Administrative Services Managers Overview

Administrative services candidates will face serious competition for the small number of higher-level management positions, while lower-level management jobs should have less severe competition. With jobs in private industry and government, the responsibilities, experience, earnings and education vary greatly among administrative services managers. To succeed in a managerial role, administrative services managers should have good communication and leadership skills and they should be decisive, flexible, detail-oriented and analytical.

Nature of the Work for Administrative Services Managers

Administrative Services Managers

The job duties of an administrative services manager include coordinating, directing and planning a variety of services to help companies operate efficiently. An administrative services manager may coordinate facilities maintenance and operations, major property and equipment procurement and space allocation. Or they may be in charge of centralized operations that cover many departments such as mail, printing and reproduction, telecommunications, records management, information and data processing, recycling, wellness and security. Contracts, safety standards, government regulations and insurance requirements also fall under the scope of an administrative services manager. Also, they may monitor technology and energy usage to determine maintenance, replacement and modernization needs.

The size of company or office and level of authority determines the specific duties of an administrative services manager. Small organizations may have only one office manager that oversees support services, while larger companies could have several levels of administrative services managers who specialize in different areas and report to different directors or vice presidents of administration.

Because different organizations require different administrative services, the nature of work varies greatly from job to job. A contract administrator for example, is an administrative services manager who oversees the review, analysis, preparation and negotiation of contracts for purchasing or selling supplies, materials, products, services or equipment. Another type of administrative services manager might oversee the disposal of unclaimed property or a surplus while another could handle the purchase, storage and distribution of supplies and equipment.

A facility manager is an administrative services manager who plans, designs and manages a workplace and the necessary supplies and equipment. More and more, this position is responsible for incorporating energy efficiencies into buildings and a facility’s operations. For these tasks, an employee must use skills in engineering, architecture, business administration and information technology together. Generally, the duties of an administrative services manager fall into several categories, even though tasks vary greatly depending upon the company. Most duties fall within the broad categories of real estate, project planning and management, facility function, operations and maintenance, technology integration, finance, communication and environmental factors with more specific tasks covering budgeting, purchase and sale, lease management, architectural planning and design, renovations and workplace planning. As a facility manager, an administrative services manager may over renovation projects that will help that workplace meet health, security and government regulations and standards or energy efficiency goals. They also monitor the facility to ensure it’s well-maintained, safe and secure. Maintenance, grounds and custodial workers often fall under the supervision of an administrative services manager.

Usually, an organization’s administrative services manager spends most of the day in an office, with occasional site visits of the grounds, building and other facilities under their management, including construction sites when applicable. Teleconferences and remote monitoring capabilities have reduced the need for facility managers to travel for as many staff and vendor meetings as previously required.

Half of the field of administrative services managers works 40-hours a week, and most of the other half work longer hours. The average administrative services manager is “on call” to help with facility issues that happen outside of business hours. Often, overtime hours are required to resolve problems or meet deadlines without compensation.

Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Administrative Services Managers

The education and experience needed to work as an administrative services manager varies depending on the size and needs of a company. Small organizations may only look for experience, while larger organization may require a bachelor’s degree along with appropriate experience.

A lower-level administrative services manager position with few responsibilities or an office manager job at a small organization for example, may not require anything beyond a high school diploma and appropriate experience. That said, an associates degree is becoming more and more important and will help you stand out from other applicants.

Larger companies, which may have multiple locations, technologies and equipment to manage, often look to hire an administrative services manager with at least a bachelor’s degree. When looking for an employee to handle contract, regulatory compliance or insurance, a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business administration or human resources is needed at minimum. Lower-level managers of security, communications, printing or information technology, can sometimes substitute technical school training for a bachelor’s degree. A drafting class is important for building management. And all prospective administrative services managers should take courses in human resources, accounting, business law, office technology and computer applications.

Typically, an administrative services manager who wishes to pursue a career as a facility manager has a bachelor’s degree or masters degree in business administration, facility management, architecture, construction management or engineering. Managerial experience as well as a background in construction, interior design or real estate is common. Work experience showing off leadership and managerial abilities is key regardless of educational background and many in the administrative services manager position obtain experience by specializing in a particular area and then adding to their resume by gaining work experience in other specialties before taking on managerial duties.

Experience in purchasing and sales along with knowledge of the equipment, machinery and supplies used is important for an administrative services manager in property acquisition and disposal. Those working in supply, distribution and inventory need experience in shipping, receiving, packaging, transportation and warehousing. Often, contract administrators gain experience as cost analysts, procurement specialists or contract specialists.

An administrative services manager should be flexible, decisive, detail-oriented and analytical, have good leadership and communication skills and possess the ability to work well with a variety of individuals from managers and professionals to blue-collar workers. They also should be able to analyze and resolve problems quickly, meet deadlines and multitask.

To advance as an administrative services manager in a small company, employees typically move to other management positions or seek employment at a larger organization. Online training courses for those at small businesses are offered through the Association of Professional Office Managers and completion shows a level of professionalism and commitment to the career.

In large firms, an administrative services manager will likely have an easier time advancing their career because companies typically employ many levels and types of the position. To maximize opportunities, a masters degree in business administration is recommended. With experience, some managers start or join a management consulting firm to offer services to a variety of companies on a contract basis.

Facility managers often transfer from department to department or start in technical positions and move their way up. Another avenue for advancement in through a progression of facility management positions that build on responsibilities. The International Facility Management Association offers a competency-based professional certification program that can give administrative services managers an edge. Applicants must meet educational and experience requirements for the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) designation. Before the CFM, entry-level employees can obtain the Facility Management Professional (FMP) credential.

Top 10 Most Popular Business Administration and Management Schools

1. University of Phoenix (Multiple Campus Locations)
2. American InterContinental University (Multiple Campus Locations)
3. Western International University, Phoenix (Phoenix, Arizona)
4. Webster University (Saint Louis, Missouri)
5. Strayer University (Multiple Campus Locations)
6. University of Maryland - University College (Hyattsville, Maryland)
7. Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion (Marion, Indiana)
8. California State University, Fullerton (Fullerton, California)
9. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California)
10. Robert Morris University Illinois (Chicago, Illinois)

See All Business Administration and Management Schools

Top 10 Most Popular Online Business Administration and Management Schools

1. University of Phoenix - Online School
2. American InterContinental University - Online School
3. Colorado Technical University - Online School
4. Saint Leo University Online
5. Jones International University - Online
6. Northcentral University - Online School
7. San Joaquin Valley College
8. Purdue University Global
9. DeVry University - Online School
10. University of Arizona Global Campus

See All Online Business Administration and Management Schools

Employment and Job Outlook for Administrative Services Managers

Number of People in Profession


Changing Employment (2008-2018)

Employment is projected to grow about as fast as average (increase 7 - 13%).

In 2008, 259,400 administrative services managers were employed throughout all industries. The breakdown of employment in the top industries for the career is as follows: 15 percent in the education services industry, 12 percent in the healthcare industry, 12 percent in state and local government and 9 percent in finance and insurance.

Jobs are expected to grow at an average rate. Those seeking one of the few higher-level management jobs will face tough competition, but lower-level jobs are more widely available. Facility managers should see a strong demand.

From 2008 to 2018, experts believe the field of administrative services managers will grow by 12 percent, which is just about in line with the average for all careers. Corporate downsizing and an increase of technology may streamline organizational structure cutting out the need for some levels of management. As businesses place an increased importance on the maintenance and efficiency of their facilities, facility managers will be in greater demand. And as companies look to cut costs and streamline operations, many may look to outsource facility management services or find qualified facility managers to meet the goals on staff.

Management services and management consulting is expected to grow for as corporations seek outside specialists for complex and expensive administrative tasks. Outsourcing is also becoming more prevalent for food service, space planning, equipment maintenance and repair and janitorial services making those specializing in contract administration valuable. Also on the rise for the prospective administrative service manager are the areas of energy conservation, wellness, data and personal security, records management and information technology.

Lower-level management jobs will not be as difficult to attain as the limited number of higher-level administrative services manager positions. Skills in a wide range of specialties, rather than just one, will improve job prospects. Beyond job growth, many positions will become available due to workers transfers, retiring or otherwise leaving the field.

Because the economy directly affects the need for administrative services managers, job opportunities will fluctuate from year to year. The most stable job opportunities are found in the industries least likely to be affected by economic changes.

Earnings and Salary for Administrative Services Managers

Geographic area, specialty and employer all have a big impact on the wage of an administrative services manager. The median annual wages of all salaried administrative services managers is $73,520. The highest 10 percent in the field earned more than $129,770, the lowest 10 percent earned below $37,430 ad the middle 50 percent took in between $52,240 and $98,980. The median yearly wages by top employing industry were:

  • State government: $65,690
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools: $72,460
  • Local government: $74,860
  • General medical and surgical hospitals: $77,870
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $85,980

Industrial specialists in the Federal Government earned average annual wages of $82,169 with wages broken down by specialty as follows:

  • Property disposal specialists: $70,386
  • Support services administration: $71,049
  • Administrative officers: $78,562
  • Facility operations services managers: $78,995
  • Industrial property managers: $79,457

Annual Salary for Administrative Services Managers

On average, Administrative Services Managers earn $75,520 per year.

10% 25% 75% 90% $38,690/yr $53,820/yr $100,560/yr $131,730/yr

Hourly Wage for Administrative Services Managers

On average, Administrative Services Managers earn $36.31 per hour.

10% 25% 75% 90% $18.60 $25.88 $48.35 $63.33

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook