To those on the outside looking in, successful businesses, medical offices, and legal firms are well-oiled machines. Appointments are confirmed without problems, clients have all the information they need at their fingertips, and most importantly, professionals can go on doing what they do best. What most of the people strolling into the office don’t realize is that all of this convenience is made possible thanks to the efforts of an office administrator.
The office administrator position has become more complicated as the workplace has evolved. Here’s what you need to know about working as an office administrator.
What Does the Office Administrator Job Entail?
Put simply, office administrators make life easier for everybody else. Often performing a combination of administrative as well as secretarial work, these individuals are the glue that holds companies together. On the one hand office administrators can be seen taking inventory and arranging the office calendar. At the same time, however, bookkeeping and delegation are also jobs that administrators have been known to do.
This is fast-paced, detail-oriented work
This is the type of job where no two days are ever exactly alike. Although the specifics will depend on the industry and the size of the company, these are some of the ways office administrators spend their days:
- Navigate Microsoft Office- With significant operations handled through spreadsheets, documents, and databases, familiarity with the Office Suite is an absolute must. Through courses like Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Access 2010, those office skills are just clicks away.
- Handling the Telephone and Managing E-mails- Clients aren’t the only people trying to get information from the office. Salespeople and other business opportunity-seekers are always interested in signing contracts and inking deals. This ability to screen calls is part of what makes office administrators so useful to have. Take this Microsoft Outlook 2010 course to learn the ins and outs of e-mail management.
- Setting Appointments- Have you ever accidentally stood up friends because you were distracted while marking your calendar? For a business executive, such mistakes can be costly. Fortunately, an excellent team can cover for a whole lot of forgetfulness. Managing dates and booking appointments is another task that’s commonly expected of an office administrator.
Areas of Specialization
Does this line of work require any specialization?
Sometimes it does.
While companies may heavily favor practical work experience for this role, employers in the medical and legal fields also like to see industry-specific knowledge in candidates.
Regardless of the line of work you’re looking into, there are certain traits that prospective employers look for in an office administrator.
- The ability to stay organized
- Self-motivated and independent workers
- Trustworthiness with important information
- The ability to handle pressure well
- The ability to manage projects and prioritize your time as needed (Try Productivity Booster for tips)
- Excellent communication skills
According to Indeed.com, the average annual salary for this position was $42,000. The exact numbers ranged from $23,000 to as much as $81,000.
The details of various openings will be largely dependent on the needs of the particular company. A government branch is likely to have different needs from a medical office. The choice of office administrator will reflect that.
Even so, Business-related courses or in the case of legal assistants, Law-related courses are a definite asset to have. Knowing your way around a computer is another asset that’s sure to grab the attention of prospective employers.
In light of globalization and the growing complexity of the workplace, office administration has come a long way since the 1950’s. Where do you see this profession going in the future?