What is a Front Office Manager?
A front office manager is the senior person in an office environment and accountable for maintaining a professional work environment, staff supervision, and administrative support. They shoulder a variety of responsibilities, often at the discretion of the company owner. These tasks can vary from managing accounting functions to allocating work assignments to approving the purchasing of office supplies. The job specifics of a front office manager largely depend on the company's needs.
|Required Education||High school diploma; associate's degree or higher recommended|
|Degree Field(s)||Business with office management focus|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||8%|
|Average Salary (2015)||$94,840|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Front office managers use a number of skills to successfully perform their duties. Two of these skills are a thorough knowledge of the company and an understanding of its products. Another crucial skill is an awareness of the roles of other office employees. This knowledge of the products, company structure, and employee duties allows the office manager to effectively assign job responsibilities and allocate company resources while maintaining an efficient working environment.
Companies often expect front office managers to oversee a variety of projects. To meet each project's deadline, the manager may need to overcome delays and hurdles. These projects may also require the manager to document each project's progress. To accomplish these goals, a front office manager needs exceptional oral and written communication skills. Multitasking abilities are also helpful.
Other important functions of a front office manager include:
- Supervisor support
- Office harmony
- Crisis handling
- Office morale
- Customer service
Office management is one occupation where the right person can be promoted, over time, from a subordinate position into a managerial role with nothing more than a high school diploma. However, a candidate who has a degree may have an advantage over those who do not. An associate's degree in business with a focus on office management may help candidates find a position more quickly. This degree can be acquired in a two-year period from most community colleges. When coupled with good job performance, this degree is valuable when supervisors perform internal promotions.
An associate's degree includes the following classes:
- Document processing
- Desktop publishing
- Records management
- Human resource management
Depending on the type of business conducted and the responsibilities of the office manager position, some companies may require a bachelor's degree in business.
Requisite upper level classes for obtaining a bachelor's degree include:
- Management and organization theory
- Business writing
- Business law
- Business finance
- Business ethics
With or without a degree, those who have experience in an office position and a proven record of obtaining results may be candidates for positions as front office managers.
Salary and Employment Outlook
Administrative services managers, who could also be called front office managers, earned an average salary of $94,840, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May of 2015. As of 2015, there were 287,300 administrative services managers employed in the U.S., and job opportunities in the field are expected to increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024, as reported by the BLS.
Front office managers can be promoted with only a high school degree, but having an associate's degree in business will increase your chances for being hired for this job, as would having previous office experience and a proven track record of keeping an office running smoothly and efficiently.