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A branch administrator is the most senior employee in an organization's local facility. Often reporting to a regional manager, president or chief executive, this individual is one of the most senior leaders in a company. While many branch administrators manage one location, it is not uncommon for them to oversee multiple sites. Alternative job titles for those in this role include branch manager, general manager and operations manager.
Branch administrators are wholly responsible for the operation and success of their facility. They establish and implement business practices and policies, ensuring that they align with those of corporate interests. They keep close tabs on the region in which they do business, identifying potential avenues of increased revenue. They recruit, hire, train and dismiss staff. Financial responsibilities, such as accounting, budgeting, managing credit accounts and purchasing required supplies, are also under the branch manager’s purview. In many cases, the branch administrator is the face of the facility, and as such must maintain positive relationships with customers and clients, serve as the company's spokesperson and represent the branch at enterprise-wide events.
Every industry has its own requirements regarding the expected education level of its branch administrators. An accounting firm, for example, may require that branch heads possess an MBA in accounting or finance, as well as a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) credential. Alternatively, in lieu of a formal education, a store manager working for a chain of clothing boutiques may be required to possess ample and progressive retail experience. However, in most instances, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree in management or a field related to their industry.
As high-ranking employees, branch administrators must have a variety of skills to obtain and remain successful in their position. The ability to effectively communicate, giving clear direction to subordinates and persuasively negotiating with their managers and peers, is crucial. These managers must also be strong leaders, able to quickly make decisions regarding the branch for which they are responsible. They must also be good with numbers, as branch administrators are often responsible for their location’s balance sheet.
Because branch administrators are some of the most senior executives within their respective organizations, they are highly compensated. In May 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that general and operations managers earned a yearly median income of $95,440. Even more impressive, top executives in general earned an average of $101,650 annually. Moreover, it is not uncommon for branch managers and other senior executives to be awarded performance-based bonuses and stock options in addition to their base pay.