5 minute read

Administrative Officer

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree preferred, some accept associate degree or high school diploma
Average Salary: $27,240 to $76,544 annually
Job Outlook: Good

An administrative officer is tasked to oversee the day-to-day operations of an organization. Part of his/her duties is doing general office work like preparing correspondences, answering phone calls, and creating reports. In general, it is his/her job to give assistance to managers.

One of the primary duties of an administrative officer is to manage all relevant information, such as data on employees, clients, and suppliers. They are in charge of correcting any errors and updating the database and files as needed. If one of the employees of the department needs a certain document, it is the administrative officer’s job to locate and/or produce a copy of the said document. In some companies, the help of an administrative officer may be required in payroll-related tasks.

Another important responsibility of an administrative officer is to maintain records of all financial transactions. This is usually done by encoding data into a computer. In addition, he/she may be expected to make simple financial statements such as balance sheets and income statements, as well as to assist in preparing the department’s budget. If the said department is not able to adhere to the budget, then it is the administrative officer’s task to make a report containing the reasons why the expenditures were greater than what was projected plus suggestions on how the department can curb spending and control its finances.

Administrative support is another function of an administrative officer and to ensure that all office operations go smoothly. This responsibility encompasses responding to the concerns of clients and staff, handling filing systems, overseeing the maintenance of equipment, and composing drafts of letters to external parties. Because the administrative officer must constantly communicate with employees and customers, professional oral and written communication skills are required.

Finally, an administrative officer may have to frequently collaborate with the human resources department of the firm. He/she has to draft job descriptions and outline vacant positions that have to be filled. There are times when the administrative officer has to conduct interviews with prospective employees. When staff issues arise, he/she has to deal with those and make sure that company disciplinary procedures are carried out if needed.

Education and Training Requirements

Many administrative officers possess a bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources, or a related field. The specific course and level of education needed is based on the industry in which the company is in and the job grade level. However, there are some companies who accept administrative officers having an associate degree or a high school diploma.

In larger firms with off-site locations, a great number of employees, and advanced technology and equipment to operate, higher level admin officers must have a bachelor’s degree. Also, companies with complex services like regulatory compliance and insurance need admin officers with a bachelor’s degree in human resources, accounting, finance, and other more specialized courses. Lower-level admin officers may be required to have a bachelor’s degree but in most cases, a trade school diploma may be substituted.

There may be a variety of tasks that an administrative officer may handle. One of these tasks is communication with other parties. As such, it is recommended that a prospective administrative officer hone his/her written and oral communication skills. Knowing how to use computer applications is also a must. It would be beneficial for one to be trained in spreadsheets, word processing, accounting software, and troubleshooting systems at the end-user level.

Getting the Job

Most administrative officer positions are filled up through the promotion of one of the lower-level employees. Employees, through work experience and learned skills on the job, work their way up and become administrative officers. If they get promoted further, they may even become general managers or members of the senior management team. However, when the human resources department is searching for qualified candidates outside the company, those with extensive managerial experience supplemented with further education usually make the cut.

If you are searching for an administrative officer position, it would help if you look at online job listings. Another helpful method is to seek the assistance of recruitment companies and to consult your personal network about possible vacancies. Finally, you may join professional associations. These associations offer networking opportunities and reliable resources for job seekers

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Job growth is expected to be average for an administrative officer position. Higher-level positions will face more competition as compared to lower-level positions. Employment prospects will be better for those who can accomplish a wide variety of tasks versus those with specialized functions.

The growth of jobs is expected at 12% over 2008 to 2018. This is almost as fast as that for other professions. Due to advancements in office technology and the need of many companies to downsize, the need for administrative officers may be reduced. However, most of these firms have realized the significance of efficient operations of facilities so this will still push for the need for administrative officers. Apart from this, job openings will arise from workers transferring jobs, retiring, or resigning.

Working Conditions and Environment

An administrative officer typically works the standard 40-hour work week. There may be times when he/she may work overtime with compensation, especially when the project deadlines are very tight. Work occurs in a fast-paced setting with a lot of parties – external and internal – asking for information and data.

Administrative officers work in an indoor office environment, such as office rooms, training rooms, conference rooms, or libraries. Comfortable temperature levels, sound, lighting, and ventilation are inherent in these workplaces. Deviations from these good environmental conditions may happen at times, especially when problems arise and they have to deal with physical workplace problems.

Salary and Benefits

The average basic salary of an administrative officer is $33,671 to $76,181 per year. Bonuses range from $350 to $7,500, making total pay higher at $27,240 to $76,544 annually.

Compensation may vary based on industry. It was found that those working for the government are receiving the highest, with earnings ranging from $32,067 to $70,502 per year. This is followed by law enforcement, whose workers get between $30,967 and $69,596.

Location may also affect the salary. In Columbia, the salaries of administrative officers span from $38,199 to as much as $118,202 annually. This is followed by Tennessee, wherein administrative officers receive between $44,219 to $75,708.

Administrative officers receive standard company benefits such as health insurance, life and disability insurance, and retirement plan membership. They also get paid sick and vacation leaves, ranging from 2.2 to 3 weeks, depending on the number of years of experience.

Where to Go for More Information
American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
11240 Waples Mill Rd., Ste. 200
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 281-4043

Association of Professionals in Business Management
980 North Michigan Ave., Ste. 1400
Chicago, IL 60611-7500
(657) 549-2726

International Facility Management Association
1 E. Greenway Plaza, Ste. 1100
Houston, TX 77046-0194
(713) 623-4362

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness