Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Keeping a business running smoothly, whether it is a large multinational corporation or a small or medium-sized enterprise, requires maintaining a wide range of services. From keeping the facility safe and all of the equipment running to organizing the administrative and record-keeping functions, an administrative officer is in charge of ensuring that everything is working as it should so the business continues to be productive and efficient. It’s a big responsibility, but one that is well compensated, with some officers earning above six figures annually.
Job Description of an Administrative Officer
In the broadest sense, an administrative officer – also called an administrative services manager or business manager or officer – is the person in charge of overseeing all of the services necessary to keep the business running. Depending on the size of the company, an administrative officer might be in charge of a single department or service, such as mail, building security or facilities, or he or she may oversee all of the administrative functions in the company.
More specifically, some of the tasks that an administrative officer handles include:
- Purchasing and maintaining supplies..
- Overseeing the housekeeping and maintenance of the building, both inside and outside.
- Ensuring that the building and facilities are in compliance with health, environmental and security standards.
- Monitoring energy usage and consumption, and making recommendations or policies to limit expenses in this area.
- Overseeing administrative and support functions; for example, outlining the duties and responsibilities of an administrative assistant.
- Coordinating different departments to ensure efficiency.
In short, the administrative officer is key to the business's efficient operation, allowing other executives to focus on strategic priorities.
Most employers require administrative officers to have at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related field such as business administration or management. Experience is also preferred, particularly if it shows leadership and managerial skills. Depending on the specialization of the officer, additional specialized experience may be required. For example, facilities managers typically need experience working in facilities (and in some cases, the technical skills necessarily to maintain and repair equipment) as well as project management, facilities management and operations.
Although certification isn’t required to get a job as an administrative manager, in some specializations it can improve your job prospects. Facilities managers can seek certification via the International Facilities Management Association, for example, while records managers can earn credentials from the Institute of Certified Records Managers. Such certifications are competency based and issued to those who meet the experience and education requirements.
Administrative officers work in all industries, from education and government to healthcare to manufacturing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education and healthcare are the largest employers of administrative leaders. Most work a full-time schedule in an office, although they may be called upon to visit other areas of the facility or meet with vendors. About 25 percent worked more than 40 hours in 2016, most commonly facilities managers who needed to work during nights or weekends to handle problems.
Years of Experience and Salary
Earning potential for administrative officers is competitive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for administrative services managers is $94,020, meaning that 50 percent earn more and 50 percent earn less. For those focusing primarily on administrative tasks, such as overseeing administrative functions like bookkeeping and clerical support, Payscale.com reports a lower median wage of $58,938 per year. In either case, gaining experience does increase salary, with PayScale noting that the starting salary for an entry-level administrative officer is $42,000, while an experienced officer can earn well over $63,000 per year.
Job Growth Trend
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10 percent growth in this field by 2026. This is due in large part to businesses’ increased focus on efficiency, new and changing regulations regarding information management, as well as the desire to become more environmentally friendly. Regardless of the industry, the BLS notes, administrative tasks will continue to be important.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.