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Office Manager Skills and Job 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 degree programs, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

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To become an office manager, experience with office dynamics, computer programs, and processes is important. You should also possess the ability to manage staff, effectively organize tasks and processes, and work efficiently under stress. Office managers may be responsible for human resources, administrative, payroll, and internal communication tasks.

Essential Information

Office managers juggle a variety of responsibilities. A typical day of an office manager might include hiring new employees, ordering supplies, calculating payroll and motivating employees to increase productivity.

Required Education Varies by employer; high school diploma and previous office experience might be sufficient; larger companies might prefer an undergraduate degree
Other Requirements Organizational, multitasking and decision-making skills are essential; knowledge of certain computer programs, such as Microsoft Office, might be necessary
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% for administrative services managers*
Median Annual Salary (2015) $86,110 for administrative services managers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Job Requirements

Education and Experience

According to the Association of Professional Office Managers, individuals who wish to become office managers should earn a degree in business administration (www.apomonline.org). Larger companies might require an associate's or bachelor's degree, while smaller firms might accept candidates with a high school diploma and office experience. A business administration degree program offers courses in accounting, business writing, customer service, communications, business ethics, business practices, computer applications and other subjects that relate to office administration.

Skills

People who wish to become office managers must be organized individuals, demonstrating common sense and negotiation skills. They must have the ability to monitor work performed by staff so that it's completed on time, within budget and meets high quality standards.

Office managers must handle stress well since they confront a variety of problems throughout the day. They might be subsequently blamed for any unresolved problems or issues within the workplace. For this reason, office managers must be adept at assigning responsibilities to staff and meeting deadlines. They must be able to motivate employees in order to increase productivity and sales. Office managers should have strong decision-making skills as well.

Office managers are usually required to be familiar with various computer software packages, including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel. Since they often are responsible for writing proposals, presentations and memorandums, they should also possess strong written communication skills. Overseeing other employees requires them to be effective oral communicators, as well as being able to interact with many different individuals in a professional manner.

The amount of education and experience needed to become an office manager depends on the work environment. Experience and a high school diploma may be enough for small offices, while larger ones may require a degree. Strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills are a must to succeed in this career.

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