How Do I Become a Back Office Manager?

Lainie Petersen

To become a back office manager, you will typically need to have many years experience working in an office environment. You will also need to develop both basic and advanced office skills and may need to gain substantial supervisory experience before you can enter back office management. The qualifications and duties of an office manager vary by company, so the exact qualifications and amount of experience needed to step into this role can differ significantly. While formal training in office administration skills is often helpful, having job experience is typically much more helpful in securing an office management position.

Back office managers must be able to direct multiple employees.
Back office managers must be able to direct multiple employees.

The term back office often refers to the administrative department or departments of a company or organization. Back office workers typically do not interact with the public the same way that front office sales staff and executives might. Instead, the back office workers typically balance the books, manage IT resources, and perform other necessary office tasks. In small companies, a back-office manager may oversee several different functions and only supervise a few employees, or in some cases, may even work by him or herself. On the other hand, back office managers of larger companies may oversee a large staff or even a group of managers that are responsible for individual departments.

A back office manager may create and maintain databases and spreadsheets.
A back office manager may create and maintain databases and spreadsheets.

Most employers will want you to have real-life office administration experience before you can become a back office manager in their organization. Many people start their office administration careers working for temporary services, though some companies will hire office workers directly. During your employment, it is a good idea to take advantage of training opportunities, particularly those offered in learning different types of software. Office workers are typically expected to have strong word-processing and spreadsheet skills. If you can learn basic web-design and desktop publishing skills as well, you may be a more desirable candidate for higher-paying positions.

In addition to learning software skills, you may also want to take coursework in business writing and basic bookkeeping. These courses are offered online as well as through community colleges and vocational schools. When possible, agree to train and work with new workers and temporary employees. This can provide you with valuable experience as you move into management. If you hope to become a back office manager at a very large company, you may wish to pursue a college degree in business administration. This is because you may find that the back office at a large company is responsible for several keys company functions, and employers may wish to hire individuals with a strong academic background in business as well as practical work experience.

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