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How Does an Administrative Assistant Differ from an Office Manager?

Administrative assistants and office managers help companies remain organized and efficiently running. Although these professionals often have similar duties and responsibilities, they fill distinctly different roles.

If you are considering starting a career as an administrative assistant or an office manager, understanding the differences can help you decide which position better fits your goals and interests. The following details may be beneficial.

Learn how an administrative assistant differs from an office manager to determine which career may be right for you.

Administrative Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

An administrative assistant performs secretarial and administrative duties to support another professional’s role. They work under higher-level management to support the employees and efficient office operations.

Typical office manager duties and responsibilities include:

  • Answering phones
  • Responding to office emails
  • Maintaining calendars
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Managing travel accommodations
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Transcribing meeting minutes
  • Performing basic bookkeeping
  • Preparing reports
  • Drafting documents
  • Maintaining files

Office Manager Duties and Responsibilities

An office manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the office and the employees who keep it running. They also plan and direct the activities within the office.

Typical office manager duties and responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring the building’s security
  • Greeting and assisting visitors
  • Assisting with the development and implementation of policies
  • Maintaining and tracking office budgets
  • Supervising administrative assistants, receptionists, and other office staff
  • Managing records and documents
  • Organizing office meetings
  • Creating employee schedules
  • Delegating work
  • Ordering office supplies
  • Maintaining office supply inventory

Office managers in smaller companies often have human resources functions as well:

  • Hiring, onboarding, and training new employees
  • Coordinating payroll or managing payroll outsourcing
  • Ensuring the company’s health insurance policies remain updated

Administrative Assistant Skills

A range of skills is required for success as an administrative assistant:

  • Communication to answer phones, handle as much communication as possible for their boss, and collaborate with teammates
  • Attention to detail to ensure tasks are accurately completed with minimal supervision
  • Computer skills and software knowledge to perform administrative duties

Office Manager Skills

A range of skills is required for success as an office manager:

  • Communication with the C suite, employees, vendors, and customers
  • Leadership to impact the work ethic and attitudes of the office staff members
  • Problem-solving to keep the office running
  • Organization to maintain efficiency and accuracy

Education Requirements

Employers typically require a high school diploma or GED to secure employment as an administrative assistant or office manager. However, some employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Relevant hard and soft skills and experience also are beneficial.

Are You Ready to Begin Your Administrative Assistant or Office Manager Career?

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