Administrative managers perform a broad range of duties in virtually every sector of the economy. They coordinate and direct support services to organizations as diverse as insurance companies, computer manufacturers and government offices.
Administration managers organize the many services that allow for efficient operation, such as secretarial and reception, administration, payroll, conference planning and travel, information and data processing, mail, materials scheduling and distribution, printing and reproduction, records management, telecommunications management, security, parking, personal property procurement, supply and disposal.
Specific duties for these managers vary depending on the degree of responsibility and authority. First-line administrative services managers directly supervise members of staff that perform 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
As the size of the firm increases, administrative managers are more likely to specialize in specific support activities. For example, some administrative services managers work primarily as office managers, contract administrators or unclaimed property officers. In many cases, the duties of these administrative services managers are similar to those of other managers and supervisors.
Because of the range of administrative services required by organizations, the nature of these managerial jobs also varies significantly. Administration managers who work as contract administrators, for instance, 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.
Most administration managers work a standard 40-hour week. However, uncompensated overtime is frequently required to resolve problems and meet deadlines. They may be "on call" at times to address a variety of problems that can arise in a department during non-working hours.
- regular office hours and a five-day week
- pleasant, clean working environment
- opportunities to be creative and to specialize
- scope for advancement
- variety of work
- frustration of routine work
- working with difficult people
- restricted movement in office
- sharing office accommodation
- the fact that results of efforts are not easily measurable
- organisational skills
- time management skills
- good communication and writing skills
- problem-solving skills
- planning skills
- computer literacy, with word processing skills.
- tolerant, helpful and friendly
- aptitude for figures
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory subjects: English
Recommended subjects: Geography, Economics, Accounting
Degree: Most universities offer a BAdmin degree, alternatively a BA degree, with such majors as: Business Administration, an official language, Psychology, Industrial Psychology, Sociology, Communication, Public Administration, Political Science, Economics and/or Business Economics. Public Administration is offered at NMMU, UFH, UWC, UV and UNISA.
Diploma: Most universities of technology offer diplomas in Public Management and a CIS can be very useful in this career. - eg CPUT, TUT.
Many administration managers gain skills on the job and many will be required to attend regular training courses on office procedures and information technology. Various government departments offer further in-service training. Training is also available in the Defence Forces - Air Force, Army and Navy.
- most commercial firms and large industrial organizations
- banks and building societies
- government departments
Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators
P O Box 331
Wits, 205014th Floor
41 De Korte Street
Tel: (011) 403-2900 Fax: (011) 403-1522
Institute of Administration & Commerce of South Africa
P O Box 36477
252 Rosmead Avenue
Tel: (021) 761-6211 Fax: (086) 637-6989
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