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 less formal education.
These undergraduate programs teach students how to use common office software programs, including Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint. Students also learn about accounting software programs, such as QuickBooks. Degree curricula also include general education requirements that provide students with the communication skills needed to work with other employees, businesses and clients. The office management training program includes fields in business and office management. Program levels include certificate programs, associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees. Some programs are offered online.
General Office Management Certificate
Certificate programs are available in general office management as well as in dental, medical and construction office management. Students learn to navigate the internet aside from using 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. Some course topics in these programs might include:
- Management overview
- Fiscal and strategic planning
- Intro to office management
Associate's Degree in Office Management
Programs at this level are often conferred as an Associate of Applied Science in Office Management or an Associate of Science in Business with a concentration in Office Management. While enrolled, students gain skills in verbal communication, business writing and organizational efficiency. They also take classes in:
- Human resources
- Workplace regulations
Bachelor's Degree in Business
A bachelor's degree in business is a versatile degree. Not only is it a preferred degree for office managers, but it's also a common degree for entry into most sales, business or management professions. The curriculum covers the different elements of a company that contribute to its profitability and successful daily operation. Therefore, business students learn concepts in:
- Supervisory methods
- Operations management
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the employment for administrative services managers is expected to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024.The BLS also reports that, as of May 2015, these managers make an average salary of $94,840 per year (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
At times, offices may decide to upgrade computer systems or software programs. In order to 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.
The American Management Association (www.amanet.org) also 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).
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.
Office management training programs enhance students' organizational skills through training involving software, verbal communication and business writing. Those who are interested may opt to earn a Certified Administrative Professional credential by taking an exam.