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Office Administration or Business Administration: What Jobseekers Need To Know

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Jobs in office administration and businesses administration are pretty popular currently – Seek has them projected at 7.3% and 9.9% growth, respectively.

So if you’re scrolling through one of the many job seeking sites, searching for an administrator role, it’s important to know the difference between these categories.

And it can be a bit confusing.  Some job listings seem to use these terms interchangeably, or you might just see the blanket term ‘administrator’ as the title.  Whilst there is some overlap, there is a difference between the jobs descriptions and tasks of office administrators and business administrators.

Here’s how to know which one is right for you:

The similarities

It’s perhaps easiest to start with the similarities between the two, since they do have a lot of overlap.  Both an office and business administrator will find themselves doing work involving data entry, reporting, liaising with clientele/staff, and perhaps even bookkeeping work.

You’ll see common phrases across job descriptions for both roles, including the ideal candidate being “organised”, “detail-oriented”, and “friendly”, with “good time management” and “interpersonal skills”.

Both of these roles will also require competence in Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel.  Whilst some job descriptions won’t explicitly state this, considering the prevalence of data entry and word processing required by these roles, these skills are definitely essential.

Concerned you don’t have these skills? No worries!  Check out our Complete Microsoft Office Academy Package to master this software and get a leg up on the competition.

Office administration and business administration jobs require proficiency in Microsoft Office
These two listings from Seek show how Microsoft Office skills are required

These roles are also both very broad.  Considering they both deal with organising administrative and procedural aspects of business, the specifics will vary across industry.

For instance, if you’re looking for an office administrator role in the insurance industry, then the tasks might look quite different to those for a role in a large investment company.

The two job listings below show just how different these tasks can be: one includes tasks more centred on reporting and processing data, and the other is more customer service-based.

Office administration roles can be broad and varying
These two Indeed office admin jobs show how broad this role is

Sometimes, too, both roles will include tasks that use accounting software, like Xero. Especially for administrator roles for accounting firms or financial services, bookkeeping knowledge is required to perform tasks like payroll, superannuation, and bank reconciliations

Office and business administration can also include bookkeeping tasks
These office admin and business admin roles both include bookkeeping tasks

The differences

Even just from reading some of the ad listings included above, you might have noticed some differences between office administration and business administration.

An easy way to think about it this: administration vs. organisation.  Now don’t get me wrong, both roles include huge amounts of administration and organisation. But generally you’ll find office administrators to be more focused on the front-desk, data entry, customer service administration; and business administrators to focus on workflow management, procedural, rostering and scheduling organisation

These two listings shows the difference pretty clearly:

Role difference between office and business admins

A general trend is that office administrator role descriptions include more mention of customer service, whether that be greeting clients, making sales calls, or solving customer queries. 

Business administrators, on the other hand, tend to involve tasks more associated with implementing company initiatives and liaising between management and support staff – but these roles can include customer service too.

This is somewhat reflected in the salary of each role, which you can see below as Jora reports it:

salary difference between office and business administration

Get the job you want with an EzyLearn course behind you!

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Want work as an office administrator or business administrator?  We’ve got you covered.  Our Data Entry & Microsoft Office Essentials Training Course Package can get you started with the foundational skills you need to progress through administrator roles.

Or, have a look at our Online Business Administration Certificate Training Course Package, which includes content in Microsoft Office software and popular accounting software Xero and MYOB.

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