The duties of administrative service managers vary greatly according to the organizations that employ them. Some are responsible for ensuring an entire business facility runs smoothly, while others may work for individual departments within a larger organization. Administrative services managers may coordinate various aspects of operations and building maintenance, and handle the acquisition of major equipment and other property. In addition, they may be responsible for ordering, scheduling and distributing materials and supplies.
The authority and responsibilities assigned to administrative services managers depend on the size of the organization that employs them. In small businesses, an administrative services manager is often called an office manager, and may oversee all administrative tasks required to help the company run smoothly. In larger organizations, an administrative services manager may be in charge of a particular department and may report to the vice president or director of administration.
Some administrative services managers specialize in one area, such as contracts or facilities. A contracts manager is responsible for the sale and purchase of materials, products, services, supplies and equipment. In addition, this manager often handles the disposal of surplus or unclaimed property and the storage of supplies and equipment. Facilities managers are responsible for managing buildings, grounds and equipment, and are often involved in planning and design.
Administrative Services Manager Job Summary
Due to the limited availability of upper-level management jobs, applicants will face stiff competition for those positions; however, they should find it easier to secure lower-level management roles.
Administrative services managers work in both private industry and government and may have widely varying educational backgrounds, experience, earnings and responsibilities.
Administrative services managers should possess good leadership and communication skills, and they should also be flexible, detail-oriented, analytical and decisive.
Work Environment for Administrative Services Managers
Administrative services managers often work out of an office, but may also spend time overseeing activities in other parts of the facility, grounds and satellite buildings. New technologies have enabled administrative services managers to remotely monitor activities and equipment, and teleconferencing capabilities allow them to meet with vendors and staff in other locations without traveling off-site.
Around half of administrative services managers work 40 hours per week, but the rest often work longer. Many are required to respond problems outside of normal business hours.
Education, Training and Licensing
In small organizations, an administrative service manager may have only a high school diploma plus relevant experience. However, many employers prefer to hire candidates with at least an associate’s degree. Administrative service managers who work for large organizations or are responsible for complex tasks usually have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, accounting or human resources. Courses in accounting, computers, office technology, business law and human resources can be very helpful in preparing for a career in this field. A master’s degree can be beneficial to administrative services managers seeking to advance within a larger organization that has multiple levels of management, and attain director-level or higher status.
Experience in the particular field that a candidate hopes to work in is usually necessary for all types of administrative services managers. For example, those who work with property should have expertise in sales and purchasing. Administrative services managers can complete online training offered by the Association of Professional Office Managers to help them secure better job opportunities.
Facilities managers often have a bachelors’ or master’s degree in business management, construction management, facility management, engineering or architecture. In addition, the International Facility Management Association offers a competency-based professional certification program that leads to a Certified Facility Manager (CFM) designation or Facility Management Professional (FMP) credential.
Employment Figures, Projections, Outlook and Earnings
Administrative services managers held about 243,580 jobs in May 2009, according to research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They work in all industries, with 15% employed in education services, 12% in the healthcare, 12% in state and local government and 9% in insurance and finance.
Job growth in this field is expected to be about as fast as average. There will be a strong demand for facilities managers as organizations become more concerned about securing, maintaining and operating their buildings. The strength of the economy affects demand for administrative services managers, so job openings may vary from year to year.
The median annual wage for administrative services managers in May, 2009 was $75,520 according to research by the BLS. The middle 50% earned between $53,820 and $100,560, while the lowest 10% earned $38,690. The highest 10% earned approximately $131,730 per year.