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Office managers: Job description and how to become one

At a glance

  • Office managers can work in a variety of settings, such as business offices, government organizations and hospitals.
  • An office manager may be responsible for ordering office supplies, coordinating in-office events or meetings, filtering job applications for new hires and more.
  • To become an office manager, individuals can pursue a bachelor’s degree and seek relevant experience, depending on the employer.
  • If you’re looking to gain skills that will help you become an administrative manager, consider flexible, online business programs at University of Phoenix!

An office or administrative manager is responsible for leading and supervising employees in an office or professional setting. These professionals ensure their workplace runs smoothly, from interacting with clients or patients to ordering supplies to managing staff schedules.

An office manager’s job description often includes a range of responsibilities, regardless of where they work. These might include executive decision-making, goal-setting, maintaining stock of office supplies and educating staff on compliance standards and regulations.

In this article, you’ll learn more about the daily duties and salary range of office managers as well as how to pursue a role in this growing field. 

Learn in-demand business skills with a Bachelor of Science in Business. 

What does an office manager do?

An office manager or administrator is typically responsible for maintaining daily business operations for a company or organization. The specific duties may vary depending on which industry you work for. An office manager in a hospital can expect to face different tasks than an office manager of a government organization. In general, the manager oversees general office operations.

Office manager job description

There are some daily tasks that most office managers do regardless of industry. Here are a few examples:

  • Enforcing office managerial policies and procedures
  • Filtering job applications for potential new hires
  • Managing company accounts and records
  • Offering administrative support
  • Onboarding new employees
  • Ordering office supplies
  • Organizing in-office events
  • Providing customer service
  • Scheduling meetings and appointments with clients and staff
  • Taking care of payroll
  • Maintaining business property and equipment
  • Working together with other departments (like HR and IT) to maintain smooth internal operations

Some skills needed to be an office manager can be learned through a business education program while other skills may be gained while actively working in the role. Aside from administrative know-how, skills such as leadership, communication, problem-solving and strategic planning.

Where do office managers work?

Administrative managers work in a variety of places. From traditional businesses to professional offices for medical personnel to government organizations, many different entities require the oversight and skill of a competent office manager.

Here are a few industries in which office manager jobs are common. 

Hospitals and medical practices

A medical office manager ensures smooth operations in a hospital or related practice. Specific duties of a medical office manager include:

  • Coordinating with medical professionals on creating and implementing daily policies and procedures
  • Ordering medical supplies and office equipment
  • Overseeing and managing clerical responsibilities of hospital employees

Working as a business manager in a medical environment is an ideal way to work in healthcare outside of patient-facing roles.

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Government organizations

To work as an office manager in government means to oversee the daily operations within a public administration establishment or government facility. In this environment, an office manager might:

  • Answer questions from and provide information to the community
  • Maintain and supervise filing systems
  • Work with government officials to schedule and organize meetings

If you’re interested in working for the government and have administrative skills, this may be a good role to consider.

Small and medium-size businesses

Even smaller companies, like startups, benefit from employing an office manager. Those in an office management position within a smaller company can expect to have several daily tasks, such as:

  • Greeting customers or guests (depending on the company)
  • General administrative tasks, such as ordering office supplies
  • Coordinating meetings and scheduling other events

If you’re interested in working for larger companies in the future, gaining experience at smaller companies may be a good first step.

Large corporations

Unlike working for a startup, being an office manager for a large corporation may involve more regulation.

Your exact title may vary and will likely depend on your daily responsibilities. After all, large businesses often need several types of office managers working in different departments, from human resources to general business or facility managers.

Here are a few examples of an office manager’s responsibilities at a larger corporation:

  • Assisting other managers with enforcing company and office policies
  • Designing and maintaining company record filing systems
  • Updating staff on new office processes
  • Vetting applications for prospective new hires

Be sure to research what type of office manager they’re looking for to ensure you meet the education or skill requirements. 

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How to become an office manager

If you’re an aspiring office manager, you’ll need a blend of education and experience. Here are the basic requirements for general employment as an office manager. 

Earn a bachelor’s degree

Administrative managers generally need a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. Sometimes, a high school diploma is enough.

For graduates who already hold a bachelor’s degree but want to enhance their skill set, earning online business certificates can provide an expeditious route to learning more.  

Apply to entry-level jobs

As with most roles, working your way up gives you the necessary insight, perspective and experience to fulfill a management role.

Administrative managers often start out as assistants. Since this role spans many industries, aspiring office managers can explore positions in a setting that speaks to their interests and abilities. As noted, that can be a medical facility, a government organization or a traditional business.

As you search for jobs, be mindful of your desired location, distance to the office and potential salary. Taking these considerations into account can lead you toward a role that works best for you and your goals.

Networking

Making genuine professional connections can start now! Whether you’re considering school, in school or already working, getting to know other people in this field opens the door to mentorship, opportunities and insights. 

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Business management at University of Phoenix

If you’re looking to learn job-relevant business skills that can aid in office management, consider online business programs and certificates at UOPX. Degree programs and certificates can be completed online and around your schedule to empower students and participants as they upskill for the future.

  • General Management Certificate — In this program you’ll learn skills such as organizational behavior, training and development, business strategies, product marketing and other foundational management skills.
  • Certificate in Leadership and Management — This program includes content related to organizational effectiveness, motivational skills, decision-making tactics, organizational structure and more.
  • Project Management Certificate (Undergraduate) — This program provides courses in project planning, performance, implementation, coordination and more. If project management is a skill you’re eager to gain, consider this certificate.
  • Human Resource Management Certificate — This program overviews employee relations, human resource strategy, labor law, labor relations and more. If gaining skills that will help in HR management interests you, consider this certificate.
  • Associate of Arts with a concentration in Business Fundamentals From management to accounting, skills learned in this program are essential for a foundation in business.
  • Bachelor of Science in Business In this program, you’ll learn essential skills such as interpersonal communication, operations management, business structures, risk management, accounting and more.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and its Writing Seminars program and winner of the Stephen A. Dixon Literary Prize, Michael Feder brings an eye for detail and a passion for research to every article he writes. His academic and professional background includes experience in marketing, content development, script writing and SEO. Today, he works as a multimedia specialist at University of Phoenix where he covers a variety of topics ranging from healthcare to IT.

 

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