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The director of administration is in charge of all of the administrative aspects of the company or department he is employed by. This can be a business or a nonprofit, or a certain department of a business such as operations or finance. The position’s responsibilities can be greatly influenced by the department, industry or size of the business or organization.
A director of administration must have both leadership and time management skills for managing not only people but resources as well. In charge of human resources -- including hiring and training practices, payroll and employee programs -- a director of administration may also manage employee benefits, such as health insurance and paid time off. Facilities management duties include inventory control, daily office operations and working with the facility’s landlord when applicable. Good planning and communication skills are necessary for developing business plans and working with employees to implement and maintain them.
A director of administration oversees all of the administrative staff, and makes sure that policies are in place to ensure that the administrative functions of the business run smoothly. Depending on the business, this may include keeping track of shipping records, customer orders and potentially confidential documents. These professionals are also responsible for keeping employee records up to date, and are involved in budget development. If supervisors or coworkers need to travel for business, the director of administration is responsible for making travel arrangements and handling any per diem expenses. If the company has a lawyer on retainer, the director of administration is his liaison.
The position of director of administration can be found in pretty much every industry, and sometimes larger companies have one in each department of business. Director of Finance Administration, Operations and Administration Director, Facilities Manager and Records and Information Manager are all positions that cover much of the same administrative duties as a Director of Administration, except more specialized to their branch of the business. For example, a Director of Finance Administration oversees all the administrative functions of the finance department, including budgeting, billing and cash flow, while a Facilities Manager is responsible for overseeing buildings, equipment and supplies. Smaller companies are more likely to have just one overall Director of Administration, but the experience required may depend on the industry that the position is in.
Education and Qualifications
A high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement to be a director of administration, but most going into the position have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, engineering or facility management. There is a certification program for administrative services available from the International Facility Management Association. There are two levels to the certification: Facilities Management Professional and Certified Facility Manager. However, the CFM certification has other educational prerequisites. Either of these certifications can improve your chances of finding employment as a director of administration.
Harlow Keith has been involved in the human resources sector since 1998. He founded a human resources training company and has written several published articles. Harlow became interested in his field at the tender age of 15 while editing his father's resume.