Business Office Manager: Job Description & Career Info

Apr 10, 2019

Learn about the work responsibilities of a business office manager. Discover what skills and education are needed as well as employment outlook and salary to decide if this is the right career option.

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Career Definition for Business Office Managers

Business office managers are a type of administrative manager who is in charge of coordinating the various support services and personnel needed to ensure that an office runs smoothly. They are employed by small businesses, large corporations, non-profit entities, and government agencies. Common duties of business office managers include overseeing reception and secretarial services, ordering office supplies, maintaining communication systems, managing payroll, planning travel, processing data, and monitoring security.

Education Associate's in business administration or a similar field
Job Duties Ordering office supplies, maintaining communication, managing payroll
Median Salary (2018)* $96,180 (all administrative services managers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 10% (all administrative services managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Depending on the employer and the exact duties of the role, the educational requirements vary; however, you'll need at least an associate's degree in a field like business administration or management. Common courses in a 2-year associate's degree that will help prepare you for a career in business office management include records and information management, personnel management, facility maintenance and management, office administration, and business communication. Obtaining a relevant certification, such as a certified manager designation offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM), will improve your employment and advancement prospects.

Skills Required

Business office managers must feel comfortable delegating tasks and managing subordinate employees. Strong multitasking, communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills are critical for a successful career as a business office manager.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projects that employment for administrative services managers, including business office managers, will grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. The median annual earnings for administrative services managers were $96,180 as of May 2018.

Alternative Careers

Similar career options in this field include:

Human Resources (HR) Manager

For those interested in taking charge of personnel issues and hiring practices at an organization, becoming a human resources manager could be a good fit. These managers explore staffing needs, oversee employee benefits and services, direct interviewing and hiring activities, create policies, and handle disciplinary situations. Many HR managers enter the profession with a bachelors' degree in business administration human resources or related field, but some employers may require a master's degree.

Prior work experience is essential, and employment as a human resources or benefits specialist can prepare one for a management position. According to the BLS, employment of human resources managers is projected to grow by 9% between 2016 and 2026. In 2018, the BLS determined that HR managers earned a median salary of $113,300.

Purchasing Manager

If supervising buying and supplier contract activities sounds more appealing, consider becoming a purchasing manager. The many duties of a purchasing manager include overseeing negotiations for merchandise and material purchases, managing purchasing staff, examining contracts, and making sure all trade terms are honored.

Experience in a purchasing job and a business bachelor's degree are necessary steps to finding employment in purchasing management, but many larger companies could require a master's degree. The American Purchasing Society and other professional organizations offer certification for those seeking an additional advantage in the job market.

As seen in BLS data from May of 2018, purchasing managers received $118,940 in median yearly wages. The BLS predicts average employment growth for these managers during the 2016-2026 decade - a rate of 5% - mostly caused by decreases in manufacturing and government defense spending.

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