What Is Office Administration? (Including Required Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A career in office administration can provide many job opportunities across a variety of industries. Office administration is an essential aspect of business, ensuring organisation and effective management. If you're considering a career in office administration, understanding what it entails can help you determine if it's the career for you. In this article, we discuss what office administration is, describe some of the roles related to it, explore the skills required for the role and give tips to get started in the field.

What is office administration?

To answer the question, 'What is office administration?', it refers to the daily duties completed within an office. It may involve communicating with clients and team members via phone, email and in person, maintaining an organised filing and record system, planning events and meetings, creating schedules, monitoring finances, booking appointments and any other tasks applicable to the individual office.

Office administration creates an organised and efficient workplace, helping to manage work and employees associated with the office. It acts as a support system, providing resources for assistance and troubleshooting when necessary. Office administration ensures continual monitoring and supply of office products and effective, timely maintenance and repairs.

Related: 12 Administration Job Titles (With Salaries and Duties)

6 office administration roles

There are various roles relating to office administration. Here are some examples:

1. Administration manager

National average salary: $76,659 per year

Primary duties: Administration managers oversee a company's administrative processes. Daily requirements might include managing incoming and outgoing mail, checking and ordering supplies, managing schedules and databases, supporting recruitment processes, aiding internal training and assisting with performance reviews. Administration managers might also establish professional standards and ensure employees meet those standards.

Related: What is Administrative Work? (With Examples)

2. Executive assistant

National average salary: $78,892 per year

Primary duties: An executive assistant is a professional who provides support to the executive of an organisation. Their duties might differ substantially depending on the organisation they work for, but they essentially complete general administrative and clerical duties directly related to the executive. They might take and respond to calls and emails, schedule appointments for the executive, organise travel, prepare and organise documents and liaise directly with clients.

3. Client manager

National average salary: $97,879 per year

Primary duties: A client manager oversees the service an organisation's clients receive. They regularly communicate with clients to understand their needs, then facilitate the process to meet them. A client manager's aim is to achieve total customer satisfaction by establishing and implementing policies and procedures. A customer manager might identify any areas for improvement within an organisation's service to their clients and enforce changes to increase customer retention levels.

4. Office manager

National average salary: $75,609 per year

Primary duties: An office manager uses organisation skills to support daily operations within a business. They maintain office procedures, record-keeping practices and budget tracking. They might coordinate payroll, schedule meetings and events and process paperwork. An office manager might also supervise the recruitment, training and management of other administrative employees.

Related: What Does an Office Manager Do and How Do They Succeed?

5. Secretary

National average salary: $72,957 per year

Primary duties: A secretary works within an organisation. They're often responsible for receptionist duties, such as greeting customers, answering phone calls and emails, booking and processing appointments and taking payments. They're also likely to organise and maintain paperwork, ensuring an efficient filing system. A secretary might also support supervisors with selected projects and act as a supervisor for other administrative employees.

Related: 8 Types of Front Office Jobs (Plus Duties and Salaries)

6. Audit executive

National average salary: $104,473 per year

Primary duties: An audit executive assesses an organisation's documents, calculations and data to ensure everything is accurate. They work to increase the accuracy, efficiency and quality of products and services provided by the organisation. An audit executive identifies errors and creates a report detailing their conclusions and recommendations to deliver to their superior.

Skills required for office administration

Here are some common skills required for a professional in office administration:

Organisation

In office administration, there are many tasks that require good organisation skills. Organisation help you prioritise tasks effectively and in a timely manner. This can relieve a lot of potential stress, allowing you to work more productively and produce high-quality work. Organisation skills can also eliminate the risk of duplicating tasks out of confusion. Organisation can significantly increase productivity in an office.

Self-motivation

Self motivation within office administration can help support autonomous working. This can improve decision making, problem solving and employee engagement. Keeping a self-motivated attitude when completing office administration work can help give you perspective, ensuring you utilise your logical thinking skills. Within an office environment, it might be useful to display self-motivation, because this can encourage the same behaviour from team members. A work environment with many self-motivated employees can lead to increased productivity, improvement of results and job satisfaction.

Attention to detail

A detail-oriented mindset is useful when completing office administration tasks. It might help improve the quality of work by avoiding errors and increasing accuracy. Attention to detail can allow you to identify issues before they arise and allow consistency in your work. This can help you provide exceptional customer service. A professional who's detail orientated might develop a dependable reputation, aiding potential career development and employability.

Communication and interpersonal

Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills are essential for office administration. It might be a requirement to have good written and verbal skills. Written skills are important to create clear, error free emails and documents. Verbal skills allow you to communicate with clients and other team members effectively. Good communication and interpersonal skills can be a significant aspect of providing exemplary service and achieving client satisfaction and retention.

Teamwork

Some office administration jobs may require you to work as part of a team. Working as part of a team can support learning and creativity. Creativity in an office environment can be beneficial for constructing better procedures. It might increase overall performance by combining each employee's strengths. Teamwork can encourage employee engagement, fostering quality of work and productiveness.

Tips to become successful in office administration

Here are some tips that might help you become successful in an office administration role:

Prepare for the role

Completing education related to an office administration role can help you prepare for the position. You might consider a qualification in business, business administration or office administration. There are many courses available, both online and in person. Once you determine how you would prefer to study, you might do an internet search to find which courses are available in your vicinity. Completing one of these courses can also increase your chances of becoming a successful candidate in your job search. Another way to prepare for an office administration role is to practise consistently and improve any skill requirements.

Related: Office Administrator Resume Guide (With Template and Example)

Complete work experience

Completing work experience can give you essential industry insight. It can provide connections to experienced professionals, presenting you with the opportunity to understand their procedures. Work experience can also act as a tool to create a professional network. Your network can help you gain potential job opportunities, learn new methods and practical solutions and understand new business industry trends.

Apply for jobs

It might be helpful to search for administrative jobs that relate to an industry of your interest. Determine which type of office administration role you want to pursue. You can use your professional network to search for positions or do an internet search. When you've begun applying for positions, ensure you prepare yourself to receive phone interviews. Make yourself familiar with which interview questions are common and what your answers might be to them. Here are some common interview questions:

  • What experience do you have in administration?

  • Which computer systems are you familiar with?

  • What is your greatest professional achievement?

  • Can you give me an example of how you managed stress?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Why did you leave your previous role?

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