The title of office manager covers a wide array of job types and responsibilities. Typically, office managers have specific interests, skills and educational backgrounds - including at least two years of college - that allow them to be successful in particular fields.
Office managers ensure the smooth and efficient operation of many types of offices, including business, medical, dental and law offices. These professionals typically complete at least two years of postsecondary education in office management or a related discipline. Office managers who want to work in specific industries, such as in medical or law offices, may need to take courses related to their industry. Some programs allow students to get office experience through internships or other hands-on training.
|Required Education||Two years of college courses; associate's degree in office management or relevant field may be preferred|
|Projected Job Decline (2019-2029)*||8% for first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2019)*||$56,620 for first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Type of Training is Required to Become an Office Manager?
Office managers typically spend two years in college, according to The College Board. General course topics vary depending upon which area an individual chooses to specialize in. For example, business office managers study topics such as accounting, word processing, record keeping, business communication and basic computer skills.
Specialty Manager Training
Medical office managers learn anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, billing and coding. They also develop clinical and basic computer skills. Dental office managers study topics such as dental anatomy and radiology, clinical science, oral pathology, medical ethics and dental billing.
Law office managers take courses that cover topics such as introductory law, human relations, law practice trends, communications systems, business software and financial management. While many schools have separate majors for each specialized area, some schools have programs in general office management that allow students to select a concentration in dental, medical or legal office management.
Office management programs also offer training in the form of internships, externships and practicums. These training programs are usually completed at local business offices or private practices. Depending upon area of specialization, students may either assist with office duties, patient duties or a combination of the two.
Entry into specialized office management programs generally requires satisfying admissions requirements or prerequisites. For example, a medical office management program may require students to complete an allied health education program at an accredited school prior to enrolling.
Dental office management programs have similar requirements and usually want students to hold a certificate in dental assisting from an institution approved by the American Dental Association. Some programs may require students to be board-certified dental assistants prior to enrolling.
If you want to become an office manager, you should carefully consider what specialization you want to pursue. You might choose a degree program in general, medical, dental, legal or another type of office management. With so many unique options in the field that have different requirements, it makes sense to plan ahead for your education and career.