Learn About Being an Office Manager
Updated January 26, 2023
What does an office manager do?
An office manager uses organizational and management skills to facilitate and support the operation of a business office. They complete the necessary administrative tasks to keep the office running efficiently. Office managers also have the following responsibilities:
Maintaining office procedures including payroll, scheduling and processing of paperwork
Organizing record-keeping systems including filing, protecting, accessing and destroying employee documents
Creating and managing office budgets and bookkeeping activities
Hiring, training and supervising other administrative employees
Planning and coordinating employee meetings and work-related events
Pay may vary depending on location, company and the office manager’s seniority, but here are some typical salaries:
Common salary in the U.S.: $41,886 per year
Typical salaries range from $29,971 to $60,611 per year.
Office manager requirements
You can become an office manager by receiving the education and experience needed to succeed in this position.
A minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is required to be an office manager. Many employers, however, prefer a bachelor’s degree. Related degrees include business administration, human resources management or information management.
There is typically no formal training required to become an office manager, but these professionals tend to have previous office and clerical experience. Because office managers are in charge of running an efficient office, intermediate to advanced computer skills and leadership or management experience can help the candidate in this role. Many office managers will have previous experience in a record-keeping or office management role. Office managers may come from many industries, including legal, real estate or finance.
Some employers may also prefer candidates who have industry-specific experience. For example, an office manager in a construction position will benefit from previous construction industry knowledge. Previous real estate and sales experience can benefit a real estate office manager. Aspiring office managers can gain industry-specific training through general administrative and office positions in the industry in which they want to work.
Although not a requirement, certification can help a candidate demonstrate their strong leadership or administrative skills. Here are some beneficial certifications for aspiring office managers:
Facilities Management Professional and the Certified Facility Manager
The International Facility Management Association awards these certifications. After completing the education and exam requirements, ongoing education and professional development are required, and the applicant must renew every three years.
Certified Records Manager
The Institute of Certified Records Managers offers this certification that applicants earn after taking a six-part test. Each of the first five parts contains 100 multiple-choice questions, and the sixth part is an essay question. Having this certification demonstrates your ability to create, manage, store and transfer records.
Information Governance Professional certification
This certification, available throughARMA International, can benefit office managers who work with the regulation and governance of data. This certification ensures aspiring office managers are familiar with issues related to information management and technology, cybersecurity, archiving and more.
Office managers are in charge of day-to-day office processes. They may oversee other administrative employees, keep track of important documents and make the necessary plans for an upcoming employee event. Because an office manager is involved in all office aspects, a wide range of skills is often needed. Useful skills as an office manager include:
An office manager is responsible for coordinating multiple aspects of the workplace. In this role, you might organize personnel to complete a particular task or compile and manage client files.
Because office managers work with employees at all levels, strong verbal and written communication skills are needed. For example, an office manager may need to relay important information between departments to ensure the company meets an important deadline.
In addition to keeping the office organized, office managers are expected to evaluate and make improvements to current systems to improve overall efficiency. Being analytical could include evaluating technological equipment to ensure it meets the company’s needs.
Office managers are often in charge of other administrative professionals. Strong leadership skills can help an office manager motivate and manage a team. An office manager could supervise several teams, including customer service and information technology.
Office managers are in charge of the office budget. Budgeting skills can help you predict financial needs and analyze income and expenditures. As an office manager, you might review sales reports or invoices from suppliers.
Office manager work environment
The typical workday and work environment for an office manager will vary from day to day, depending on office needs. One day, you might scan through resumes to hire a new administrative assistant. Another day, you might take inventory of current office supplies and place an order for needed materials.
The office manager will work closely with both administrative staff and executive team members. They may assist the director, vice president or other executives with office-related tasks.
How to become an office manager
An office manager often starts as administrative support. They may work as an administrative assistant, developing essential office-related skills. Follow these steps to become an office manager:
1. Complete an educational program
While a bachelor’s degree is not a requirement, it can be useful to strengthen your resume when applying for an office manager position. If you pursue a degree, choose an industry that is relevant to your goals. Related educational programs include facility management and business administration.
2. Complete a certification program
Some employers may prefer an administrative services certification. You might choose to complete a certification program instead of a bachelor’s degree, or you might want to achieve both, strengthening your resume even further. You can receive a certification through the International Facility Management Association or the Institute of Certified Records Managers. Check the certification requirements first, and then begin working toward the certification.
3. Apply for an administrative position
Working as an administrative assistant gives you the necessary experience required to become an office manager. It is usually beneficial to work an entry-level job in the same industry in which you want to work as an office manager.
4. Develop and demonstrate your leadership qualities
Use your administrative position to hone leadership and management skills. Take on additional responsibilities as requested, and use this opportunity to highlight your organizational skills.
5. Apply for an office manager job
After you have completed your education and certifications and have gained a sufficient amount of experience, begin applying for office management positions. Make sure you highlight skills that demonstrate your managing abilities in your cover letter and resume.
Office manager job description example
We are looking for an office manager to oversee and coordinate our administrative tasks. The ideal candidate will have experience with data systems, payroll and inventory control. The office manager will be expected to lead a small team in not only coordinating the office tasks but also in identifying a way to improve them effectively. A bachelor’s degree is preferred.
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