graduation.  Many of these programs are also available to non-traditional or non-degree-seeking students looking to advance their careers in business administration, and nearly every college, university, or technical school offers some options to interested business professionals seeking certification opportunities.

In addition to certifications offered by colleges and universities, there are independent certifying organizations that offer training and testing for traditional business administration knowledge and skills, or for specific methodologies and business strategies that have become popular in the business administration community.  Programs such as Six-Sigma, Total Quality Management or TQM, and the certificate program offered by the Project Management Institute are formal strategies aimed at increasing business productivity. Some companies specialize in developing tools, such as quality management software, that focus on improving processes within organizations, resulting in higher effectiveness.

People in business administrator careers can improve both their job performance and their prospects for promotion going through certification processes in these and other programs.  Many companies will work with people in business administration jobs to help them obtain certifications in business methodologies, in order to enhance the careers of their employees and to improve business process effectiveness within the organization.

How Much Money Does a Business Administrator Earn?

Business Administrators earn an average of $125,000 per year. This salary varies widely based on location, degree, experience and position. Recent figures indicate Professional Services Business Administrators earn approximately $147,000 and Company Business Administrators earn around $141,000 annually. Manufacturing and Finance Business Administrators earn on average $124,000. Government Business Administrators can earn over $110,000.

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