How to Become an Administrative Manager: Career Guide

Research the requirements to become an administrative manager. Learn about the job description and duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career in administration. View article »

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Should I Become an Administrative Manager?

Administrative managers help organizations and companies operate successfully by planning and overseeing a variety of services. This may include coordinating and centralizing the operations of several departments, like combining distribution, information and mail services. Overtime work may be required.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Business, business administration, facility management, or similar related field
Certification Voluntary; may enhance career prospects
Experience Varies; related experience common and required for certification
Key Skills Leadership, analytical, and communication skills; attention to detail; ability to use industry-specific software (such as those used for accounting, desktop publishing, and enterprise resource planning); knowledge of clerical and administrative procedures
Salary (2014) $86,110 (2015 median for all administrative managers)

Sources: Job postings from employers (November 2012), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net Online

Getting into this position requires a bachelor's degree in business, business administration, facility management or similar related field. Certification is voluntary and may enhance career prospects. Experience requirements varies by employer. Related experience common and required for certification. Key skills for administrative assistants are leadership, analytical and communication skills; attention to detail; ability to use industry-specific software, such as those used for accounting, desktop publishing and enterprise resource planning; and knowledge of clerical and administrative procedures. In 2015, administrative managers earned a median annual salary of $86,110, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now let's find out the specific steps that it takes to become an administrative manager.

Becoming an Administrative Manager

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Administrative managers working for larger companies typically need to have a bachelor's degree. This undergraduate education can be accomplished through several majors, such as human resources, finance, accounting and business administration, all of which are useful for administrative managers. Students in these programs will study related topics that include project management, business writing and labor relations. To make the most from your education, enroll in a dual concentration. Examples of concentrations available in some college degree programs include finance, marketing, information management and accounting.

Step 2: Develop the Necessary Experience

Through internships, mentorships or entry-level positions, an administrative manager can build up the skills necessary to succeed in this career. Administrative managers need to develop excellent communication skills, maintain a confident and friendly presence, have a good work ethic and demonstrate leadership skills. Positions, such as the community association manager, can also help prospective administrative managers learn more about the field and develop experience.

Step 3: Apply for an Administrative Management Position

Recent college graduates that have earned a bachelor's degree should have good prospects for an entry-level position as an administrative manager. Having completed a four-year undergraduate program as well as an internship or entry-level training provides aspiring candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills often sought by potential employers. Prospective administrative managers may look for positions at a variety of facilities, such as schools or healthcare facilities.

Additionally, you can gain professional certification. Organizations like the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) provide certification to administrative managers seeking to get an edge in this field. Designations include the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) and the Facility Management Professional (FMP). These credentials have varying requirements, but generally need a minimum amount of work experience and education.

Step 4: Pursue Career Advancement

Some administrative managers move on to other management positions or to large companies to receive increased pay, benefits and responsibility. Acquiring some work experience and developing friendly contacts with executives and other administrative managers can help administrative managers to move ahead in this field.

A master's degree is helpful for advancement opportunities, like moving up to director of administrative services. A particularly experienced manager can join or start their own management consulting firm and provide services to various organizations on a contract basis.

To recap, with a bachelor's degree, work experience and certification, administrative managers earn $86,110 to help organizations and companies operate successfully by planning and overseeing a variety of services.

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