The office manager position is the one responsible for the operation of an office.
To become an office manager, one needs managerial skills, bookkeeping knowledge, computer skills, and knowledge of the specific industry they work in.
Office managers need experience in an office setting.
Article Table of Contents
What Does an Office Manager Do
The position of an office manager incorporates the tasks of a record keeper, HR, supplier, and a front-end supervisor.
Their essential skills include leadership, organization, communication, and analytical, so they can set office policies, maintain the office and its activities, pay the vendors, collect payments, and staff the office.
- Stock, buy, track, and distribute supplies.
- Organize maintenance and repairs of buildings and their systems, such as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing.
- Order equipment when necessary, such as computers and copiers.
- Develop and organize the records of personnel, such as pay, applications, insurance, retirement, etc.
- Help the upper-management establish office procedures and policies.
- Pay employees, invoices and fees for licenses and permits related to the office.
- File required reports and applications.
- Supervise office or administrative staff.
In some companies, office managers can terminate or hire employees upon the recommendation of upper-level management.
Some employers also have their office managers to meet with building and fire inspectors.
Office managers should keep records and ensure that facilities and space are safe and operate properly.
Organization skills are needed to issue checks quickly and precisely, pay invoices, find vendors, and suppliers.
Office managers analyze the finances, operation, and condition of the office.
With analytical skills, office managers can find better prices for services or supplies, inform senior managers of the required repairs, policies, or upgrades.
Office managers should be able to listen to feedback from staff and instructions from the upper-management.
They constantly communicate with multiple people inside and outside the company.
With interpersonal skills, they can convey the needs of the office to vendors and suppliers and manage staff.
Office managers need to instruct and advise the staff on the policies and procedures.
Sometimes, office managers resolve conflicts and address the team members’ concerns about compensation and working conditions.
How to Become an Office Manager
Some specific requirements may vary depending on the employer.
However, generally, they should have a college degree and experience in administration or an office.
In some industries, especially with specific professions, office managers need some knowledge in those professions and industries.
Training and Qualifications
Office managers usually need to have a bachelor’s degree.
According to O*NET, about 45% of “Front-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers,” including managers, hold a bachelor’s degree.
About 1/4 of them have a high school diploma or a similar certification.
Office managers generally take courses in business administration, facilities, and information management.
Those employed in medical offices need healthcare-related courses.
Legal office managers need introductory classes in law.
For engineering or architectural firms, they need relevant classes in architecture or engineering.
Office managers typically need experience in an office setting.
The candidates that know how to operate phones and switchboards or have experience as administrative assistants have an advantage with the employers.
Depending on the setting, various experiences may be required.
For example, managers in a warehouse or a distribution center need experience with purchasing, packaging, inventory, shipping, transportation, and delivery.
An office manager in a clinic need may have worked as a medical assistant or receptionist.
Most offices work regular 8-5 schedules, and so do the office managers.
Those who manage continuously-operating facilities may have to react to emergencies that may happen on weekends or after regular hours.
According to the BLS, 1/4 of office managers work more than 40 hours per week.
In small offices with limited staff or space, office managers may even be employed part-time.
According to O*NET, the employment rate for the position should grow by 5-8% between 2014 and 2024.
This translated into 342,700 job openings.
In 2014, the employment in the “Finance and Insurance” sector was at 17%, while in the “Health Care and Social Assistance”, 14%.
The best prospects are projected for office managers with the computer, information technology, and security skills.
In many offices, records are usually stored electronically on hard-drives, or in clouds.
For instance, according to Healthcare IT News, about 83% of physicians use electronic record systems.
So do the attorneys in federal courts and many state courts.
Office managers should be aware of how and whom to get in touch with to handle security or computer glitches.
According to the BLS, the average salary of the office managers was $56,170 in May 2015.
Office managers monitor and manage the day-to-day activities in the office.
They handle ordering supplies and equipment, organizing repairs, paying bills, etc.
With advanced technologies, office managers create guidelines for the use of computers and need to know how to respond to security breaches.
Office managers with computer knowledge have the best job prospects, as many offices use electronic record systems.
The highest demand for office managers exists in the financial and insurance industries.