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Top 10 Office Manager Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications for office managers, outlining their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for an office manager in the job market because they demonstrate to employers that the candidate has the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in the role. Certifications also show that the individual is committed to their profession and willing to invest time and money into furthering their education. Additionally, certifications provide tangible evidence of a candidate’s qualifications, which can make them stand out from other applicants in a competitive job market.

This article reviews some of the top certifications available to Office Managers, and explains how these certifications can help advance their careers.

What are Office Manager Certifications?

Office Manager Certification is a certification program designed to help office managers become more efficient and effective in their job. The program provides office managers with the knowledge and skills needed to manage an office effectively, including project management, budgeting, personnel management, customer service and communication. By completing the certification program, office managers can gain valuable insight into the day-to-day operations of an office, as well as develop their leadership skills.

The certification program can provide numerous benefits for office managers. It can help them become better organized and better able to handle multiple tasks at once, while also giving them the confidence and knowledge they need to take on more responsibility in their job. Additionally, the certification can make them more attractive to potential employers or promotions within their current organization. Furthermore, it can give them access to a network of other certified office managers who may be able to provide advice or support during difficult times. Finally, it can provide a sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving a professional goal.

Pro Tip: To get the most out of your office manager certification, take the time to research and understand all the different skills you will need to be successful in your role. Make sure you are familiar with industry best practices and regulations, as well as the latest technologies and tools available. Additionally, consider taking additional courses or workshops that focus on specific areas of office management, such as budgeting, human resources, customer service, or project management.

Related: What does an Office Manager do?

Top 10 Office Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Office Managers today.

1. Certified Professional Manager (CPM)

Certified Professional Manager (CPM) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM). The CPM certification is designed to recognize and validate the skills, knowledge, and experience of managers in all industries.

The CPM certification is a three-step process that includes passing an examination, completing a professional portfolio, and participating in an interview with ICPM representatives. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as management principles, organizational behavior, human resource management, and business strategy.

It typically takes about six months to complete the CPM certification process. To get started, you must first submit an application to ICPM and pay the associated fees. Once your application has been approved, you will be sent instructions on how to take the exam. After passing the exam, you will need to create a professional portfolio that demonstrates your managerial skills and experience. Finally, you will be invited for an interview with ICPM representatives who will assess your managerial abilities.

The cost of obtaining the CPM certification varies depending on the country in which you are located. In general, the fee for taking the exam ranges from $400-$500 USD; however additional costs may apply for other components of the certification process such as creating a professional portfolio or attending interviews with ICPM representatives.

2. Certified Administrative Professional (CAP)

Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). The CAP program is designed to recognize and reward administrative professionals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skill, and experience in the field.

The CAP program consists of three parts: an online assessment, a comprehensive exam, and a professional development portfolio. The online assessment is designed to evaluate your knowledge and skills related to the administrative profession. The comprehensive exam tests your understanding of core administrative concepts such as communication, problem solving, customer service, technology, project management, and organizational behavior. Finally, the professional development portfolio requires you to demonstrate your commitment to ongoing learning and professional growth in the field.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete all three parts of the CAP program. This timeline can vary depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for each part of the program.

To get started with the CAP program, you must first register with IAAP and pay an application fee. After registering with IAAP, you will receive access to study materials for each part of the program as well as instructions on how to submit your completed assessment or exam for review by IAAP staff members.

The cost of the CAP program varies depending on whether you choose to take all three parts at once or spread them out over multiple sessions. The total cost typically ranges from $400-$600 USD for all three parts taken at once or $150-$200 USD per part if taken separately.

3. Certified Office Manager (COM)

Certified Office Manager (COM) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of office professionals. The COM certification is recognized as a mark of excellence in the field of administrative management.

It typically takes about six months to complete all requirements for the COM certification. To get certified, you must first complete an application process that includes submitting a resume and passing an exam. You must also have at least three years of experience in office management or related fields in order to be eligible for the program.

Once you have completed all requirements, you will receive your official COM certification. This certification is valid for five years, after which time you may need to renew it.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on where you live and whether or not you are already a member of IAAP. Generally speaking, it costs around $350-$400 USD to become certified with IAAP.

4. Certified Professional Secretary (CPS)

Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) is a professional certification offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of administrative professionals.

The CPS certification program consists of three parts: a written exam, an oral exam, and a portfolio review. The written exam covers topics such as office management, communication skills, technology usage, customer service, and more. The oral exam focuses on interpersonal communication skills and problem-solving strategies. The portfolio review evaluates the candidate’s ability to use their knowledge in a real-world setting.

It typically takes six months to one year to complete the entire CPS certification process. To get started on the path to becoming CPS certified, you must first join IAAP as a member. After joining IAAP, you will be able to access study materials and take practice exams online or through printed materials. Once you have completed your studies and passed all three parts of the exam, you will receive your official CPS certificate from IAAP.

The cost for taking the CPS certification program varies depending on whether you are an IAAP member or not. For non-members, it costs $495 for each part of the exam ($1485 total). For members, it costs $395 for each part of the exam ($1185 total). Additionally, there may be fees associated with taking practice exams or purchasing study materials from third parties.

5. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is the most widely recognized and respected certification in project management. PMP demonstrates an individual’s expertise in leading and directing projects.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to get PMP certified, depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying and preparing for the exam. To become certified, individuals must meet certain educational and professional experience requirements, as well as pass a rigorous four-hour exam.

To get PMP certified, you need to complete 35 contact hours of formal project management education, have at least 4500 hours of project management experience over the past 8 years, and submit an application to take the exam. The cost of taking the exam varies depending on your country of residence; however, it typically costs around $400-$600 USD.

6. Certified Records Manager (CRM)

Certified Records Manager (CRM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of competency in records and information management. CRM is administered by the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM), an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the standards of professional practice in records and information management.

The CRM program consists of three components: education, experience, and examination. Candidates must meet ICRM's minimum educational requirements, which include a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, as well as two years of full-time work experience in records and information management. In addition, candidates must pass the ICRM's comprehensive written examination.

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as records creation, retention scheduling, legal compliance, storage and retrieval systems, digital records management systems, disaster recovery planning, and more. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete.

To become certified as a CRM requires a significant commitment of time and resources. The cost for the exam is $550 USD for members of ICRM or $650 USD for non-members. After passing the exam, candidates must also pay an annual maintenance fee of $100 USD to maintain their certification status.

7. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is a certification program that provides individuals with the skills and knowledge to effectively use Microsoft Office applications. The MOS certification includes exams for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access and SharePoint.

It typically takes around three months to complete the MOS certification process. To get certified, you must take and pass one or more of the individual Microsoft Office application exams. Each exam costs $150 USD and can be taken at a local testing center or online through Pearson VUE.

The cost of getting certified depends on how many exams you take and how much preparation you do beforehand. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $450-$600 USD to become fully certified in all six Microsoft Office applications.

8. Certified Business Manager (CBM)

Certified Business Manager (CBM) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute of Certified Business Managers (ICBM). The program is designed to provide business professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage and lead successful organizations.

The CBM program consists of five courses, which are taken sequentially over a period of six months. The courses cover topics such as organizational structure, strategic planning, financial management, marketing, and personnel management. Upon successful completion of the program, individuals receive their CBM certification.

To get certified as a CBM, individuals must first complete an online application and submit it to ICBM for review. Once approved, applicants will be required to pay a registration fee and complete all five courses within six months. After completing the coursework, applicants must pass an exam in order to receive their CBM certification.

The cost for the CBM program varies depending on the number of courses taken and whether or not an individual is enrolled in an accredited institution. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $1,500-$2,000 USD.

9. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in the Lean Six Sigma methodology. It is designed to help professionals improve their processes, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

The certification typically takes between 4-6 weeks to complete, depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the exam. The exam itself consists of two parts: a written test and a practical assessment. The written test covers topics such as process improvement, data analysis, project management, problem solving, and more. The practical assessment requires candidates to demonstrate their understanding of the Lean Six Sigma methodology by completing a project or case study.

To get certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, you must first take an approved course from an accredited provider. This course will cover all the necessary topics and provide you with the tools needed for success on the exam. After completing the course, you can then register for the exam with either ASQ (American Society for Quality) or IASSC (International Association for Six Sigma Certification).

The cost of getting certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt varies depending on which organization you choose to certify through. ASQ offers certification packages starting at $495 USD while IASSC offers packages starting at $295 USD.

10. Certified Executive Assistant (CEA)

Certified Executive Assistant (CEA) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and proficiency of executive assistants working in a variety of industries. The CEA credential is awarded by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and is recognized throughout the world as a mark of excellence for administrative professionals.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least three years of full-time work experience in an executive assistant role or equivalent, or two years with an associate’s degree. Applicants must also pass an online exam that covers topics such as communication, problem solving, organizational skills, technology usage, and customer service.

The CEA certification process typically takes around four months from start to finish. During this time applicants must complete an application form and submit it to IAAP along with proof of their eligibility requirements. After submitting their application they will be sent a link to take the online exam which they must complete within six weeks. Once the exam is completed IAAP will review the results and award the CEA certification if all criteria are met.

The cost for becoming certified varies depending on whether you are an IAAP member or not. For non-members it costs $295 USD while members pay $245 USD. This fee includes access to study materials, practice exams, and the official CEA exam fee.

Do You Really Need a Office Manager Certificate?

When it comes to deciding if you need an Office Manager Certificate, the answer is that it depends on your individual needs and career goals. Some employers may require a certificate in order to qualify for certain positions, while others may not. Whether or not you need an Office Manager Certificate will depend on the type of job you are applying for, as well as your own personal qualifications.

If you are looking for a position as an office manager, having a certificate can be beneficial. This type of certification demonstrates to potential employers that you have the skills necessary to manage an office efficiently and effectively. It also shows that you have taken the time to learn about the industry and gain hands-on experience in office management. Additionally, having a certificate can help you stand out among other applicants and make yourself more attractive to employers.

On the other hand, if you already have some experience managing offices, then it may not be necessary for you to obtain an Office Manager Certificate. Employers may be willing to overlook this requirement if they feel confident that your experience is sufficient for the job. In this case, a certificate would not add anything significant to your application and could even be seen as redundant or unnecessary by some employers.

In conclusion, whether or not you need an Office Manager Certificate depends on your individual situation and career goals. If obtaining a certificate will give you an edge over other applicants or demonstrate that you have specialized knowledge in office management, then it may be worth pursuing one. However, if your experience alone is enough to land the job without additional qualifications, then it may not be necessary for you to obtain a certificate in order to qualify for certain positions.

Related: Office Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Office Manager Certifications

1. What is an Office Manager Certification?

Answer: An Office Manager Certification is a professional qualification that demonstrates a person's understanding of the management and administrative skills necessary to run an office. It provides knowledge and training in areas such as office procedures, communication, customer service, scheduling, budgeting, and more.

2. How do I become certified as an Office Manager?

Answer: To become certified as an Office Manager, you must complete a certification program offered by a recognized institution or organization. These programs typically involve completing coursework in topics such as office management, business writing, customer service, accounting, and other related topics.

3. What are the benefits of becoming certified as an Office Manager?

Answer: Becoming certified as an Office Manager can increase your marketability in the field by demonstrating your knowledge and skills to potential employers. Additionally, it can help you stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs or promotions.

4. How long does it take to get certified as an Office Manager?

Answer: The length of time it takes to get certified depends on the program you choose and how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the certification exam. Generally speaking, most programs require between 6-12 months of study in order to successfully complete the certification exam and receive your certification.

5. Is there any cost associated with getting certified as an Office Manager?

Answer: Yes – there may be fees associated with enrolling in a certification program or taking the certification exam itself. Be sure to check with your chosen institution or organization for details about any associated costs before enrolling in a program or taking the exam.