Administrative Services Managers
- Applicants will face keen competition for the limited number of top-level management jobs, but competition should be less severe for lower-level management jobs; demand should be strong for facility managers.
- Administrative services managers work throughout private industry and government and have a wide range of responsibilities, experience, earnings, and education.
- Like other managers, administrative services managers should be analytical, detail-oriented, flexible, decisive, and have good leadership and communication skills.
Nature of the Work
Administrative services managers coordinate and direct the many support services that allow organizations to operate efficiently. They perform a broad range of duties. They might, for example, oversee secretarial and reception services, administration, payroll, conference planning and travel, information and data processing, mail, materials scheduling and distribution, printing and reproduction, records management, telecommunications management, security, parking, energy consumption, and personal property procurement, supply, recycling, and disposal. They manage support services for organizations as diverse as insurance companies, computer manufacturers, and government offices.
Specific duties for these managers vary by degree of responsibility and authority. First-line administrative services managers directly supervise a staff that performs various support services. Mid-level managers, on the other hand, develop departmental plans, set goals and deadlines, implement procedures to improve productivity and customer service, and define the responsibilities of supervisory-level managers. Some mid-level administrative services managers oversee first-line supervisors from various departments, including the clerical staff. Mid-level managers also may be involved in the hiring and dismissal of employees, but they generally have no role in the formulation of personnel policy. Some of these managers advance to upper level positions, such as vice president of administrative services, which are discussed in the Handbook statement on top executives.
In small organizations, a single administrative services manager may oversee all support services. In larger ones, however, first-line administrative services managers often report to mid-level managers who, in turn, report to owners or top-level managers, sometimes called director of administration, or vice president of administration.
The nature of managerial jobs varies as significantly as the range of administrative services required by organizations. For example, administrative services managers who work as contract administrators oversee the preparation, analysis, negotiation, and review of contracts related to the purchase or sale of equipment, materials, supplies, products, or services. In addition, some administrative services managers acquire, distribute, and store supplies, while others dispose of surplus property or oversee the disposal of unclaimed property.