What’s the average office administrator salary?

Last updated: July 23, 2024
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What’s the average office administrator salary?
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Almost every company with an office needs someone to handle various administrative duties to help the office run smoothly.

This creates plenty of job opportunities for aspiring office managers.

If you’re thinking about becoming an office administrator, you’re probably wondering how much they can make.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about office administration, including a job description, how much they make on average, and how you can increase your pay in one of these roles.

What do office administrators do?

An office administrator, sometimes known by the job title of office manager, handles various clerical and administrative tasks for a business. Their role helps businesses run more effectively and efficiently. It may even span several areas in a company.

Some common office administrator responsibilities include:

  • Data entry

  • Communicating with clients (in person, email, and phone)

  • Maintaining office equipment

  • Scheduling events and meetings

  • Helping with hiring and onboarding

  • Basic bookkeeping help

  • Performing research and analysis and generating ad hoc reports for others in the company

  • Ordering more office supplies when needed

Office managers may also oversee other administrative support staff, such as a secretary or office assistant. This is especially true in larger companies.

This role is usually full-time, though there are part-time office managers as well.

How much does an office administrator make?

The average office administrator salary in the United States is about $18.32 per hour — equal to about a $38,105 annual salary — based on salary data reported to Payscale. Some positions pay an hourly wage, whereas others may offer a fixed salary and benefits.

Office managers with less experience may start closer to $13.24 per hour. As you gain experience and move up in your career, your pay can climb to about $26.05 per hour.

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At that point, there may be more salaried (rather than hourly) positions available that you qualify for. Larger companies may pay more based on having more responsibilities or people to manage.

Of course, an office manager’s pay can vary widely based on many other factors, as we’ll look at next.

4 factors that impact an office administrator’s salary

As with many roles, plenty of factors can influence the pay rate for an office administrator role. Here are four of the most important to keep in mind.

1. Education

Many office administrator roles only require a high school diploma, while some ask for a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Regardless, if you’re able to obtain a bachelor’s, the job opportunities and earning potential can both jump — especially if your degree is in a more technical or business-oriented field.

But even without a degree, taking courses in computer skills, communications, and more specialized subjects like bookkeeping or database software systems can increase your earning potential.

2. Experience

Like with most jobs and career paths, experience is the biggest determining factor for office manager salary potential.

Entry-level office administrators make at or just under $13.24 per hour. This continues upward with more experience and can reach as high as $26.05 per hour. Some office administrators earn far more than that, but those positions are rare and require advanced skills.

3. Certifications

Whether you’re an office manager now or you’re looking to become one, certifications can increase your job chances and salary potential.

There are two main types of certifications available.

First, you can get training and earn certifications for specific products you might have to use. For example, you could get a Microsoft Office Specialist certification to prove your skills with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and other MS Office programs.

Additionally, you can earn administrative certifications — the most well-known being the Certified Administrative Professional.

However, to pursue this certification, you need either:

  • Four years of experience in an administrative role

  • An associate or bachelor’s degree and two years of administrative experience

The CAP certification can set you apart if you’re serious about moving forward in an office manager career.

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4. Skills

Office managers can land higher-paying work by honing several administrative skills and other abilities. Here are some of the main skills you should have if you want to make office administration your career.

Computer skills

Office administrators do a lot of their work on computers. Therefore, being familiar with various computer programs and software is essential. Getting certifications can help you gain these skills.

It’s even better if you have some technical computer skills beyond the basics, such as basic coding knowledge.

Attention to detail

Office managers deal with plenty of tasks that require attention to detail. This includes data entry, scheduling, analyzing reports, and editing documents. Make sure you’re great at focusing on the details and spotting errors.

Communication skills

You’ll be in contact with all sorts of people in this role, both inside and outside the company. You must be able to effectively communicate with vendors, coworkers, higher-ups, and people in several functional areas across the company.

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Time management

Given the wide range of tasks office administrators perform, you’ll want to work on your time management skills. Doing so will help you prioritize your tasks and ensure that you get everything done according to deadlines.

Quick learning/flexibility

Flexibility and the ability to pick up new things fast can pay off in this kind of role. For example, your employer might get some new software, and you’ll have to learn it fast so that you can continue knocking out your projects.

Process improvement

Although not necessary, process improvement skills can set you apart from other job seekers. If you can make some office processes more efficient and save the company time or money, they’ll be willing to pay you more accordingly.

Interested in becoming an office manager?

Now that you’ve learned a little more about office administrators and their average salary, you can apply for office administrator jobs if they fit your career goals. New jobs are added to Jobcase’s job board all the time.

You can also customize your resume with some of our office manager resume tips and examples.

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