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The Role of a Business Administrator
The business administrator understands business operations and processes. A day-to-day role may involve accounting, finance, marketing, economics, statistics, human resources and decision-making. In a small organization, the business administrator might manage administrative support services; large organizations may have several layers of administrative managers who specialize in different areas from human resources to facilities management.
The business administrator's specific role depends on the company and the job description, but in general, the administrator is charged with facilitating efficient operations. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the business administrator can affect company productivity through management of employee morale, and as part of her personnel responsibilities, she might be expected to supervise clerical and administrative personnel. Other areas that my fall under her purview include recommending changes to policies or procedures to improve operations, planning budgets for contracts, equipment, and supplies, and monitoring the safety equipment and facilities to ensure that they comply with government regulations.
Some business administrators specialize in a specific area in which they have knowledge and experience such as accounting or facilities management. Sectors where business administrators typically work are education services, health care, state and local government, professional, scientific and technical services, and finance and insurance.
The administrator’s role is often to communicate business status and activities to upper management or those tasked with decision-making and company policy. The administrator might play an important role communicating between staff and management. Effective communication and organization skills are critical and the ability to work with people from different backgrounds. Critical thinking and negotiation skills are used day-to-day in business transactions and interpersonal relations.
Public vs. Private Sector
A business administrator’s role varies depending on whether the job is with a public or private organization. A paper by the Brookings Institution illustrates the differences in business models that exist between public and private organizations and the setting of company policy. In a private organization decisions are made by individuals usually with the goal of maximizing profits; in this environment the administrator may require significant business savvy and be able to pinpoint new business opportunities. In either type of organization the administrator is a point of contact for clients and potential recruits, and they're expected to serve as an ambassador for the company and maintain relationships that lead to successful future partnerships.
Caroline Banton has more than 14 years of experience in the communications and publishing fields, working in global development and finance. Her articles have covered business, economics and recruitment, among other topics. Banton holds an M.B.A. in marketing management.