How to Become an Office Manager

All companies and organizations in nearly every economic sector need efficient office support staff to effectively operate and function. Trained managers are required to coordinate and supervise office support staff to ensure the needs of the company or organization are being met. This is the job of office managers.

What does an office manager do?

Office managers are responsible for ensuring office support staff are doing their jobs effectively and efficiently. They organize and plan work and supervise their staff assigned to complete the work. They know the strengths and weaknesses of all staff members and work with each individual to get the work completed in a timely and correct manner. They review each employee’s work and often conduct performance reviews periodically. They often recommend improvements and nominate employees for promotions or awards.

Office managers often interview and assess potential employees. They set up orientation and training sessions. They themselves often help train new employees on office procedures and equipment. Office managers sometimes serve as liaisons between the support staff and managerial, technical, or professional staff. They may be involved in employing new polices and changing the organization of the department. They also make sure that office equipment is working correctly and make arrangements for repairs or replacements when needed.

What kind of training does an office manager need?

Most employers require office managers to have postsecondary training. Many office managers have associate or bachelor degrees. They should also have a broad knowledge of how the computer system of the company or organization works. Most office managers are promoted from support workers within the company. Many years of on the job experience is typically the best preparation to become a manager. Office managers also typically attend in-house training sessions or complete time management, interpersonal relations, or project management courses.

What are the prospects for a career as an office manager?

Employment of office managers is projected to grow slower than average for all professions, increasing 6% from 2006 to 2016 (1).

Job prospects are expected to be fair with keen competition. Job opportunities will be the best for office managers with advanced education and extensive work experience. Many job openings will occur from the need to replace office managers who retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do office managers make?

As of July 2009, the middle 50% of office managers earned annual salaries between $46,942 and $65,177. The highest 10% earned annual salaries of more than $74,234 (2).

A career as an office manager is a great choice for people with a strong interest to manage others. Office managers must have great leadership and motivation skills, strong ability to work as part of a team, good communication skills, pay close attention to detail and have excellent problem solving skills. They should also be confidence, determined, loyal, and have poise. The ability to effectively organize and coordinate work is also very important.

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