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Business Officer Job Description

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Business officers are professional workers employed by either federally funded state institutions or large educational divisions of a university system. These institutions refer to them by varying titles, such as chief business officer, academic officer and administrative director. Business officers usually report to top administrators, such as a university president or chief executive officer. In general, business officers are responsible for their organization’s fiscal and budgetary operations, human resource management and physical building operations.

Primary Responsibilities and Job Duties

Business officers are responsible for an organization's financial management, business operations and human resource administration functions. They handle the allocation and appropriation of funds, prepare cost estimates, balance accounts, deposit incoming monies and endorse checks and vouchers. Business officers also conduct building inspections. They consider potential renovations with other managers, such as government officials, architects and general contractors. They also communicate with building cleaning workers regarding current supplies and future inventory requirements. Business officers have the authority to approve all work orders and internal requests for funds for supplies, equipment and property repairs.

Acceptable Education and Experience

A bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration or hospital administration provides the basic knowledge required for business officer jobs. Ideal candidates satisfy the degree requirements and possess a minimum of five years of professional experience in the planning, administration and management of business or governmental programs.

Other Qualifications

Because business officers handle a broad range of administrative functions, a thorough knowledge of the best practices for public and business administration and personnel management are critically important. Because many job responsibilities are financial in nature, a working knowledge related to the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), as well as the ability to plan and direct fiscal and business services, are also essential. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills help business officers lead a motivated workforce and establish and maintain effective working relationships with all stakeholders, including associates, state officials and the general public.

Leadership Style

The Business Officer Handbook published by the University of California, San Diego provides leadership guidance to assist individuals in business officer jobs. Business officers who are responsive, accessible and supportive to their employees, genuinely appreciate and recognize the good work of others, remain positive and motivational irregardless of stressful situations, lead by example and motivate their employees to do their best work are well positioned for career success.

Salary Data

According to income data from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, the median base salaries of senior-level administrators, including business officers, the base salary reported for business officers ranges from $98,477 to $201,297. The median annual earnings for business officer jobs is $137,424.


Alyssa Guzman has written online content for eHow and Answerbag since 2010. She is a "journalist of all trades" and writes on many subjects including travel and leisure, animal health, informaton technology, business etiquette and exotic flowering plants. Guzman was a communications studies major at the Florida State University.

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