The Administrative Officer Series  includes positions in which the employees are responsible for providing or obtaining a variety of management services essential to the direction and operation of an organization. The paramount qualifications required are extensive knowledge and understanding of management principles, practices, methods and techniques, and skill in integrating management services with the general management of an organization.
Administrative management work is primarily concerned with providing, securing or negotiating for the resources or services needed to manage and run an organization. It involves direct assistance to the “operating” manager — i.e., the official with the primary responsibility for the direction of an organization or unit established to accomplish a basic goal or mission.
The federal government employs 9,285 administrative officers of which 345 work overseas . The Veterans Administration  is the largest employer with 1,809 employed followed by the Health and Human Services with 1,301 and there are 1181 with the Department of the Army. All cabinet level and many large agencies employ this occupation.
An administrative officer aids the operating manager and subordinate operating officials in getting things done through his knowledge of and skills in dealing with organization, methods, funds, people, equipment, and other tools or resources of management. Ordinarily, he has a responsible role in the management of both financial and human resources because of his/her immediate relationship to the operating manager. He generally does key work in several other vital functions or services such as management analysis, procurement, contract administration, property management, space management, security administration, reports management, data processing, and similar or closely related activities.
An administrative officer is a generalist. The total management process is his interest, and the proficiency required involves many aspects of management. General management skills are the paramount requirement. Though aspects such as budget administration and personnel management assume major importance in many positions and other aspects such as procurement and property management are also important in many jobs, no single functional, resource or service area forms a basis for the paramount skills.
Federal Government Requirements:
- You must be a U.S. citizen to apply
- The yearly salary for a GS-11/12 is $72,303.00 to $112,665.00 per year (Santa Cruz, CA vacancy area). GS-12 is $71,012.00 to $92,316.00 per year (Kennesaw, WA vacancy area)
Typical Duties & Occupational Profile:
In the private sector, administrative officers are referred to as administrative services managers.
Administrative services managers plan, coordinate, and direct a broad range of services that allow organizations to operate efficiently.
Administrative services managers plan, direct, and coordinate supportive services of an organization. Their specific responsibilities vary, but administrative service managers typically maintain facilities and supervise activities that include recordkeeping, mail distribution, and office upkeep. 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.
Administrative services managers typically do the following:
- Buy, store, and distribute supplies
- Supervise clerical and administrative personnel
- Set goals and deadlines for their department
- Develop, manage, and monitor records
- Recommend changes to policies or procedures in order to improve operations, such as changing what supplies are kept or how to improve recordkeeping
- Plan budgets for contracts, equipment, and supplies
- Monitor the facility to ensure that it remains safe, secure, and well maintained
- Oversee the maintenance and repair of machinery, equipment, and electrical and mechanical systems
- Ensure that facilities meet environmental, health, and security standards and comply with government regulations
Administrative services managers plan, coordinate, and direct a broad range of services that allow organizations to operate efficiently. An organization may have several managers who oversee activities that meet the needs of multiple departments, such as mail, printing and copying, recordkeeping, security, building maintenance, and recycling.
The work of administrative services managers can make a difference in employees’ productivity and satisfaction. For example, an administrative services manager might be responsible for making sure that the organization has the supplies and services it needs. In addition, an administrative services manager who is responsible for coordinating space allocation might take into account employee morale and available funds when determining the best way to arrange a given physical space.
Administrative services managers also ensure that the organization honors its contracts and follows government regulations and safety standards.
Administrative services managers may examine energy consumption patterns, technology usage, and office equipment. For example, managers may recommend buying new or different equipment or supplies in order to lower energy costs or improve indoor air quality.
Administrative services managers also plan for maintenance and the future replacement of equipment, such as computers. A timely replacement of equipment can help save money for the organization, because eventually the cost of upgrading and maintaining equipment becomes higher than the cost of buying new equipment.
A bachelor’s degree is typically required for someone to become an administrative services manager. However, some jobseekers may be able to enter the occupation with a high school diploma. Those with a bachelor’s degree typically study business, engineering, facility management, or information management.
Administrative services managers must have related work experience reflecting managerial and leadership abilities. For example, contract administrators need experience in purchasing and sales, as well as knowledge of the variety of supplies, machinery, and equipment that their organization uses. Managers who are concerned with supply, inventory, and distribution should be experienced in receiving, warehousing, packaging, shipping, transportation, and related operations.
Analytical skills. Administrative services managers must be able to review an organization’s procedures and find ways to improve efficiency.
Communication skills. Much of an administrative services manager’s time is spent working with other people. Therefore, communication is a key quality.
Detail oriented. Administrative services managers must pay attention to details. This quality is necessary across a range of tasks, from ensuring that the organization complies with building codes to managing the process of buying equipment.
Leadership skills. In managing workers and coordinating administrative duties, administrative services managers must be able to motivate employees and deal with issues that may arise.
The occupational profile information was excerpted from the Occupational Handbook (OOH) published by the Department of Labor.
GS-0341 Administrative Officer (Excerpted from USA Job Announcement)
- Manage processes and procedures while developing and implementing office initiatives and strategies
- Serve as the principle administrative advisor providing management, oversight, and control of the business operations
- Manage the unit’s administrative and financial operations.
- Serve as the principal administrative and financial adviser to the management officials
- Provides key assistance in vital services, such as management analysis, manpower, personnel, budget, workload reports, and automatic data processing
- Studies regulations, reports, and work measurement data within the office, adjusting workloads, reorganizing or changing work processes, functions, and manpower
- Manages the operating budget. Maintains operation of financial and automated systems activities; duties consist of preparing Government and contractual purchase requests, monitoring the expenditures, and ensuring proper commitments and billings
- Represents the office in meetings. Manages credit card accounts, commitments, obligations, and expenditures
The positions used as reference for the Federal Government positions were from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a part of Department of the Army. The employees for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide emergency support to disaster stricken areas throughout the US. Employees must pass a stringent medical screening and be prepared to live and work in extremely austere conditions. Work schedule will initially be arduous, with much overtime. Sleeping arrangements may be limited to using a sleeping bag or in the vehicle used to move from location to location. The duty station for pay purposes for these positions is Kennewick, WA with possible 75% or Greater Business Travel in various locations throughout the US.
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projection Programs)
Applicants will likely face strong competition for the limited number of higher level administrative services management jobs. However, an increase in the expected number of retirements in upcoming years should produce more job openings. In addition, competition should be less intense for lower level management jobs. Job prospects also are expected to be better for those who can manage a wide range of responsibilities than for those who specialize in particular functions.
- USAJOBS GS-0341  (Administrative Officer Federal Job List)
- Related Administrative Jobs 
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook 
- Qualification Standards 
Helpful Career Planning Tools
- Applying For Federal Jobs  (Introduction)
- Federal Employee Benefits 
- Career Development Guide for Federal Employees 
- Federal Retiree’s Job Center 
- BLS Website 
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