How to Become an Office Manager
Few roles are as integral to the day-to-day function of an office as this one. Are you up to the task?
Offices can sometimes seem a lot like the Wild West. Paper jams happen, deadlines inch closer, and workflows gets stalled by unexpected demands. When you learn how to become an office manager, you gain the skills needed to grab the bull by the horns and ensure that administrative operations flow smoothly. You also help businesses and organizations meet their goals.
Once you get your foot in the office door, you can expect a high-demand career that comes with a slew of perks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects office management jobs to grow by 6% over the next 10 years. That’s faster than most occupations. Additionally, you can expect to earn a decent paycheck. If that sounds appealing to you, there just might be a manager’s desk with your name on it. Read on to find out how to get there.
What Is Office Management?
Office management is a profession that involves improving overall efficiency and productivity within an office. Office managers oversee the day-to-day duties of administrative staff and the administrative functions within a company or organization.
There are generally four major functions of office management:
- Planning is critical for establishing a company’s goals and objectives, establishing employee responsibilities, and setting realistic timelines and deadlines.
- Organization ensures that departments and daily operations run smoothly when working toward a company’s goals.
- Leadership provides adequate communication and direction to employees. It’s vital for helping teams solve problems and resolving potential conflicts.
- Oversight is necessary for monitoring the performance and progress of employees, as well as the efficiency of completed projects.
Not all office managers are the same, however. For example, a medical office manager is a health-care professional who oversees day-to-day office activities to ensure quality and cost-effective care for patients. A business office manager oversees secretarial functions and reports to senior management.
What Does an Office Manager Do?
Most office managers work for health-care and social assistance facilities, educational services, professional services, government agencies, insurance agencies, and financial institutions. Day-to-day office manager duties may include:
- Supervising clerical and administrative staff.
- Establishing department goals, timelines, and deadlines.
- Record-keeping and monitoring.
- Ensuring that employees follow all safety, security, and record-keeping guidelines.
- Recommending policy changes and new procedures that improve office functions.
- Monitoring facilities for safety, security, and maintenance.
- Supervising maintenance and repairs to machinery, equipment, and electrical systems.
- Ensuring that facilities comply with environmental, health, and security regulations.
To learn more about typical office manager responsibilities, take a look at Monster’s office manager job description.
How to Become an Office Manager
Most entry-level office managers hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, or a related field and have some related work experience. If you’re about to start college, you may want to look into an office management degree program that can boost your likelihood of getting hired right out of school.
Interested in becoming an office manager but don’t know where to start? Check out these scholarships for business administration, management, and operations majors that can help you to manage your own educational operations.
In addition to having a college education, you can build up your experience by working in an administrative, clerical, or paralegal position. There are many entry-level jobs that will allow you to get the office manager training in organizational skills, planning, and problem-solving that you’ll need. It’s also worth considering an office internship, which provides real-world experience to help you gain valuable skills to apply at a future job.
Office Manager Certification
Becoming an office manager doesn’t require any special certification, but having a certificate helps you to stand out among a crowd of qualified applicants. There are a handful of professional associations that offer certification programs for administrative professionals. Among those are:
- The International Facility Management Association (IFMA): The IFMA Certified Facility Manager designation covers communication, risk management, sustainability, finance and business, leadership and strategy, project management, and many other aspects of facility management. It’s designed for facility managers with at least five years of experience and requires candidates to pass an exam.
- The Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM): The ICRM offers a certification program to records and information management professionals. To be eligible for certification, you must pass an exam that covers management principles; records and information creation and use; record storage, retrieval, and conversion; record identification, retention, protection, and disposition; and technology.
- The ARMA International: ARMA offers the Information Governance Professional (IGP) certification program to administrative professionals who oversee information assets for companies and organizations. To be considered for certification, you must take and pass an exam at a Pearson Vue testing center near you.
How Much Do Office Managers Make?
The average office manager salary is $47,398 per year, according to Monster data. However, average pay varies by experience and industry. For example, on the low end, office managers earn $33,654, while the highest paid earn more than $85,170. Finance and insurance are the top-paying industries, with a median yearly salary of $110,170 for office managers, according to the BLS.
You can look up the average salary for office managers in your location by using the Monster Salary Guide.
How to Find Office Manager Jobs
Once you have a full understanding of how to become an office manager, make your job search the next phase of your career. Employers are looking for strong analytical skills, communication skills, attention to detail, and leadership skills in office manager candidates.
Show employers that you have what it takes by highlighting your office manager skills in your application materials. Your office manager resume should highlight your work experience, accomplishments, and education, while your office manager cover letter should showcase your communication skills and professionalism to potential employers.
Then, check out Monster’s office manager jobs once you’re ready to start applying.
Can’t find the right employer in your area? No problem. These are the top five states with the most office manager jobs, according to the BLS:
Also, consider these top five U.S. metro areas with the most office manager positions:
Manage Your Job Search With Monster Today
Now that you’ve learned how to become an office manager, sign up with Monster for help managing your job search—after all, everyone needs an effective manager. We’ll keep you up to date with new office manager positions and give you the tips you need to nail your first interview.