The office manager job description portrays a professional who ensures the operation of an office. Finding a position involves, not only managerial abilities, but knowledge of bookkeeping, computers, and aspects of the particular industry in which the manager works. With the job function in mind, office managers need background education and experience in office settings and the profession which their offices practice.
Office Manager Job Overview: What Does a Office Manager Do?
The office manager job description blends elements of record keeper, human resource manager, front-end supervisor and supplier. Organization, leadership, communication and analytical skills are necessary to help set office policies, pay vendors, maintain the office and its activities, staff the office and collect payments.
Office Manager Job Duties
- Purchase, stock, track use of and distribute supplies.
- Procure maintenance and repairs of building or space and its systems, such as electrical, mechanical and plumbing.
- Order replacement equipment, such as copiers and computers, as needed.
- Develop, keep and organize personnel records, such as applications, pay, retirement and insurance.
- Assist upper-level management or owners in establishing office policies or procedures.
- Pay employees, invoices and fees for licenses and permits related to office.
- Prepare or file necessary applications or reports.
- Supervise office or administrative staff.
Office Manager Qualifications
In some organizations, the office manager may hire and terminate employees with the recommendation of upper-level management. Some employers may task the office manager with meeting with fire or building inspectors.
Office Manager Job Essential Skills
Organization. The office manager job description involves keeping records and seeing facilities and space remain safe and properly working. Organizational skills are necessary to readily and accurately issue checks and withholding, pay invoices and locate suppliers and vendors. By being organized, office managers can also attend to the details to fulfill their duties.
Analytical. Office managers must analyze the operation, finances and condition of the office. For instance, analytical skills can help office managers spot better prices for supplies and services and advise senior management on needed repairs, upgrades and policies.
Communication. Accomplishing tasks requires that office managers listen to feedback from staff and instructions from owners or senior management. Office managers must communicate with various people within and outside the organization. Interpersonal skills are necessary to convey to suppliers and vendors needs of the office and manage staff.
Leadership. Leadership skills are needed for office managers to instruct or advise staff on office policies and procedures. On occasions, office managers must resolve conflicts between employees and acknowledge staff members' concerns about work conditions or compensation.
Becoming a Office Manager Professional
While specific requirements vary by employer, the office manager job description generally includes as job prerequisites a college education and experience in an office setting or in administration. In certain sectors, especially those involving professions, familiarity with or work in the profession may be helpful or a prerequisite.
Office Manager Qualifications and Training
Typically, employers seek office managers with a bachelor's degree. According to O*NET, approximately 45 percent of "Front-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers," which includes office managers, had bachelor's degrees. Nearly a fourth had a high school diploma or equivalent.
Office managers qualifications come with a bachelor's degree normally take courses in business administration, information management and facilities management. For those pursuing work in medical offices, the candidate may need healthcare related courses. In the legal profession, office managers may need introductory law classes. Becoming an office manager may involve engineering classes or architectural classes to work for such firms.
Depending on the employer, the office manager may need work experience in an office setting. Those who have manned switchboards or phones or have been administrative assistants may have advantages with employers.
The setting may also shape the necessary or preferred work experience. For example, office managers in a distribution center or warehouse should have prior employment with operations such as purchasing, inventory, packaging, shipping, delivery and transportation. In a clinic, the office manager may have a work history as a medical receptionist or assistant.
Since most offices run between 8 am and 5 pm, office managers normally have regular work weeks. Office managers in charge of continuously-operating facilities may have to respond promptly to emergencies that take place after regular hours and on weekends.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately a quarter of office managers work in excess of 40 hours per week. In offices with small staffs or spaces, office managers might even work part-time.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
O*NET reports that employment of first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers should grow by five to eight percent between 2014 and 2024. From 2014 to 2024, employers should create 342,700 job openings these professionals. As of 2014, "Finance and Insurance" led sectors in employment of these managers, at 17 percent. The "Health Care and Social Assistance" field accounted for 14 percent of the office manager positions.
Prospects may be strong especially for office managers with skills or awareness of computers, information technology and information security. Many offices store records and information electronically on hard-drives, discs and in the "cloud." For example, Healthcare IT News says approximately 83 percent of physicians use electronic healthcare records systems. Attorneys file documents electronically in federal courts and in many state courts. Accordingly, office managers must know how and whom to contact to respond to computer or security glitches.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Service Workers,which includes office managers, earned on average $56,170 as of May 2015.
The office manager job description lists the effective operation of day-to-day activities as the main responsibility of these professionals. Their job duties include ordering supplies and equipment, obtaining repairs, paying bills and employees and shaping office policy. With the prevalence of technology, the internet and computing, office managers must prepare guidelines concerning use of computers and know where and how to respond to security threats or breaches.
Job prospects should be strong for office managers with computer knowledge, as many offices store records and conduct business by computer. Employers in the financial services and insurance industries have exhibited a steady demand for office managers. If you are interested in similar positions, read about the job description for sales managers.