Let’s jump back twenty years to 1988. Back then, the typical office manager was probably a woman. She sat at a front desk, answered the phone, and filed papers. She ordered office supplies when the staples got low, and usually brought in a book for the slow days. And there were a lot of slow days.
Now, let’s fast forward to 2008 and take a look at the person running the office with an office management associate degree. This person is a highly skilled professional who’s adept at managing the increasingly complex world of a business office. Sure they might answer the phone, but they also might be working with a web designer to update the company’s website. They might be crafting next quarter’s budget, designing a brochure, managing personnel, overseeing security, maximizing the building’s space for both employees and equipment, or working on public relations. In this day and age, office managers are the driving force behind a business’s internal workings.
If you have an interest in the world of business and think you’d like to work as an office manager (or if you’re currently in the field and are trying to stay competitive) then getting an office management associate degree is a great choice for you.
With this degree, you’ll be learning things like:
- Office design and space management
- Employee supervision
- Office systems operation (like Powerpoint, Word and Excel)
- Management and labor relations
- Public relations
- Communication skills
- Business management data evaluation
- Business management practices (like recruiting, hiring, and firing)
- And much more!
As you can probably tell, the office managers of today are talented multi-taskers who make sure the entire office runs smoothly.
Now, with an office management associate degree you’ll be able to work in a variety of different business settings. Some schools offer certain concentrations, like health care or law, and if you’re interested in working in either of these two environments it might be better to get a more specialized degree. This will allow you to learn the terminology and practices that these two fields commonly use.
The average salary for office managers ranges from $30,000 to $45,000 or more, depending on the company and how much experience you have. Oftentimes this is a position that will allow you to move up the corporate ladder, especially if you have additional skills and education.
The job outlook for office managers looks pretty stable, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s not a lagging field, but it’s not growing as fast as some of the tech positions. It’s a slow, steady growth.
So, if you like the idea of being the “go to” person in an office, you’re organized, and you can answer the phone, send and email, and fix the fax machine all at once (just kidding!) then getting an office management associate degree might be the perfect path for you.