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General Manager vs. Office Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

General managers and office managers are both responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company. Though their duties may overlap, there are several key differences between these two management positions. In this article, we compare and contrast the duties of a general manager and an office manager, and we provide information on the skills and experience you’ll need for each role.

What is a General Manager?

The General Manager is responsible for the overall management of a company or organization. They develop and implement strategies and plans to ensure the long-term success of the organization. They also oversee the day-to-day operations of the company and ensure that all employees are meeting their responsibilities. General Managers also develop budgets and track financial performance to ensure that the company is operating within its means. They also develop relationships with key stakeholders, such as shareholders, customers and suppliers.

What is an Office Manager?

An Office Manager is responsible for the overall organization and functioning of an office. They may supervise office staff, manage office supplies, coordinate office events and oversee office maintenance. Office Managers typically have a wide range of duties and responsibilities, which can vary depending on the size and type of organization they work for. In some cases, Office Managers may also be responsible for handling human resources tasks, such as recruiting and hiring new employees, processing employee payroll and benefits, and addressing employee concerns or complaints.

General Manager vs. Office Manager

Here are the main differences between a general manager and an office manager.

Job Duties

General managers oversee all aspects of a business, so their job duties can vary based on the type of company they work for. For example, a general manager at a retail store may manage employees, customer service and inventory. An automotive general manager may handle vehicle maintenance, sales and scheduling vehicles for repair. Office managers typically have more regular duties because they’re usually in charge of overseeing the daily operations of a business’s office. They often oversee things like employee schedules, IT issues and meeting planning.

Job Requirements

The job requirements for a general manager and an office manager can vary depending on the size of the company and the industry they work in. However, most general managers and office managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or another related field. Additionally, many employers prefer candidates who have experience working in management or a related role. Some general managers and office managers also pursue certifications through professional organizations, such as the Institute for Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) or the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Work Environment

General managers typically work in a variety of environments, depending on the type of business they manage. For example, if they’re working for a restaurant chain, they may travel to different locations and oversee operations there. If they’re working for a retail store, they may spend most of their time at that location, but they may also visit other locations to ensure all employees are following company policies and procedures.

Office managers usually work in an office environment, where they can perform administrative tasks like filing paperwork and answering phones. They may occasionally visit other departments within their organization to provide support or address issues with employees.


The specific skills used on the job by a general manager and an office manager can differ depending on the size and type of organization they work for. However, both types of managers typically need to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills to interact with employees and other stakeholders effectively. They also need to be able to think strategically to make decisions that will improve the efficiency of their department or company.

Organizational skills are important for both general managers and office managers, as they often need to juggle multiple tasks and priorities at one time. General managers may also benefit from having financial skills, as they may be responsible for developing budgets and ensuring their department stays within its allocated budget. Office managers usually need to have strong administrative skills to perform their duties, such as scheduling appointments, managing records and handling customer inquiries.


The average salary for a general manager is $63,331 per year, while the average salary for an office manager is $55,923 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which the company operates and the location of the company.


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