Office Management Training Programs and Requirements
Office managers are often responsible for overseeing office operations, such as social media pages and companies' websites updating, personnel management, office maintenance management and supply ordering. In many offices, office managers also work closely with the accounting staff in regards to budgeting and payroll. Office management training programs are commonly offered at the associate and bachelor's degree level, although certificate programs are also available.
Training Requirements and Recommendations
The size of the hiring company and the specific duties of the office manager generally determine the type of educational background required. While more and more offices are requiring management applicants to possess a bachelor's degree, smaller offices may hire an experienced office manager who possesses no more than a high school diploma. Specific skills in common office software programs, including Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint, are generally required and knowledge of accounting software programs, such as QuickBooks, may be needed. Training in, or knowledge of, Spanish is typically preferred.
At the 2- or 4-year degree level, future office managers typically participate in a practical internship experience. Certificate- and degree-seeking students also take part in computer labs, where they learn up-to-date skills in common business software programs.
Certificate programs are available in general office management as well as dental, medical and construction office management. Students learn to navigate the Internet and use common office software programs. Through skills labs, they also become skilled at typing quickly and accurately, using office equipment and maintaining electronic and paper records.
Associate Degree Programs
Often conferred as an Associate of Applied Science in Office Management or an Associate of Science in Business with a concentration in Office Management, students gain skills in verbal communication, business writing and organizational efficiency. They take classes in human resources, workplace regulations and bookkeeping.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
A bachelor's degree in business is a versatile degree, which is not only a preferred degree for office managers but also a common degree for entry into most sales, business or management professions. Business students learn concepts in marketing, finance, economics and statistics. They also take administration classes, such as supervisory methods and operations management and hone their skills in critical-thinking and decision-making.
Experience in the field is essential, and while some companies promote from within, most employers prefer to hire office managers with 3-5 years of experience in office management or an equivalent role, such as executive assisting or human resources management. Individuals with minimal education and no experience can begin their career path toward becoming an office manager by working as secretaries or administrative assistants first and working their way up. Working in these types of office positions lays a foundation for future office managers, who must be knowledgeable in front- and back-office procedures.
Licenses and Certifications
Office managers interested in earning a professional credential can look to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (www.iaap-hq.org). The organization offers the Certified Administrative Professional credential to individuals who pass their four-part exam.
Workshops and Seminars
Many continuing education resources are available to office managers. Specifically, the American Management Association (www.amanet.org) offers informative webcasts, which typically run between one and two hours. Additionally, the organization sponsors conferences and seminars, which can last from one day to five days. Interested office managers can learn about trends in office management technologies, personnel relations regulations and time management strategies.
Niche office managers may also be able to find specific organizations catering to their particular office environment. Dental office managers, for instance, may participate in workshops offered by the American Association of Dental Office Managers (www.dentalmanagers.com).
Additional Professional Development
At times, offices may decide to upgrade computer systems or software programs. In order stay knowledgeable about their office's technological advances, office managers may enroll in college computer courses. Office managers can also search the Internet for specific software company websites, which often offer online tutorials to aid new users.
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