Office Manager: Job Profile & Education Requirements

Office managers oversee the efficiency of staff members and maintain the facilities for an organization. Managers may be responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from billing clients to training personnel. Educational requirements vary, but office managers typically learn through on-the-job training or by earning a college degree.

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Office Manager Job Profile

Office managers aim to streamline business functions within an organization. While office managers exist in most businesses and organizations, ranging from government offices to private enterprises, their duties generally depend on the employer and the size of the organization. For example, an office manager for a small shop may play numerous roles from accounting to marketing, while an office manager for a government agency may have more specialized duties like ordering supplies and disseminating information.

Duties

Office managers may be responsible for the general upkeep of the facility. They may make routine checks to ensure building safety and security. This may include checking doors and ensuring that security devices, like cameras and monitors, are functioning properly. Office managers may be responsible for fixing simple problems and contacting the appropriate technicians to troubleshoot more complex issues.

Office managers may be responsible for greeting and interacting with clients, customers and others. This may include fielding questions from visitors and interviewing potential candidates for hire. These professionals may be responsible for overseeing and directing staff.

Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), office managers earned a median annual wage of $49,330 in 2012, with the top 10% of earners making more than $79,000 a year. The BLS indicated that office managers employed by the securities and commodity exchange industry received the highest wages at that time, followed by those working in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing.

Educational Requirements for an Office Manager

Although most office managers receive on-the-job training, they may also consider postsecondary educational programs to prepare for the job. Junior colleges and vocational schools offer 6-12 month certificates and 1-2 year associate's degree programs in office management. Students typically begin with introductory courses like word processing and accounting. Those enrolled in associate's degree programs may also take more advanced courses in finance, business management and computer software.

Some employers may prefer applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree program in business administration or a related field. These 4-year programs may cover general business and management studies or be tailored to a specific industry, like healthcare or construction.

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