Interested in learning more about the role of an office administrator? Some of your experience will come while on the job, but you will need to convey that you have the drive and persistence to complete whatever you take on. This can be illustrated by completing a degree in business technology. By completing a business technology degree program and gaining the skills to be an office administrator, you can prove that you are serious about the opportunity to work for a company that is hiring office administrators. You will also create the confidence needed to succeed in this role.
What Does an Office Administrator Do?
An office administrator performs many clerical duties that are essential for an office to run efficiently. An officer administrator’s role is at the center of the company. They work across a variety of different industries, from medical offices to insurance companies, real estate to engineering and everywhere in between. Some of the typical day-to-day activities an office administrator’s role includes:
- Answering phones
- Scheduling appointments
- Updating calendars
- Setting schedules
- Creating and maintaining a filing system
- Entering data into a computer
- Greeting visitors
- Responding to emails
- Preparing documents
- Coordinating project deliverables
- Performing light bookkeeping
- Drafting presentations, documents, and billing invoices
- Sending and signing for deliveries
Other Office Administration Duties
The knowledge that an office administrator must have is often company and industry specific. For example, an office administrator that works for a real estate agent must be competent in geography and know a lot about different areas of the country; while the office administrator in an internet marketing firm may require basic knowledge of web design and social media. Some office administrators may even manage inventory or stockrooms.
Light Bookkeeping Duties
Office administrators may handle clerical duties, including data entry, sorting mail, and other functions necessary for the bookkeeping to operate efficiently. They must possess skills required to prepare invoices, handle company deposits, plan budgets, prepare financial reports, process payments, and submit tax forms.
Have the Right Hard Skills
Hard skills are those traits that an office administrator will need to be successful regardless of industry or role they work in. These hard skills include knowing how to write business correspondence, taking minutes, record management, filing systems, various computer applications, word processing, and email management.
Since every industry is different and may have their own process to complete these tasks, it may be possible to learn these on the job. However, having a basic understanding and ability to perform these skills is beneficial and can be learned during a business technology degree program.
Have the Right Soft Skills
The desirable soft skills to be successful as an office administrator include the ability to make decisions, and good communication skills, both written and verbal. It takes a special kind of person to succeed in the role of an office administrator. Assisting management in a business setting requires specific knowledge of the field, a combination of personal traits, and the ability to work well as a team member.
An office administrator must be conscientious and have a strong will to succeed. A successful office administrator takes their role in an office seriously. They have excellent organizational skills and have an orderly approach to business.
Individual Skills Required to be an Office Administrator
There are many different skills that will be required to ensure a person is successful in their role as an office administrator. The following is a list that can be applied to many different industries. However, specific businesses and industries have unique skills that will be learned on the job.
Skill #1: Communication
Much of what an office administrator does is speak with customers, colleagues and management. They must be well versed in writing and verbal communication. The ability to convey a message is imperative. Office administrators will also deal with customers, so it is important for them to communicate effectively with the customer to ensure a positive experience and create repeat customers.
Skill #2: Typing and Word Processing
An office administrator’s duties can include taking minutes or inputting data. They use Microsoft Office to write documents, memos and billing. Having typing skills is a must. A conscientious office administrator has excellent grammar and spelling skills and can interpret their manager’s notes, even if their handwriting is challenging to read.
Skill #3: People Skills
Being an office administrator can be the central contact for customers and employees within the company. They will interact with many different people throughout the day. Having people skills, and a positive attitude, will allow the office administrator to be a successful communicator.
Skill #4: Organization
Office administrators must stay organized and know where everything is at all times. Files should have a certain location on their desk depending on the file’s need. Office administrators that are in charge of scheduling appointments should know what times are available and have access to that information.
Skill #5: Teamwork & Collaboration
An office administrator is part of a team that manages the entirety of the office. Typically, the office administrator is the center of the office and is the go-to person for administrative help or clerical duties. An office administrator must be a team player in order to get the work completed on time and successfully. The office administrator should be willing to collaborate, work well with a team, and doesn’t quibble about small details that are counterproductive.
Skill #6: Customer Focused
The office administrator always possesses a pleasant demeanor when greeting clients. Since they represent the company and their manager, it’s essential to be customer focused. Professionalism is vital to the office administrator who must always possess a positive attitude in the office. Personal problems must stay at home.
Skill #7: Multitasking
An office administrator will be expected to handle many different tasks and duties. Being able to handle more than one task at a time is a good skill to have and will ensure that the office administrator is able to accomplish their goals and complete tasks on time. Multi-tasking is part of the job in any successful business. An office administrator who wants to succeed always keeps up to date with their skills and is willing to learn new procedures quickly.
Skill #8: Time Management Skills
In addition to having many tasks that need to be handled throughout the day, an office administrator will need to determine the priority of each task. The ability to do this will ensure that everything gets taken care of in a timely fashion.
Skill #9: Flexibility
An office administrator’s priorities may change throughout the day. The report that was due at the end of the week could get pushed up or someone might need tickets to an emergency business meeting. By being flexible, an office administrator will be able to change their priorities without getting unduly stressed or anxious about the situation.
Skill #10: Light Bookkeeping Knowledge
Office administrators may help with light bookkeeping including payroll, bank deposits and other bookkeeping tasks. Having some experience with bookkeeping will help increase an office administrators job options and give them an advantage over the competition. Having knowledge of QuickBooks and other bookkeeping software can also come in handy.
Skill #11: Work Independently
An office administrator must be a self-starter and know how to perform tasks autonomously. While an office administrator may be given certain tasks by coworkers or supervisors, they should be able to keep themselves busy without being told what to do.
Skill #12: Professionalism
An office administrator will interact with customers and office staff. They must be professional as they conduct business with others to gain their respect. Not only will the office administrator have a professional and positive attitude, but they must dress appropriately. Wearing appropriate clothing and practicing good hygiene will increase the respect others will have for the office administrator.
Skill #13: Reliability
A successful office administrator must possess a strong work ethic. They must be well-organized and be able to manage their time effectively to complete tasks on time. The office administrator must be reliable. A busy office doesn’t have time to deal with a person who is consistently late for work and makes excuses. Punctuality is an essential skill to assisting in an office.
Skill #14: Ability to Use Various Office Equipment
In addition to using a computer, many office administrators will be required to use copy machines, scanners, and fax machines. While this knowledge can be learned on the job, it may give a person a better chance of standing out from the competition if they are equipped with these skills beforehand.
Is There a Demand for Office Administrators?
Currently, there is a need for office administrators that have office skills in a variety of different industries and roles. The most demand is in the medical field. As the population grows older and lives longer, they will need medical care, and to meet the demand, more medical offices will be hiring medical office administrators. Medical facilities will need to be staffed with skilled individuals who can take on a variety of administrative tasks and keep the office running smoothly and efficiently. Other places that may see an increased demand for an office administrator include schools, legal offices, and government offices.
Why Attend a Vocational School’s Business Technology Degree Program?
Vocational schools offer business technology courses allowing you to gain essential skills and training to achieve entry-level positions in management, as computer operators, executive assistants, and in accounting offices. Business technology programs teach you the role of clerical and administrative duties. Vocational schools have small class sizes that offer one-on-one attention from industry experienced instructors. Obtaining a business technology degree from a vocational school will be the first step to starting your career as an office administrator.
What Will You Learn During a Business Technology Degree Program?
Students will have the opportunity to apply skills learned in business accounting, finance, Microsoft Office, information management, and other areas of business to add value in many types of offices.
Business Accounting: At smaller companies, office administrators may need to handle bookkeeping, manage payroll and drop off bank deposits. Have a knowledge in basic bookkeeping is important to managing an office.
Finance: An office administrator will need to be familiar with the concepts of cash flow, debt management, credit terms, revenue, taxation, depreciation, payroll, petty cash, and operational expenses.
Microsoft Office: As the premier business productivity software in the world, MS Office proficiency is an important skill. Microsoft Office programs learned during a business technology degree program include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.
Information Management: This is an important skill. An office administrator will need to be proficient in managing information and communications platforms such as messaging apps, Voice over Internet Protocol systems, email, content management systems, and cloud platforms.
General Business Practices: An office administrator will need to understand corporate structures, procurement, basic HR procedures, compliance, and legal correspondence. Depending on the industry an office administrator joins, there may be additional business practices learned while on the job.
For many people, the role of an office administrator is incredibly appealing. It gives them a chance to use a variety of different skills, work in different industries, and interact with different people. The job requires specific skills but also general knowledge, so it’s something that anyone with a desire to do can be successful at. If you are interested in playing a role in an office setting, have good communication skills and enjoy administrative tasks, becoming an office administrator may be the right career path for you.
Do you like to be the central person on a team or at an organization? Ready to become an office administrator? The Associate of Science Degree in Business Technology is designed to provide Gwinnett College students with the knowledge and practical skills to function in the ever-changing business world. Students will be exposed to concepts in accounting, business administration, finance, the legal system, and management. Additionally, students will acquire the practical skills necessary to function in today’s business world.
Contact us today to learn more about the Associate of Science Degree in Business Technology at Gwinnett Institute.