Office Manager Job Description
- Office Managers are important figures in any office environment, but what is the responsibility of an Office Manager and what can you expect from this highly varied role? In this Office Manager job description article, we explore the core duties and key skills of the role, as well as salary expectation, career prospects and more.
- What is an Office Manager?
- What does an Office Manager do?
- How to become an Office Manager
- How much do Office Managers earn?
- Office Manager Career Prospects
- Office Manager Jobs
In a very broad sense, the role of an Office Manager is to ensure that an office is running smoothly. Everything from arranging staff meetings to maintaining resources must be taken care of, ensuring that the team can work in the most efficient way possible. This involves a number of administrative, organisational and management duties.
Office Managers are employed by a variety of public and private sector organisations, such as hospitals, universities and businesses. Due to the broad nature of the Office Manager role, they are sometimes known as Administrative Managers, Facilities Managers or Operations Managers.
Although the role varies depending on the organisation, everyday Office Manager responsibilities are likely to include:
• Implementing and maintaining office policies and administrative systems
• Organising meetings, events or conferences
• Liaising with employees at all levels, including senior management
• Dealing with telephone calls, letters, reports etc
• Ensuring that office supplies and resources are stocked and replenished
• Delegating work to the administrative team
• Promoting staff training and development
• Assisting the HR department by keeping records up to date, organising inductions, appraisals etc
• Implementing health and safety procedures
• Recording office expenditure and managing the budget
To become an Office Manager, you will require a good academic background, including strong GCSE and A level grades.
A degree can make a difference to your application, particularly when you’re applying for Executive Office Manager roles. Degree subjects such as Business, Management, Marketing or Computing are especially useful.
Apprenticeships and NVQs in areas such as business and administration are useful for those not enrolled in higher education.
Some employers may ask for a management qualification as an additional requirement. The Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) offer qualifications designed specifically for existing and prospective Office Managers. Membership of the IAM is a great way to stay updated with industry news, discounted training offers and networking opportunities in the office management community.
Skills & Experience
Whilst qualifications can really add value to your application, relevant office experience and management skills are the key things employers look for. Office Manager roles are not typically entry level positions and the application process is often competitive. Therefore, previous experience in an office based, secretarial or managerial position is highly beneficial. Experience within the sector specific to the organisation might also be a requirement.
In addition to permanent employment, relevant experience can be gained via temporary agency work, or ‘temping.’ You should also include any volunteering / team-oriented experiences or extra-curricular activities on your CV. This will give you an edge whilst being relevant to the role.
When it comes to skills, Cat Mangan, winner of Office Manager of the Year at the PA of the Year Awards 2019, says that “a high degree of emotional intelligence” is key for an office management career. She explains that in her role at Murphy Philipps Architects, she deals with a variety of people across the business which brings “a lot of different emotions and attitudes” and as a result, can be challenging.
However, if you’re highly organised, enjoy interacting with people and have the ambition and motivation to get things done, then a career as an Office Manager might be for you. See below for a list of key Office Manager competencies.
Office Manager Skills:
• Organisation and time management
• Communication and relationship building
• High level of emotional intelligence
• Confident ability to lead and manage others
• Strong IT skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office
• Ability to work under pressure
• A driven, motivated attitude with the ability to use your own initiative
• Budgeting and numerical skills
Our upcoming Audience Insight Report reveals that the average annual salary for an Office Manager stands at £36,453, up on last year’s figure of £35,956. This varies depending on factors including location, industry sector and level of experience.
The report also shows that in 2019, 56% of Office Managers received a pay rise, while 49% took home a bonus.
There is plenty of room for growth and development in an Office Manager role. Usually, your employer will offer basic training which covers the use of software and databases. Depending on the size of the organisation, training is carried out either in-house or externally and the cost may or may not be covered. Courses are typically offered in areas such as team leading, marketing, time management and health and safety.
In smaller organisations, it is likely that you will have to contribute to your own professional development as the budget may not stretch to training. As discussed above, there are other qualifications, such as those offered by the IAM, which you can complete to boost your Office Manager skill set. Andrew Jardine, General Manager of the IAM, says that the IQ Level 4 Certificate in Office and Administration Management is “ideal for those aspiring to move into a more senior role within office and administration management,” which serves as a “formal recognition of their skills.”
In terms of career progression for Office Managers, with more experience comes more responsibility. You will likely be given the scope to manage more people or a larger area, perhaps going from managing a team within a department to the whole department itself.
You will likely take on a wider set of responsibilities, stepping into an Executive Office Manager role or other senior management position. However, you may face competition when trying to progress into senior posts if there are a number of Office Managers within your organisation. If you have the opportunity to develop a specialism in an area such as HR, finance or strategic development, this would certainly help your chances at securing a more senior role such as Head of Department in the future.
If you’re a hardworking Office Manager with a professional career deserving of a prestigious accolade, why not nominate yourself for the Office Manager of the Year category at the 2020 PA of the Year Awards?
Last year saw the launch of this brand new category, which PA of the Year judge Sarah El-Doori says “aims to champion Office Managers’ strategic and operational responsibilities” and recognises the broad nature of a role that incorporates duties spanning HR, IT, budget, supplier and project management.
It is this growing scope and professionalisation of the support role which the new Award seeks to recognise. Nominations for the awards open in April, so stay tuned for updates on the SecsintheCity blog.
Recent data gathered by the SecsintheCity team has revealed a rise in the number of Office Manager jobs on site – increasing by 12% month-on-month and 4% year-on-year. In addition to this rise in vacancies, there has been an 11% increase in recruiter and employer searches for Office Managers on the SecsintheCity CV database, further demonstrating the demand for these professionals.
If you’re looking for a new Office Manager job, now could be the perfect time to apply. Browse the latest Office Manager opportunities on SecsintheCity today or create a job alert to be notified of suitable roles when they are posted.