Discovering your passion
Administrative services managers make a great career choice for military spouses due to the high pay and flexibility of entry-level requirements. Many military spouses do not have the time to commit to long-term education studies, therefore, limiting the number of high-paying jobs for which they qualify. If you are considering a career as an administrative services manager, review the Research Occupations tool on MySECO and take self-assessments to make sure your skills and interests align with this career path.
Administrative services managers plan, direct and coordinate supportive services of an organization. Their specific responsibilities vary by the type of organization and may include keeping records, distributing mail, and planning and maintaining facilities. In a small organization, they may direct all support services and may be called the business office manager. Large organizations may have several layers of administrative managers who specialize in different areas. Some of the duties you may be responsible for include the following:
- Resolving customer complaints and answering questions regarding policies and procedures
- Supervising the work of office, administrative or customer service employees
- Providing employees with guidance handling difficult or complex problems
- Implementing corporate or departmental policies, procedures and service standards
- Discussing job performance problems with employees, identifying causes and issues and working to resolve problems
- Training employees in job duties or company policies or arranging for training
- Evaluating employee job performance
Education and training
The education requirements necessary to find employment as an administrative services manager vary with every organization. Some organizations require a high school diploma or equivalent, whereas other organizations require administrative services managers to have a bachelor's degree. Most administrative services managers concentrate their studies on business, engineering or facility management.
College Scorecard is a great starting point for researching and selecting an education institution. When you visit College Scorecard, search by program/degree, location, size and more to find a program of study near you. You can also use the Scholarship Finder to assist with locating funding relevant to the military community to help pay for classes.
In addition to obtaining a bachelor's degree, well-qualified candidates may become even more competitive by earning advanced certifications from the International Facility Management Association. The IFMA offers a competency-based professional certification program for administrative services managers. The program has three levels: The Facilities Management Professional certification, the Sustainability Facility Professional certification and the Certified Facility Manager certification. People entering the profession can get the FMP as a steppingstone to the SFP and CFM.
Once you are confident you have the necessary education and licensure requirements, it's time to find a job in your occupation. One of the first places to look is the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Hundreds of partner employers have made the commitment to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers. A recent search of the MSEP Job Search using the keywords ‘Administrative Services’ provided job listings with a number of partner companies and organizations, including the following:
You can also search administrative services manager positions using the MySECO Job Search Tools, which include the following:
Professional organizations and networking
You may wish to consider joining a professional organization in your career field to gain a better understanding of current industry trends. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Networking with other professionals in your industry will give you an edge in meeting the right people who may have the connections you need to obtain an interview or restart your career at your new location. They may provide important information about your field, such as new technology and continuing education. Read The Value of Professional Associations for more information on how becoming a member can help enhance your career.
To explore additional information related to starting your career as an administrative services manager, check out the Research Occupations tool on MySECO. Enter the keywords 'Administrative Services Managers' to learn more about the occupational overview for your specialty field. If you need additional information on obtaining the proper license or certification as part of your specialty field, review the Advantages of Licensure article in the Licensures and Certifications section of the Education, Training and Licensing lifecycle stage of MySECO. Be sure to view the Spouse Licensure Map for state legislation and licensure information for your specific state. You can also speak with a career coach at 800-342-9647 to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Coaches are available to review your resume, practice interviewing, discuss networking or assist you in understanding employer requirements for this field.