An associate manager oversees clerical and support workers for a company. Associate managers hire and train a staff that performs tasks such as answering phones, greeting customers, typing reports and letters, and faxing documents. They work in a wide array of industries and often have to perform many of the duties of the associates themselves.
Associate managers must possess strong administrative and office skills, as they and their associates provide important links between their business and its clients. They handle everyday responsibilities that can change on a frequent basis. They also must keep their employees motivated and working as a team, making sure each member of their staff understands company policies and guidelines. Along with supervising other workers, associate managers may have duties that range from scheduling to stocking (or ensuring the stocking of) an office with supplies to taking notes or minutes at meetings.
Associate managers must have a thorough understanding of how to use basic office equipment such as computers and telephone headsets. Some may need to possess bookkeeping skills, in the event they help with their employer’s bills and collections. Associate managers also should possess strong organizational qualities and confidence, with sound communication and customer service skills. Moreover, they should exhibit courtesy, patience and a professional attitude when interacting with their staff, as well as customers.
Requirements to become an associate manager vary greatly by industry, although all need at least a high school diploma. Some may need associate’s or bachelor’s degrees, or various forms of certification. More than anything, associate managers need to have displayed a strong work ethic, positive attitude and decent leadership skills while working as associates themselves.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for office and administrative support supervisors will increase by 11 percent from 2008 to 2018—about the same rate as the national average during the same span. More than 1.4 million workers held employment as associate managers in May 2008, the BLS reports.
Wages for associate managers vary by industry, as well as their overall responsibilities and number of years on the job. PayScale.com reports that administrative and office managers earned anywhere from nearly $29,000 to more than $44,000 per year in April 2010.