Occupation Profile for Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers

Supervise and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative support workers.

 
 

Significant Points

  • Most jobs are filled by promoting office or administrative support workers from within the organization.
  • Office automation will cause employment in some office and administrative support occupations to grow slowly or even decline, resulting in slower-than-average growth among supervisors and managers.
  • Applicants are likely to encounter keen competition because their numbers should greatly exceed the number of job openings.

 

 
 
Overview
$43,510.00 Median Annual Wage 37,000 Average Job Openings Per Year
2.8 Average Unemployment Percentage 28.1 Percentage That Completed High School
1,000 Employment Numbers in 2006 43.1 Percentage That Had Some College
1,000 Employment Numbers in 2016 (est.) 28.9 Percentage That Went Beyond College Degree

Sample Job Titles
Accountant
Accounting Administrator
Accounting Director
Accounting Manager
Accounting Supervisor
Accounts Payable Supervisor
Accounts Receivable Manager
Administrative Assistant
Administrative Assistant to the Dean
Administrative Coordinator
Administrative Officer
Administrative Services Director
Administrative Supervisor
Administrator
Admissions Director
Admissions Officer
Admitting Officer
Auto Club Safety Program Coordinator
Automatic Chief
Automobile Club Safety Program Coordinator
Automotive Service Advisor
Automotive Service Writer
Baggage and Mail Agent
Baggagemaster
Banking Supervisor
Billing Administrator
Billing Department Supervisor
Billing Services Manager
Booking Supervisor
Boxing and Pressing Supervisor
Business Manager
Business Services Supervisor
Call Center Director
Central Office Operator Supervisor
Chief Clerk, Measurement Department
Chief Clerk, Print Shop
Chief Dispatcher
Chief Load Dispatcher
Civil Process Supervisor
Clerical Supervisor
Clinical Services Director
Coin Machine Collector Supervisor
Commissary Agent
Communication Center Coordinator
Complaint Evaluation Supervisor
Control Board Operator
Control Clerk, Head
Controller
Coordinator
Cost and Sales Record Supervisor
Cost Control Supervisor
Credit Manager
Crew Scheduler, Chief
Customer Care Manager
Customer Service Administrator
Customer Service Director
Customer Service Manager
Customer Service Officer
Customer Service Representative Supervisor
Customer Service Supervisor
Cycle Counter
Department Manager
Director
Dispatch Manager
Dispatcher, Chief, Service or Work
Dispatcher, Service, Chief
Distribution Manager
Documentation Supervisor
Education Administrator
Executive Assistant
Executive Vice President
Facilities Manager
Field Cashier
Field Service Manager
Film Vault Supervisor
Finance Director
Financial Aid Director
Fire Chief
Floor Space Allocator
Front End Manager
General Accounting Manager
General Manager
Group Chief Operator
Head Bookkeeper
Head Cashier
Head Stock Transfer Clerk
Hospital Admissions Officer
Hub Lead
Human Resources Director
Human Resources Manager
Inventory Administrator
Inventory Management Specialist
Learning Center Coordinator
Linen Room Supervisor
Magazine Supervisor
Mailroom Supervisor
Maintenance Supervisor
Manager, Central Supply
Manager, Customer Service
Manager, Flight Reservations
Manager, Inventory Control
Manager, Inventory Specialist
Manager, Office, with Administrative, Supervisory, or Managerial Duties
Manager, Operators School
Manager, Pay Station Department
Manager, Reservations
Manager, Statement Clerks
Manager, Stock Room
Manager, Tool Crib
Medical Billing Manager
Medical Billing Supervisor
Meter Reader, Chief
Office Coordinator
Office Manager
Office Services Supervisor
Office Supervisor
Office Supervisor, Animal Hospital
Operations Manager
Operations Vice President
Order Administrator
Order Dispatcher, Chief
Patient Care Coordinator
Payroll Administrator
Payroll Clerk, Chief
Payroll Master
Payroll Supervisor
PBX Supervisor (Private Branch Exchange Supervisor)
Petroleum Inspector Supervisor
Plant Manager
Proof Machine Operator Supervisor
Property Master
Public Service Director
Purchasing and Claims Supervisor
Purchasing Manager
Rate Supervisor
Records Supervisor
Regulatory Administrator
Reservations Agent
Route Supervisor
Sack Department Supervisor
Sales Manager
Secretary of Police
Service Observer, Chief
Shelving Supervisor
Shipping and Receiving Supervisor
Shipping Receiving Manager
Staff Services Manager
Station Agent
Stock Control Supervisor
Stock Supervisor
Storekeeper
Stores Supervisor
Supervisor, Accounting
Supervisor, Accounting Clerks
Supervisor, Accounts Payable
Supervisor, Accounts Receivable
Supervisor, Adjustment
Supervisor, Admissions
Supervisor, Advertising Dispatch Clerks
Supervisor, Agency Appointments
Supervisor, Airline, Reservations, Ticket Sales, Etc.
Supervisor, Assembly Stock
Supervisor, Audit Clerks
Supervisor, Baggage Agent
Supervisor, Billing
Supervisor, Bookkeepers
Supervisor, Bookkeeping Clerks
Supervisor, Cargo
Supervisor, Cashiers
Supervisor, Central Office Telephone Operators
Supervisor, Central Supply
Supervisor, Central Supply Technician
Supervisor, Claims
Supervisor, Claims Adjuster
Supervisor, Classified Advertising
Supervisor, Clerical
Supervisor, Clerk
Supervisor, Coding Clerks
Supervisor, Collection
Supervisor, Computer Operations
Supervisor, Contact and Service Clerks
Supervisor, Correspondence Section
Supervisor, Credit and Loan Collections
Supervisor, Customer Complaint Service
Supervisor, Customer Records Division
Supervisor, Customer Services
Supervisor, Data Control Clerk
Supervisor, Data Entry
Supervisor, Data Processing
Supervisor, Delivery Department
Supervisor, Files
Supervisor, Food Checkers and Cashiers
Supervisor, Force Adjustment
Supervisor, Gate Services
Supervisor, Home Energy Consultant
Supervisor, Hotel or Motel, Front Desk
Supervisor, Inventory Control
Supervisor, Keypunch Operators
Supervisor, Lending Activities
Supervisor, Machine Records Units
Supervisor, Mail Carriers
Supervisor, Mail Clerks
Supervisor, Mail Handlers, Sorting Mail
Supervisor, Mails
Supervisor, Marking Room
Supervisor, Meter Readers
Supervisor, Money Room
Supervisor, Office
Supervisor, Order Takers
Supervisor, Passenger Service
Supervisor, Payroll
Supervisor, Personnel Clerks
Supervisor, Policy Change Clerks
Supervisor, Postal
Supervisor, Production Clerks
Supervisor, Production Control
Supervisor, Public Message Service
Supervisor, Real Estate Office
Supervisor, Reservation
Supervisor, Safety Deposit
Supervisor, Schedule
Supervisor, Script
Supervisor, Securities Vault
Supervisor, Shipping
Supervisor, Space Control
Supervisor, Statement Clerks
Supervisor, Steno Pool
Supervisor, Stock
Supervisor, Stockroom
Supervisor, Survey Workers
Supervisor, Switchboard Operator
Supervisor, Tabulating
Supervisor, Tariff
Supervisor, Telecommunicator
Supervisor, Telegraphic Typewriter Operators
Supervisor, Telephone Clerks
Supervisor, Telephone Information
Supervisor, Telephone Operators
Supervisor, Telephone Order
Supervisor, Telephone Solicitor
Supervisor, Tellers
Supervisor, Ticket Sales
Supervisor, Timekeeping
Supervisor, Toll Collector
Supervisor, Transcribing Operators
Supervisor, Travel Information Center
Supervisor, Trust Accounts
Supervisor, Typing Pool
Supervisor, Typists
Supervisor, Underwriting Clerks
Supervisor, Want Ad
Supervisor, Ward Service
Supervisor, Warehouse
Supervisor, Word Processing
Supervisory Clerk
Team Leader
Team Manager
Technical Coordinator
Technical Services Team Leader
Telephone Operator, Chief
Teller, Head
Tool Crib Supervisor
Transfer Clerk, Head
Typing Section Chief
Vault Cashier
Warranty Administrator
Warranty Manager
Weigh Boss
Workforce Services Supervisor
Yard Supervisor

Training
  • These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include funeral directors, electricians, forest and conservation technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.

Most firms fill office and administrative support supervisory and managerial positions by promoting office or administrative support workers from within their organizations. To become eligible for promotion to a supervisory position, administrative support workers must prove they are capable of handling additional responsibilities.

Education and training. Many employers require office and administrative support supervisors and managers to have postsecondary training—and in some cases, an associate or even a bachelor’s degree. Good working knowledge of the organization’s computer system is also an advantage. In addition, supervisors must pay close attention to detail in order to identify and correct errors made by the staff they oversee.

Most office and administrative support worker supervisors and managers are promoted from within the company. Several years of on-the-job experience are usually the best preparation to become a supervisor or manager. After acquiring some experience, the employee should have a thorough knowledge of other personnel and company operations.

Administrative support workers with potential supervisory abilities may be given occasional supervisory assignments. To prepare for full-time supervisory duties, workers may attend in-house training or take courses in time management, project management, or interpersonal relations.

Other qualifications. When evaluating candidates, supervisors look for strong teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills, as well as determination, loyalty, poise, and confidence. They also look for more specific supervisory attributes, such as the ability to organize and coordinate work efficiently, to set priorities, and to motivate others. Increasingly, supervisors need a broad base of office skills coupled with personal flexibility to adapt to changes in organizational structure and move among departments when necessary.

Advancement. For office and administrative supervisors and managers promoted from within, advancement opportunities may be limited without a postsecondary degree, depending on the company. The knowledge required to move into more business and financial related occupations may not necessarily be learned through working in an office or administrative occupation.

In some managerial positions, office and administrative support supervisor positions are filled with people from outside the organization. These positions may serve as entry-level training for potential higher level managers. New college graduates may rotate through departments of an organization at this level to learn the work of the organization before moving on to a higher level position.

Nature of Work

All organizations need timely and effective office and administrative support to operate efficiently. Office and administrative support supervisors and managers coordinate this support. These workers are employed in virtually every sector of the economy, working in positions as varied as teller supervisor, customer services manager, or shipping and receiving supervisor.

Although specific functions of office and administrative support supervisors and managers vary significantly, they share many common duties. For example, supervisors perform administrative tasks to ensure that their staffs can work efficiently. Equipment and machinery used in their departments must be in good working order. If the computer system goes down or a fax machine malfunctions, the supervisors must try to correct the problem or alert repair personnel. They also request new equipment or supplies for their department when necessary.

Planning work and supervising staff are key functions of this job. To do these effectively, the supervisor must know the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the staff, as well as the results required and time allotted to each job. Supervisors must make allowances for unexpected staff absences and other disruptions by adjusting assignments or performing the work themselves if the situation requires it.

After allocating work assignments and issuing deadlines, office and administrative support supervisors and managers oversee the work to ensure that it is proceeding on schedule and meeting established quality standards. This may involve reviewing each person’s work on a computer—as in the case of accounting clerks—or listening to how a worker deals with customers—as in the case of customer services representatives. When supervising long-term projects, the supervisor may meet regularly with staff members to discuss their progress.

Office and administrative support supervisors and managers also evaluate each worker’s performance. If a worker has done a good job, the supervisor indicates that in the employee’s personnel file and may recommend a promotion or other award. Alternatively, if a worker is performing inadequately, the supervisor discusses the problem with the employee to determine the cause and helps the worker to improve his or her performance. This might require sending the employee to a training course or arranging personal counseling. If the situation does not improve, the supervisor may recommend a transfer, demotion, or dismissal.

Office and administrative support supervisors and managers usually interview and evaluate prospective employees. When new workers arrive on the job, supervisors greet them and provide orientation to acquaint them with their organization and its operating routines. Some supervisors may be actively involved in recruiting new workers—for example, by making presentations at high schools and business colleges. They also may serve as the primary liaisons between their offices and the general public through direct contact and by preparing promotional information.

Supervisors help train new employees in organization and office procedures. They may teach new employees how to use the telephone system and operate office equipment. Because most administrative support work is computerized, they also must teach new employees to use the organization’s computer system. When new office equipment or updated computer software is introduced, supervisors train experienced employees to use it efficiently or, if this is not possible, arrange for their employees to receive special outside training.

Office and administrative support supervisors and managers often act as liaisons between the administrative support staff and the professional, technical, and managerial staff. This may involve implementing new company policies or restructuring the workflow in their departments. They also must keep their superiors informed of their progress and any potential problems. Often, this communication takes the form of research projects and progress reports. Because supervisors and managers have access to information such as their department’s performance records, they may compile and present these data for use in planning or designing new policies.

Office and administrative support supervisors and managers also may have to resolve interpersonal conflicts among the staff. In organizations covered by union contracts, supervisors must know the provisions of labor-management agreements and run their departments accordingly. They also may meet with union representatives to discuss work problems or grievances.

Work environment. Office and administrative support supervisors and managers are employed in a wide variety of work settings, but most work in clean and well-lit offices that usually are comfortable.

Most office and administrative support supervisors and managers work a standard 40-hour week. However, some organizations operate around the clock, so some supervisors may have to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Sometimes, supervisors rotate among the three 8-hour shifts in a workday; in other cases, shifts are assigned on the basis of seniority.

Related Occupations

Sources: Career Guide to Industries (CGI), Occupational Information Network (O*Net), Occupation Outlook Handbook (OOH)
Earnings

Median annual earnings of office and administrative support supervisors and managers were $43,510 in May 2006; the middle 50 percent earned between $33,730 and $56,130. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $26,530, while the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $71,340. In May 2006, median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of office and administrative support supervisors and managers were:

Management of companies and enterprises $49,160
Local government 45,520
General medical and surgical hospitals 44,250
Offices of physicians 42,110
Depository credit intermediation 40,900

In addition to typical benefits, some office and administrative support supervisors and managers, particularly in the private sector, may receive additional compensation in the form of bonuses and stock options.

For the latest wage information:

The above wage data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey program, unless otherwise noted. For the latest National, State, and local earnings data, visit the following pages:

  • First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers
  • Job Outlook

    Employment of office and administrative support supervisors and managers is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through the year 2016. Keen competition is expected for prospective job applicants.

    Employment change. Employment is expected to grow by 6 percent during the 2006-16 period, which is more slowly than the average for all occupations. Employment of office and administrative support supervisors and managers is determined largely by the demand for administrative support workers. New technology should increase office and administrative support workers’ productivity and allow a wider variety of tasks to be performed by people in professional positions. These trends will cause employment in some administrative support occupations to grow slowly or even decline. As a result, supervisors will direct smaller permanent staffs—supplemented by increased use of temporary administrative support staff—and perform more professional tasks. Office and administrative support managers will coordinate the increasing amount of administrative work and make sure that the technology is applied and running properly. However, organizational restructuring should continue to reduce employment in some managerial positions, distributing more responsibility to office and administrative support supervisors.

    Job prospects. Like those seeking other supervisory and managerial occupations, applicants for jobs as office and administrative support worker supervisors and managers are likely to encounter keen competition because the number of applicants should greatly exceed the number of job openings. Besides the job openings arising from growth, a large number of openings will stem from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave this large occupation for other reasons.

    Employment

    Office and administrative support supervisors and managers held 1.4 million jobs in 2006. Although jobs for office and administrative support supervisors and managers are found in practically every industry, the largest number are found in organizations with a large administrative support workforce, such as banks, wholesalers, government agencies, retail establishments, business service firms, health care facilities, schools, and insurance companies. Because of most organizations’ need for continuity of supervision, few office and administrative support supervisors and managers work on a temporary or part-time basis.

    Knowledge
    • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
    • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
    • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
    • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
    • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
    Skills
    • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
    • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
    • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
    • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
    • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
    Abilities
    • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
    • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
    • Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
    • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
    • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
    Tasks
    • Core — Develop work schedules according to budgets and workloads.
    • Core — Prepare and issue work schedules, deadlines, and duty assignments for office or administrative staff.
    • Core — Monitor inventory levels and requisition or purchase supplies as needed.
    • Core — Maintain records pertaining to inventory, personnel, orders, supplies, and machine maintenance.
    • Core — Resolve customer complaints and answer customers' questions regarding policies and procedures.
    Activities
    • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
    • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
    • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
    • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
    • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
    Related College Curriculum
     
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