The office administrator’s role ensures the smooth execution of daily business activities -- and this critical position requires specific qualifications to ensure a candidate performs well. Office administrators posses organization, analytical and communications skills. They must also be decisive. Many companies require the office administrator to manage administrative staff, conduct financial tasks or handle business assets, such as computers, the company network or facilities. Qualifications vary and a company’s industry plays a significant role in basic qualifications. In May 2010, administrative services managers earned a median $77,890 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The complexities of running an office require knowledge of business administration practices. Many companies require a bachelor’s degree in business administration for office managers or administrators. The typical business administration degree provides a background in ethics, communication, writing and general business practices. It also provides a foundation to expand or specialize in an industry.
A high-school diploma, coupled with relevant experience, may suffice for lower-level administrator opportunities -- but companies are increasingly seeking candidates with an associate’s degree, according to the BLS.
Furthermore, the company may require coursework related to the industry. For example, an office administrator at a facilities management company may need a background in leasing or construction.
Small or medium-sized companies may look to the office administrator to handle complex financial tasks. As a result, a background or coursework in finance qualifies a candidate to work with the financial components of the business.
Courses in accounts payable, accounts receivable or payroll enhance opportunities at small or medium companies or larger firms in the finance industry. Many companies use common finance software and solid knowledge, or the willingness to learn new applications, increases a candidate’s likelihood of obtaining a position.
Office administrators may process a large amount of paperwork. As a result, candidates should possess knowledge and experience with standard software packages. Many companies seek candidates with at least one year of experience using common desktop applications, such as Microsoft Office Suite, in addition to specialized programs, such as QuickBooks.
An office administrator at a technology firm may need a more extensive background in technology than an administrator at a finance company. Candidates may qualify by obtaining certification in specific technologies.
Large companies that employ teams of administrative staff may require the office administrator to provide guidance, leadership and management. Candidates should have leadership skills or experience managing staff.
Smaller companies may require the office administrator to manage human resources files or execute the human resources process. For example, the office administrator may post job advertisements, contact candidates, schedule interviews or complete new hire paperwork.