What Is an Administrative Services Manager?

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To be productive, an organization must run smoothly. An administrative services manager is the person who makes sure this happens by coordinating its supportive services.

They may coordinate mail distribution, plan and maintain facilities, keep records, plan budgets and allocate supplies. In a smaller organization the administrative services manager, who is often called the office manager, may do it all, while in a larger one there may be multiple managers who are responsible for different tasks.

An administrative services manager who specializes in the oversight of an organization's building or grounds is called a facilities manager. One whose job it is to buy equipment and supplies, as well as plan for its storage and distribution is known as a contract manager.

Employment Facts

In 2012 there were almost 281,000 people employed in this occupation in the United States. They were primarily employed in the educational services and healthcare industries and in state and local governments.

As an administrative services manager, you can expect to work at least full time (40 hours per week). You may have to work overtime as well. Some facilities managers are on call during non-work hours to deal with problems that come up. If you want to have your evenings, weekends and holidays free, this may not be the career for you.

Educational Requirements

Typically, employers only require those they hire to have a high school diploma or GED, but some prefer candidates who have earned a bachelor's degree.

Related work experience, which is very important, should demonstrate your management and leadership skills.

Other Requirements

Administrative services managers aren't required to be certified or licensed but voluntary certification is available to those who specialize in facilities management or contract management.

The International Facility Management Association offers the Certified Facilities Manager (CFM) credential which indicates to an employer that an individual has demonstrated he or she has met standards for facilities management as defined by this organization. Contract managers can pursue one of several certifications offered by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA). Credentials from these organization may help increase job candidates' desirability.

Just as important as your experience and certification, are the soft skills, or personal qualities you bring to the job. Strong speaking, listening and writing skills will allow you to communicate with others in your organization. You will need strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills since the job of an administrative services manager often involves identifying problems and then coming up with and assessing possible solutions. You will also have to be able to manage your time and others' time well.

Advancement Opportunities

If you work for a large organization you will have more opportunities to advance since there will typically be several layers and types of administrative services managers. Experience and education will increase your chances of advancing in this field.

Job Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in this occupation will grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2022.

Earnings

Administrative services managers earned a median annual salary of $83,790 in 2014 and median hourly wages of $40.28 (US). 

A Day in an Administrative Services Manager's Life

These are some typical job duties taken from online ads for administrative services manager positions found on Indeed.com:

  • Participate in long-range planning and the development of departmental and divisional goals, strategic plans and objectives, as well as personnel, resources, space needs and equipment decisions
  • Oversee staff development, training programs, policy development, and special projects
  • Assist senior leaders and participate and/or lead small administrative projects
  • Create, maintain and oversee the coordination and documentation of training programs for employees
  • Analyze contract related documents to ensure compliance with regulations and guidelines 
  • Represent work unit at meetings for conferences and serve as the liaison for unit concerning requests or complaints
  • Draft and edit communications for the executive team

Occupations With Related Activities and Tasks

 DescriptionAnnual Salary (2014)Educational Requirements
General ManagerDirects the activities of a business or organization$97,270Associate or Bachelor's degree
PrincipalManages an elementary or secondary school, including setting educational goals and supervising faculty$89,540Master's degree in education administration or leadership
Health Services ManagerOversees the delivery of health care in a medical facility$92,810Bachelor's degree in health services administration or a related subject; many employers prefer a Master's degree
Computer and Information Systems ManagerAdministers a company's or organization's computer-related activities$127,640Bachelor's Degree in computer science or information science; some employers prefer a masters in business administration