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Becoming a Document Control Manager: Duties & Requirements

Dec 18, 2020

Research the requirements to become a document control manager. Learn about the job duties and read about the step-by-step process that can help you start a career in document control management.

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Should I Become a Manager?

Document control managers are responsible for the creation, maintenance, and distribution of a company's electronic and paper documentation as well as taking on managerial duties for the entire document control department. Job duties may include:

  • Converting hard copies of documents to electronic ones
  • Creating documents based on specific instructions
  • Establishing document management procedures
  • Filing documents
  • Meeting with product and service vendors
  • Performing audits of documents
  • Training and instructing lower-level staff
  • Troubleshooting documentation issues
  • Updating and archiving documents

A document control manager creates and files documents for a company

Although document control managers hold a more senior position than other administrative specialists who regularly handle documentation, like accountants, auditing clerks, bookkeepers, and document controllers, they all spend most of their work day in a comfortable office environment. These administrative professionals perform most of their work on computers and may have to deal with the stress of ensuring that their documentation systems meet company or outside auditing regulations. Some document control managers will also need to attend meetings with other members of their team, or company managers and vendors in order to create and plan new projects. In 2020, Payscale.com reported a median annual salary of $69,578 for document control managers.

Educational requirements for document control managers are relatively light, and not all employers require a bachelor's degree. However, pursuing a college education may be helpful for many aspiring document control managers in order to have as much preparation as possible, especially to prime one's career for management rather than working up through the ranks of an organization.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Varies; bachelor's degree preferred by some employers
Degree Field Business administration, information technology, or other related degree field
Experience Varies; typically 3-10 years, often working as a document controller or bookkeeper
Key Skills Self-starter
Organizational, analytical, interpersonal, multi-tasking, speaking, and writing skills
Ability to manage a team
Attention to detail
Experience with vendor audits and familiarity with GXP Standard Operating Procedures
Knowledge of document creation and maintenance procedures
Knowledge of and ability to work with Adobe Acrobat, Enterprise Resource Planning, Microsoft Office and SharePoint, Windows OS, Oracle Primavera, and ProjectWise
Willingness to travel for some positions
Salary (2020) $69,578 (median salary for document control managers)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale.com

Document control managers can be employed in a variety of fields, some of which may require candidates to have a bachelor's degree combined with related professional experience. Common educational requirements include a bachelor's degree in business administration, information technology, or another related degree field and 3-10 years of relevant experience.

Document control managers must be self-starters with excellent oral and written communication, organizational, analytical, and interpersonal skills. They should also be detail oriented and comfortable handling multiple tasks. Knowledge of document creation and maintenance procedures, GXP Standard Operating Procedures is also required. Document control managers should also be computer literate and feel comfortable working with Adobe Acrobat, Enterprise Resource Planning, Microsoft Office and SharePoint, Windows OS, Oracle Primavera, and ProjectWise.

Because document control managers are often at the helm of their document control departments, they also need to have excellent managerial skills in order to help the document controllers working under them succeed in a productive work environment. Some positions may require the ability and willingness to travel.

Related Jobs

There are several similar job titles that you may have come across when researching document control managers, including ''document controller'' and ''document control administrator.'' These jobs are closely related. A document control manager is a slightly higher-level position than a document controller. A document controller is generally an entry-level job in the field, while document control managers have more responsibility.

''Document control administrator'' is another name for ''document controller.'' While these terms can be confusing, it's important to keep their differences in mind when planning your career and when looking at different resources. For instance, information on how to be a document controller may not be relevant if you're more interested in management.

Steps to Become a Document Control Manager

Let's find out what steps you'll need to take to become a document control manager.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

While a bachelor's degree isn't required for all jobs, some employers prefer candidates who have completed a degree program in a field such as business administration, information technology, or a related field. A degree program in business administration may cover business communication, writing and ethics; leadership and management, financial management, and management information systems (MIS). A major in information technology may include coursework in the fundamentals of database systems, client/server operating systems, network management, programming logic, project management, and Web development. Other common majors and courses for document control managers include:

  • Business development
  • Computer science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Information systems
  • Personnel management

Success Tip

Take additional courses in the use of computer software. Training courses for software programs such as Primavera or Microsoft SharePoint can be useful for document control managers.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Administrative assistant and administrative specialist jobs provide experience in records systems along with advancement opportunities to document control supervisory roles. Companies hiring document control managers prefer candidates who've had previous experience working in a management position. Experience with document control software and processes, recordkeeping, and vendor audits may be preferred. Once the necessary experience is obtained, candidates can advance in their career to a managerial position in document control.

Success Tip

Take an interest in accounting practices. There is a tremendous amount of crossover between the skills necessary to be a successful bookkeeper or accountant and those necessary for a document control manager. Staying on top of accounting practices allows document specialists to reach the top of their field.

Step 3: Advance Your Career

Depending on the specific nature of their workplaces, document control managers may want to consider pursuing a relevant license or certificate. These credentials can demonstrate confidence to an employer that a candidate has the skills necessary to carry out the complex managerial tasks that will keep the company in the forefront of their field. Document control certification is available through institutions like Consepsys. Becoming a certified document controller or control manager may give you an edge in the job field throughout your career.

Workplaces

Who employs document control managers? The answer is that most large businesses, corporations, and institutions require document controllers and document control managers. Entrepreneurs and growing businesses, organizations working on numerous projects, and even institutions like government agencies and postsecondary educational institutions often need document control managers on their staff. A few major employers of document control managers include but are not limited to:

  • Air Asia
  • Bayer AG
  • Shell Oil
  • Suncor
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Xerox
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