Offices certainly don’t run themselves. Successful businesses have a team of professionals working behind the scenes, using their administrative skills to ensure the smooth operations of the company. The role of an office administrator is an important one. This person keeps on top of all the basic day-to-day needs of an office and is a great resource to employees in all levels of the company.

There are many skills that make for an exceptional office administrator. If you’re thinking about becoming a business office administrator, you should consider enrolling in FCC’s Business Office Administration Program.

Here is a list of the skills you will need to have for a career in business office administration.

Organization and Time Management

The business office administrator is usually responsible for a wide range of tasks such as filing, answering company emails and phone calls, booking appointments and meetings, bookkeeping, data entry, payroll, etc. As such, employees in this role need strong organizational skills to succeed. Often an office administrator is responsible for keeping track of not only his/her tasks and calendar but also that of the other office workers and the calendar of the executives of the business. If an administrator lets tasks get away from him/her, the result can be chaos for the rest of the office.   


Due to the fact that the office administrator has a hand in so many different office tasks, he/she must interact with other staff and with customers on a regular basis. This means that having exceptional communication skills (both verbal and written) is imperative in this position. To have good communication skills a person must not only know what to say but how to say it. Having tact and speaking (and writing) in a professional and non-confrontational manner goes a long way to creating a harmonious office environment. In some instances, the administrator may even be called upon to deal with customer complaints, so having the ability to communicate clearly and calmly can really help diffuse tense situations.


An office administrator typically has at least a few employees that he/she is responsible for overseeing. Delegating work and staying on top of its progress often fall under the business office administration heading. A good office administrator leads by example and encourages teamwork and cooperation between office staff and other employees. Those in the position must be approachable so that employees working for them will come to them when guidance is needed. They also need to be comfortable with setting the work standards for the office and taking measures to ensure that those requirements are met.

Computer Know-How

Office managers typically have a large number of responsibilities. The exact tasks vary greatly depending on the type of business involved, but computer competence is high on the list of required office administration skills. Computer tasks usually involve data entry, spreadsheets, and general IT tasks, so anyone seeking this kind of job should ensure that he/she has good knowledge of the most commonly used office software programs. Having a decent typing speed and reasonable online research skills are also great assets for the position.

Customer Service

In many instances, the office administrator is the first person customers deal with when they call or come into the office. As such, people in this position need to know how to deal with patrons in a professional and respectful manner. Sometimes, as the first point of contact, the administrator will be tasked with dealing with customer complaints or will at least be the one to refer concerns to the appropriate person. Handling these situations in a tactful way is crucial to maintaining a professional setting.  

Problem Solving and Ability to Shift Gears

Due to the fact that office administrators have their hands in so many different aspects of a business, being competent at problem-solving is a must. Sometimes office managers must deal with the conflict between other staff members. These issues need to be dealt with quickly and effectively to maintain an efficient workspace. Other times administrators need to rapidly switch gears from working on one project to tackling another more pressing one that has just popped up. Knowing how to undertake problems and in what order are essential office administration skills.

Office administrators work at the heart of any effective business. The most impressive ones use their administrative skills to stay on top of daily office functions, working ahead on tasks whenever there is a chance, and anticipating the unexpected. People may not always notice all the hard work of an office administrator, but they surely appreciate the difference their efforts make.

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