Administrative Support Supervisor Careers: Job Description & Salary

About this article
An administrative support supervisor's median annual salary is around $50,000. Is it worth the education and experience requirements? See real job duties and get the truth about career prospects to decide if becoming an administrative support supervisor is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of an Administrative Support Supervisor Career

As an administrative support supervisor, you must be comfortable with directing others and taking disciplinary actions when necessary. Continue reading for the pros and cons of this career field.

Pros of Being an Administrative Support Supervisor
Opportunity to work in many different industries (Government, healthcare, social services, finance, insurance, retail, professional and technical services)*
Work in a comfortable environment*
Opportunities are available to work anywhere in the country*
Associate's degree may be enough for entry-level position*

Cons of Being an Administrative Support Supervisor
Many of these positions are filled by promotion within an organization*
Slow growth could create competition for limited positions*
Can be a high stress career**
Depending on the industry you work in, additional training may be necessary (i.e., medical office support can requires basic medical vocabulary)**

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ** O*Net Online

Career Information

Job Descriptions and Responsibilities

An administrative support supervisor may also be referred to as an office support supervisor or an office manager. The supervisor is responsible for managing an office support staff within a business or organization.

As an authority figure, you would ensure that the office runs smoothly and all employees are on task and completing their duties. You would also handle any discipline that may occur if an employee is not doing their job. Along with supervision of the staff, if a problem between employees arises, a support supervisor may have to resolve the conflict.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, administrative support jobs are expected to grow 12% from 2012-2022, which is on average with other occupations. The most recent data available noted that depository credit intermediation, physicians' office and the local government had the highest levels of employment. The annual mean salary for an administrative support supervisor was around $54,000 in 2014; however, salary can vary depending on the industry.

What are the Basic Requirements?

An administrative support supervisor is not an entry-level job, and you may have to earn multiple years of experience as a secretary or administrative assistant. According to the BLS, an associate's degree may be required for this position. While there are a number of associate's degree programs related to the field, you will need to complete coursework in desktop publishing, business law, business and office communications, accounting, records and information management and professional development. Many of these 2-year programs prepare students for immediate entry into the workforce upon graduation, but employers may still need one or two years of on-the-job experience and direct supervision of an experienced supervisor.

Top Skills

The supervisory role requires strong communication skills. Along with communication, active listening is a valuable tool, especially in times of solving conflicts among employees. Other valuable skills include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Reading comprehension
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Negotiation
  • Good speech clarity
  • Detail oriented
  • Organizational

Job Postings from Real Employers

Although many employers hire their supervisory staff from within the company, employers still advertise for these administrative positions. The following are a few of the job postings for an administrative support supervisor from May 2012:

  • A company in New York is advertising for a position in their legal department as an administrative support supervisor to plan and supervise the activities of a legal support group. The candidate must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, a minimum of two years of leadership experience and knowledge of a general legal office environment.
  • An Illinois high-tech manufacturing company is searching for an administrative supervisor to assist the president and executive management team in time management, reports, meetings, travel and sales. The best candidate will have an associate's degree, preferably a bachelor's degree, along with 5-7 years of work experience.
  • A Princeton, NJ, employer is searching for an administrative supervisor to provide support in operating the facilities division. An associate's degree or a minimum of four years' experience is required. Skills should include Microsoft Office and PeopleSoft.

How Can I Beat the Competition?

There are a few ways you can get ahead in this field, including completing a bachelor's degree program or acquiring additional abilities related to administrative support.

Certification

One way to get an edge in the field is with certification. The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) offers a certified managers program. Employers know that certified professional managers are competent and will have the specific skills to manage a successful business. Certification will also improve your chances for promotion and salary increases. To obtain the certification, you must be eligible to take the exams. To be eligible, the ICPM requires that you obtain 10 points; this can be gained through the military, employment and college credits.

Alternative Career Choices

Executive Secretary or Administrative Assistant

Executive secretaries and administrative assistants work for high-level management executives. Specific duties of a secretary include filing, maintaining supplies, scheduling appointments and arranging meetings. Other duties vary depending on experience, industry and size of the company. There are no specific education requirements listed for this career. Entry-level jobs may be obtained with a high school diploma or equivalent and basic office and computer skills. The growth for the secretary career path is on average with all other occupations in the U.S., with 12% growth from 2010-2020. The mean annual salary for this position was around $48,000 in 2011, according to the BLS.

Medical or Health Services Managers

Medical or health services managers will oversee an entire healthcare facility or specialize in managing specific medical departments. Their duties include improving the quality of healthcare services; keeping up to date on all local, county, state, and federal laws and regulations; supervising employees; handling finances and organizing files; and creating and maintaining work schedules.

According to the BLS, a better than average job growth is expected for medical and health service managers from 2010-2020. While this career path requires more education, the annual mean salary was around $96,000 in 2011.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA
      • MBA - Strategic Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Baker College Online

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
    Master's
      • General Business (MBA)
    Bachelor's
      • Business Administration - Accelerated Program - Bachelor
    Associate's
      • Business Administration - Associate
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Argosy University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration (DBA)
    Master's
      • Business Administration (MBA)
      • Business Administration (with Concentrations) (MBA)
      • Management (MS)
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor - Business Administration
    Associate's
      • Business Administration (AS)
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • Bachelor: Accounting
    Associate's
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • AASBA in Event Planning
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    6. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate's - Business Admin
    Certificate
      • Certification - Business Administration
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  • Online Programs Available
    7. Saint John's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
    Certificate
      • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Post University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • A.S. in Management
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Accounting

Featured Schools

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

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Northcentral University

  • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA
  • MBA - Strategic Management

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Baker College Online

  • Business Administration - DBA (Doctorate)
  • General Business (MBA)
  • Business Administration - Accelerated Program - Bachelor
  • Business Administration - Associate

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Argosy University

  • Business Administration (DBA)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Bachelor - Business Administration
  • Business Administration (AS)

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Kaplan University

  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • BSBA - Investment
  • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
  • Associate: Business Admin.

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Virginia College

  • Associate's - Business Admin
  • Certification - Business Administration
  • Diploma Program - Business Administration

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Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • Associate of Science - Business Studies
  • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting

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