Office Management Careers: Skills, Qualifications, and Salaries

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Office managers have a range of responsibilities and acquire numerous skills over the course of their career. Use this guide to see if an office management position might be right for you.

[Featured image] An office manager is sitting at their desk working on their desktop computer.

Office managers tackle the necessary tasks to keep small and large businesses running. They’re responsible for duties for managing an office that ranges from ensuring the office printer is working correctly to organizing a company’s finances and administrative staff. Office managers develop numerous skills as an integral component of any successful business. In this article, learn if an office management position might be right for you.

What is office management?

Office management oversees the administrative aspects of a business to improve the efficiency of office staff and general operations. At its core, office management is a form of leadership, as managers are expected to supervise an administrative team, orient them toward a common goal, and be equipped to handle challenges. 

Office managers juggle many tasks around the office and need to hone certain skills, such as decision-making and communication, which are vital in day-to-day operations. 

What does an office manager do on a daily basis?

An office manager generally oversees the efficiency, organization, and well-being of the company and its staff. From day to day, a manager will communicate with their staff and the heads of departments who supervise their work. Managers typically work with a company’s finances, supplying weekly and monthly reports and budgeting.

An office manager must be able to work closely with a multitude of people and be a supportive resource for their administration. Successful managers are leaders and good problem-solvers who can troubleshoot various issues that may arise. 

Do you need a degree to become an office manager?

Many employers seek candidates with an associate or bachelor’s degree, although many prefer a bachelor’s degree in office administration or a related field. The school you attend should be accredited for business programs.

Certifications and certificate programs can enhance your resume. Certifications are available through the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and they offer coursework and certification in various office management specialties.

Which degrees lead to office management roles

A few areas of study that may best prepare you for a career in office management include a bachelor’s degree in business, business management, or business administration. These majors will help you learn how to handle finances, promote productivity, and generally lead an office to success. 

While a bachelor’s degree is usually sufficient, larger businesses might prefer that applicants have a master’s degree in finance, marketing, accounting, or administration. A master’s degree ensures a certain level of specialization that a larger company may benefit from. In many cases, you will need proper certification along with a degree. 

Read more: Is a Business Degree Worth It? Guide

Professional licensure and certification

Many companies will require you to become a Certified Business Office Manager (CBOM), a process that can take anywhere from a week to a month, depending on how long it takes you to complete the requirements and pass the exam.

 A CBOM can be acquired through the Management Strategy Institute. This specific certificate process leads you through courses on finances, human resources (HR), and general administration. Though a CBOM is standard, other certifications or certificates might be required depending on where you apply. Be sure to look into your desired company’s certification requirements before you begin applying for jobs. 

Skills to develop to be an office manager

You’ll want to develop or enhance your skills to hold a business management position. A certain competency and disposition are valued in any office management position:  

  • Budgeting: Office managers are expected to handle the finances of a business, so budgeting is critical. Being able to see the bigger picture, predict company costs, and leave room for troubleshooting will be essential. 

  • Technological proficiency: As an office manager, you will be expected to correspond with people by phone and email. Depending on where you apply, knowing how to use certain software might be required. Make sure you do your research about a company to see what programs they use, and be sure to brush up on your knowledge. 

  • Communication: Office managers work with several different people and may oversee the staff's well-being and efficiency. Being able to communicate properly is essential for success in a management position. 

  • Organization: Personal organizational skills are essential to ensure your success as a manager and the success of your organization. 

  • Leadership: Confidence in yourself and your team will help you present yourself as an orderly leader. This will also generate more productivity overall if everyone is on the same page, ready to tackle the goals you set for them. 

Enhance your office manager skills.

Getting a degree in the right field and obtaining proper certification will provide you with the foundational knowledge you need to be a successful office manager, but if you’re looking to improve in certain areas, there are a few things you can do. 

One of the best ways to enhance your skills as a manager is to get to know who you’re working with. Say yes to the opportunities your company provides you. Going to company events and conferences will not only help you get to know your staff outside the office, but it will give you the opportunity to form better relationships with the department leaders you’ll be working for. 

There are also remote training courses in business management to help you enhance any technical, administrative, or technological skills you might like to work on.  

What is the average salary of an office manager?

The average salary of an office manager in the US is about $45,277 but will range based on where you’re working. Different industries will pay different salaries based on need. As an office manager, you may also receive additional pay through cash bonuses or tips [1].

What roles do office managers go on to do?

Once you’ve acquired your first management position, you may be able to grow internally over time. Within your present company, you may be assigned new duties or responsibilities. You might even create a team of your own in due time. 

Plenty of opportunities exist for external growth. You may decide you want to move on to manage the office of a larger corporation after so many years. If so, this will be much more attainable once you have a few years of experience. 

Next steps 

If office management sounds like the right fit for you, there are a few places you can start. Begin by looking for jobs in your desired industry or location, and consider what degrees or certifications might be required for certain companies. 

Once you’ve narrowed your options, research those businesses to see what might be best suited for you. Take a look at how their business is run, what they value in an employee, and what you might bring to the table. After that, you can begin applying online or in person.

On Coursera, you can access various management courses that can help further develop leadership and general management skills with:

Article sources

1. Glassdoor. “Office Manager Salaries,,14.htm.” Accessed July 19, 2022.

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