Office Administrator: Job Outlook & Career Info

Learn about what work an office administrator performs. Discover academic requirements and needed skills as well as employment outlook and salary to see if this is the right career for you.

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Career Definition

Office administrators perform administrative and management tasks to ensure that their staffs can work efficiently and effectively. They are employed by all types of organizations, including large corporations, small business, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. Common duties of office administrators include allocating work assignments, setting deadlines, maintaining office equipment, ordering office supplies, training employees, evaluating work performance and formulating and implementing company policies.

Become an Office Administrator

Required Education

Most places of employment prefer candidates for positions in office administration to have training beyond high school, such as an associate's or bachelor's degree. Common degrees or areas of study include business administration and office management. Courses in a 2-year associate's or 4-year bachelor's program that can help prepare you for a career as an office administrator include bookkeeping, business correspondence, records management, business law, career planning, professional development and computer applications.

Skill Requirements

Office administrators are, at heart, managers; thus, they must have strong multitasking and decision-making abilities. Good interpersonal and communication skills are also critical for a successful career in office administration.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The employment outlook for first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers (including office administrators) is average; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projects employment in this field will grow by 12% from 2012-2022. Median annual earnings for administrative and support supervisors, including office administrators, were $49,330 in 2012.

Alternative Careers

Executive Administrative Assistant

For those who may be looking for a non-supervisory job in administrative services, becoming an executive administrative assistant may be the right fit. Administrative assistants are found in business, government, legal and medical offices and provide support such as scheduling meetings and appointments, answering phones and emails, organizing records, conducting research, producing reports and ordering supplies.

To enter the field, a high school diploma, knowledge of computers and some related experience is usually sufficient. Executive administrative assistants in the legal and medical fields may need additional skills and knowledge. According to the BLS, a 1% decline in employment is projected for this field between 2012 and 2022. Executive administrative assistants received $47,500 in median annual wages, as reported by the BLS in 2012.

Administrative Services Manager

Those who may be interested in a management position at a company should consider becoming an administrative services manager. Sometimes called facility or records managers, they develop budgets for necessary tools and equipment, purchase and distribute supplies, organize information and databases, create department goals, manage administrative employees and arrange maintenance of buildings and equipment.

Depending on the employer, a high school diploma or college degree in engineering, facility management or business may be required to gain a position in this field. As reported by the BLS in May 2012, administrative services managers earned a median salary of $81,080. The BLS also expects job opportunities for these managers to increase by 12%, resulting in the creation of over 34,000 positions.

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