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What Is an Office Administrator?

An office administrator is an engine behind the company office. This person performs large and small administrative projects. Any task that makes the office operate smoothly will fall under the responsibility of the office administrator.

One of the primary roles of the office administrator is to maintain the proper levels of office supplies. The office administrator also serves as the go-to person for ordering new supplies. If an employee notices low stock in an item, they can approach the office administrator to order more.

What Does an Office Administrator Do?

Apart from managing the administrative team, the office administrator performs many tasks to ensure efficient office operations. This professional is responsible for bookkeeping, purchasing, scheduling, and updating business documents.

Some of the other key responsibilities of office administrator jobs include:

  • Typing or drafting workplace documents, including reports, letters, and company announcements
  • Organizing incoming mail and making sure it gets to the correct recipient
  • Processing outgoing mail for employees
  • Serving as the gatekeeper behind incoming messages, which means answering the telephone, social media inquiries, and email
  • Taking notes at business meetings for distribution to all attendees
  • Generate, maintain, and distribute files and computer records
  • Conducting bookkeeping at the end of a reporting period
  • Manage the calendar and schedules of C-level executives and company leaders

Where Do Office Administrators Work?

Office administrators work within office environments of all industries and businesses, including government agencies, hospitals, schools, law firms, medical offices, and private organizations.

Most office administrators will share an office with other clerical staff. However, some office administrators will have their own private office space sitting close to an executive leader. Many companies will have an office administrator assigned to a specific executive or office.

Office administrators can also work remotely for a company that does not have a physical office. In these types of roles, the office administrator will primarily filter incoming messages for the executives and manage their schedules.

If the C-level executive has a business trip, the office administrator plans the itinerary. Office administrators will also take the lead in event planning for conferences.

What Degree Is Required to Become an Office Administrator?

Many entry-level office administrator jobs require a GED, high school diploma, or an equal alternative. However, office administrators can separate themselves from other applicants by obtaining a certificate or associate’s degree.

If the education or certification shows experience in office administration, database management, or computer skills, it can distinguish the professional from others.

If office administrators want to go the extra mile, they can invest in a Certified Administrative Professional program. This program will equip professionals with everything they need to know to run an office efficiently.

A certification will also increase the chances of landing a job in several industries. There are also industry-specific education programs for office administrators aspiring for medical and legal positions.

How Much Does an Office Administrator Make?

An entry-level office administrator will make a $25,000 salary, while the median average is $34,000. The salary will vary depending on the experience level of the professional, industry, and company size.

Below is a detailed breakdown of salary and hourly wage, based on percentile:

  • 90th percentile: $47,000 annual salary, $23 per hour
  • 75th percentile: $40,000 annual salary, $19 per hour
  • 25th percentile: $29,000 annual salary, $14 per hour
  • 10th percentile: $25,000 annual salary, $12 per hour

Office Administrator Job Requirements

Office administrators need to leverage several skills to fulfill the role successfully. The best office administrators bring the following skills and behaviors to the table:

  • Organizational skills – office administrators need to manage multiple schedules and apply time management to address the “daily fires” that may arise.
  • Computer literacy – because office administrators will spend much of their day on the computers, they need to understand spreadsheets, word pressing, database administration, and internet research.
  • Interpersonal communication skills – office administrators greet customers in-person and over the phone, so they need to understand how to engage with all personality types.
  • Written and verbal communication – office administrators interact with company executives in-person and via email, which is why communication skills are vital.
  • Self-starter – office administrators need to analyze situations and execute tasks that address future issues.
  • Creative problem solving – many unexpected challenges will arise throughout the day, so the office administrator needs to address them with an innovative, calm approach.
  • Consistent work ethic – because office administrators are the engine behind a company’s administrative function, they need to bring high energy daily.
  • Analytical skills – office administrators are a critical factor in accurate bookkeeping, so they need to be good with numbers.
  • Flexibility – every day may not be the same, so the office administrator needs to be flexible in the face of change.

Office Administrator Career Path

An office administrator can often define their own destiny. If they want to remain an office administrator throughout their whole career, there will always be a need and a place for their skills and talents.

Office administrators can also navigate different industries and transfer the skills they learned previously. Perhaps an office administrator can get promoted and start leading a team of other administrative professionals. If an office administrator continues to perform well, they could rise to manage the schedule and affairs of a higher-ranking person in the company.

Office administrators can also transition into more specialized roles within the company if they wish. If the professional works at a young, expanding company, there could be an opportunity to oversee a new department.

The sky’s the limit for an office administrator, and there will be plenty of choices and opportunities if they perform well.

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