Job descriptions and industry overviews

Office manager: job description

21 Jun 2023, 15:39

Office managers keep offices running smoothly by carrying out a range of administrative, financial and managerial tasks.

Desks in an open-plan office: what does an office manager do?

What does an office manager do? | Office manager salaries | Typical employers of office managers | Qualifications and training for office managers | Office manager skills

Office managers ensure that the offices they look after are running effectively on a day-to-day basis. Depending on the size of the organisation, they may be involved in a range of activities, from monitoring health and safety to assisting with HR and payroll tasks.

They are often the ‘go-to’ person in an organisation as they work closely with many departments and understand how they ‘tick’.

What does an office manager do?

An office manager’s duties typically include:

  • organising meetings and managing databases
  • booking transport and accommodation
  • organising company events and conferences
  • ordering stationery and IT equipment
  • dealing with correspondence, complaints and queries
  • preparing letters, presentations and reports
  • supervising and monitoring the work of administrative staff
  • processing invoices and managing office budgets
  • implementing and maintaining procedures/office administrative systems
  • organising induction programmes for new employees
  • ensuring that health and safety policies are up to date
  • attending meetings with senior management
  • assisting the organisation's HR and finance functions by keeping personnel records up to date, arranging interviews and updating financial documents.

Depending on the size and structure of the organisation, office management can be combined with another office-based job role, for example:

Duties will often include some of the traditional duties of a personal assistant (PA) or administrator, but the role can be more wide-ranging. A personal assistant focuses on supporting one individual with administrative tasks; read about personal assistant skills and duties in our other job description.

Entry-level salaries for office managers

Salaries vary across different sectors and industries but as a general guide, salary survey websites suggest that you could earn around £18,000 initially as an office manager. As you progress, you could earn up to £30,000 in this role.

Typical employers of office managers

Any organisation with more than a few members of staff may employ an office manager. Major employers include:

  • hospitals and health organisations, such as NHS trusts
  • universities
  • financial organisations
  • local authorities
  • central government
  • charities
  • small businesses
  • manufacturers.

Jobs are typically advertised via local jobs boards and regional and national job sites. You can also find vacancies advertised via recruitment agencies.

Search for business and management jobs on targetjobs and check out our CV and application advice .

Qualifications and training required

A degree can sometimes be beneficial and this career is open to graduates from all degree disciplines. However, many employers do not specify academic qualifications as a requirement, instead stressing the importance of:

  • experience in an administrative role
  • knowledge of administrative software packages
  • good interpersonal and time management skills
  • basic accounting skills
  • reliability and discretion: you will often learn of confidential matters.

Previous office-based, secretarial or customer-facing work experience is essential (some employers may expect at least two years). Some employers also ask for previous experience of working within an office-based role in the same sector. You can build relevant experience via temporary agency work, which may in turn lead to permanent office work.

Key skills for office managers

  • Reliability and discretion: you will often learn of confidential matters
  • Adaptability
  • Excellent communication, negotiation and relationship-building skills
  • Organisational skills
  • IT skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Initiative
  • Leadership and the ability to ‘make things happen’
  • Budgeting skills
  • Attention to detail.

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