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What is an Office Manager?

An office manager is a professional who oversees the administrative operations of an office. They are responsible for ensuring that all office functions run smoothly and that employees have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs effectively.

Additionally, office managers may be responsible for managing office budgets, coordinating office activities, and overseeing office security.

What Do People in Office Manager Jobs Do?

People in office manager jobs may perform a variety of tasks, depending on the size and nature of their office. Typical duties include overseeing office budgets, managing employee schedules, ordering supplies, and handling customer inquiries. They may also be responsible for carrying out marketing or human resources initiatives.

An office manager’s day-to-day responsibilities will look different on a day-to-day basis.

Certain days may require that an office manager works on coordinating office activities such as meetings and events. These types of activities may occur when a dispute between employees requires a new meeting. Or, it could involve planning the company’s quarterly team event.

The average day will involve managing office supplies and equipment, overseeing office budgeting and financials, and responding to customer or client inquiries or complaints.

Other activities, such as training and supervising staff or hiring, firing, and conducting employee reviews will happen as those needs arise. At times, an office manager will also work on policy changes or help employees to set goals.

Where Do People in Office Manager Jobs Work?

Office managers can work in a wide range of settings, including businesses large and small, schools, hospitals, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Office managers may also become self-employed and run their own office management consulting business out of a home office. They may work as freelancers working for several clients, or on individual projects.

In the age of social media, office managers can provide administrative services remotely to clients all over the world via Zoom and other web conferencing software.

What Degree is Required to Become an Office Manager?

Office managers typically have at least a high school diploma, but office manager career advancement often requires postsecondary education.

An associate’s degree can open the door for office management jobs. Office managers may opt to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration or another related field.

Some office managers also choose to complete certificate programs that help them develop specific office management skills. In some cases, employers may require office managers to earn a professional certification from an organization like the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).

How Much Money Does an Office Manager Earn?

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that administrative services managers earn a median annual salary of just over $98,000.

The lowest office manager positions pay approximately $56,00. The highest office manager salaries reported by the BLS occurred in the finance, insurance, technical services, local government, social assistance, healthcare, and scientific industries at an average of $149,240 annually.

The typical office manager works a full-time schedule of at least 40 hours each week. Sometimes, an office manager might get a call outside of working hours to come into the office to help solve a problem.

Office Manager Job Requirements

The job requirements for office managers vary by employer.

Some organizations may require office managers to have years of experience performing administrative work or managing employees. Others prefer office manager candidates with professional certification. A degree in business administration or another relevant field may also come into play.

Many employers also require office managers to become proficient in Microsoft Office Suite applications like Word and Excel. Other organizations demand proficiency with customer relationship management software programs (CRMs).

Some office managers are responsible for website development and social media marketing activities. Therefore, some employers may prefer applicants who know website design and digital marketing.

Office managers may need to have a high school diploma or GED, but most office manager positions require at least an associate’s degree.

In addition to the education and training requirements for office managers, there are also several skills and qualities that office managers should possess to succeed in this position.

  • Organization: Office managers must coordinate many different office activities and projects simultaneously. They need excellent organizational skills so they can prioritize tasks and manage their time effectively.
  • Communication: Office managers interact with employees, customers, vendors, and other professionals every day. Good communication skills are essential for office managers.
  • Leadership: Many office manager positions involve supervising others. Therefore, strong leadership abilities are necessary for success as an office manager.
  • Problem-solving: Office managers often deal with problems, customer complaints, and office emergencies daily. They need to think quickly and solve problems efficiently.
  • Critical thinking skills: People in office manager jobs must possess the ability to work independently and think critically.
  • Multi-tasking: Office managers often juggle many office projects at once. They need to be able to focus on and complete multiple tasks simultaneously.

Office Manager Career Path

Working as an office manager can provide several career advancement opportunities in office management and other administrative fields.

Office managers may choose to specialize in certain office functions, such as human resources or accounting. Or, they can use their experience in office managing to transition into roles like an executive assistant or office administrator.

An executive assistant typically provides support to one or more executives. They may handle a variety of tasks such as preparing reports, scheduling appointments, and managing email correspondence.

An office administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of an office. They typically manage office staff, oversee budgets, and maintain office supplies.

Some office managers also use the skills they gain on the job to start their businesses by becoming virtual assistants, bookkeepers, consultants, or freelance writers. Others go back to school for advanced degrees that allow them to pursue careers in education administration or public relations.

Looking ahead, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that office management jobs will grow by 9% until 2030. The number represents an average growth rate when compared to the growth rates of all industries.

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