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Office Manager: Job Profile & Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an office manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about education, job duties and training to find out if this is the career for you.

Office managers are the individuals responsible for the general upkeep and streamlining of business functions within an organization. For someone to begin this career path, they will often be expected to have either an associate's degree or certificate in office management, but they will still usually receive on-the-job-training. Managers may have the opportunity to earn about $50,000 a year.

Essential Information

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 earn an educational certificate or a college degree. On-the-job training is also usually necessary.

Required Education Certificate or associate's degree usually required; bachelor's preferred by some employers
Other Requirements On-the-job training often necessary
Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)* 8% for first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
Median Salary (2015)* $52,630 for first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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), supervisors of office and administrative support workers earned a median annual wage of $52,630 in 2015, with the top 10% of earners making more than $85,320 per year. The BLS indicated that office managers employed by the pipeline transportation and the securities and commodity exchange industries received the highest wages at that time, followed by those working in natural gas distribution, aerospace parts manufacturing and monetary authorities.

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.

Office managers have several duties, such as overseeing the day-to-day functions of an office, directing staff and billing clients. The education requirements to become an office manager vary by employer and may include a postsecondary certificate or undergraduate degree, but training is typically offered by the company. The job market for office supervisors is growing at a predicted rate of 8% through 2024.

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