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How Do I Become an Office Manager?

Explore the career requirements for office managers. Get the facts about education and certification requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you.

What is an Office Manager?

Office managers plan and coordinate administrative support services and staff for businesses and organizations. As an office manager, your job will be to ensure the office you operate runs smoothly. You may be responsible for assigning tasks, creating schedules and training employees. You may also resolve workplace disputes, respond to customer complaints and conduct evaluations.

The following table provides information about educational requirements for administrative services managers who might also be called office managers.

Degree RequiredBachelor's
Education Field of StudyBusiness, engineering, facility management
Key SkillsOrganization, communication, and leadership
CertificationVoluntary certification is available
Job Growth (2018-2028) 7% for all administrative service managers*
Median Salary (2018)$96,180 for all administrative service managers*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Skills Are Necessary For a Job as an Office Manager?

An office manager must communicate effectively and be a strong leader who is able to make vital decisions quickly and in a fast-paced environment. Flexibility and the ability to pay attention to detail, multi-task and make deadlines are also important traits for an office manager. Extensive knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and database computer software programs is essential.

What Job Duties Will I Perform?

As an office manager, you'll oversee the acquisition of equipment and supplies, supervise the management of information and manage the schedules' of employees. You'll also confirm that all policies and regulations of your organization are adhered to. In a small company you might supervise administrative services, and in a larger company you might manage facilities or work with contracts.

What Education Do I Need?

The level and type of degree required for an office manager position varies by company and is dependent on the size and type of organization. Some companies may only require that you have administrative work experience, while others may require that you have an associate's or bachelor's degree. An associate's degree program in business can be completed in as little as two years, and many schools offer online programs for students who are currently employed in administrative positions. Courses of study include writing, computer skills, public speaking, accounting, marketing and finance.

A bachelor's degree is necessary if you want to work for a larger or technology-based company, according to the BLS. You could earn a bachelor's degree in business administration, finance, accounting or human resources. Regardless of the degree program you enroll in, you should take courses in computers, accounting, business law, human resources and business technology.

What Certifications Can I Earn?

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) provides online training opportunities and certifications for facility managers. Certification options include the Facility Management Professional (FMP), Sustainable Facility Professional (SFP) and Certified Facility Manager (CFM) credentials. The FMP credential can be earned through a brief training program offered by the IFMA that culminates in four exams. You'll need to meet more extensive education and experience requirements in order to pursue the CFM credential.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Individuals with a penchant for administrative leadership might enroll in a bachelor's degree program and work their way up to positions as top executives. Rather than supervising an office or department, top executives direct and manage entire organizations. If higher education is off table, property, real estate, and community association managers only require a high school diploma and manage housing properties to maintain resale value.