Front Office Manager: Job Description and Requirements

Front office managers are responsible for organizing the activities of office employees. Front office managers oversee a variety of tasks including office operations, accounting, customer satisfaction and emergency procedures among others. A degree isn't mandatory for securing an office management position, but earning a degree improves a person's chances for advancement.

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Job Description

A front office manager is the senior person in an office environment and accountable for maintaining a professional work environment, staff supervision and administrative support. They shoulder a variety of responsibilities, often at the discretion of the company owner. These tasks can vary from managing accounting functions to allocating work assignments to approving the purchasing of office supplies. The job specifics of a front office manager largely depend on the company's needs.

Front office managers use a number of skills to successfully perform their duties. Two of these skills are a thorough knowledge of the company and an understanding of its products. Another crucial skill is an awareness of the roles of other office employees. This knowledge of the products, company structure and employee duties allows the office manager to effectively assign job responsibilities and allocate company resources while maintaining an efficient working environment.

Companies often expect front office managers to oversee a variety of projects. To meet each project's deadline, the manager may need to overcome delays and hurdles. These projects may also require the manager to document each project's progress. To accomplish these goals, a front office manager needs exceptional oral and written communication skills. Multitasking abilities are also helpful.

Other important functions of a front office manager include:

  • Supervisor support
  • Office harmony
  • Crisis handling
  • Office morale
  • Troubleshooting
  • Customer service

Requirements

Office management is one occupation where the right person can be promoted, over time, from a subordinate position into a managerial role with nothing more than a high school diploma. However, a candidate who has a degree may have an advantage over those who do not. An associate's degree in business with a focus on office management may help candidates find a position more quickly. This degree can be acquired in a two-year period from most community colleges. When coupled with good job performance, this degree is valuable when supervisors perform internal promotions.

An associate's degree includes the following classes:

  • Document processing
  • Desktop publishing
  • Records management
  • Human resource management
  • Accounting
  • Communications

Depending on the type of business conducted and the responsibilities of the office manager position, some companies may require a bachelor's degree in business.

Requisite upper level classes for obtaining a bachelor's degree include:

  • Management and organization theory
  • Business writing
  • Business law
  • Business finance
  • Business ethics

With or without a degree, those who have experience in an office position and a proven record of obtaining results may be candidates for positions as front office managers.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Administrative services managers, who could also be called front office managers, earned an average salary of $88,660 in May of 2012, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2010, there were 254,300 administrative services managers employed in the U.S., and job opportunities in the field are expected to increase by 15% between 2010 and 2020, as reported by the BLS.

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