What Does a Records Manager Do? (With Salary and Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 16, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Accessible documents and reliable records are essential for businesses and organizations to operate successfully. Working as a records manager can be a new and exciting role for those with meticulous organizational skills and excellent attention to detail abilities. Understanding the responsibilities of this role may help you decide whether it suits your interests and skill set. In this article, we answer the question, “What does a records manager do?”, discuss traits of a successful records manager, describe their typical work settings, share their average salary, list the qualifications needed, explain how to become one, and explore what to include in your resume.

What does a records manager do?

Knowing the answer to, “What does a records manager do?” can help you understand why they're crucial to an organization's daily operations. These professionals are responsible for establishing an efficient and user-friendly document system, which enables their colleagues to find and access business data. Record-keeping may involve several tasks, depending on the structure of the organization. Usually, companies need the help of a records manager to convert and archive full of old physical documents into an accessible electronic format. Companies rely on a record manager to protect their information, which can be their most valuable asset.

Records managers can ensure that all data in the system is retrievable and authentic. Their role involves effectively managing and organizing a company's data, which requires excellent organizational skills and outstanding attention to detail abilities. These professionals' duties may include compiling company information, creating documents, preserving records, and destroying certain papers. Record managers usually manage the lifecycle of a company's information. This cycle involves record creation, access, classification, necessary modification, archive, backup, and disposal. The general tasks involved with this position can include:

  • Maintaining a central copy of approved records

  • Amending and updating records

  • Writing publications and reports

  • Creating, publishing, and maintaining record schedules

  • Ensuring the protection of sensitive company data

  • Creating or evaluating document management systems

  • Classifying records

  • Training staff to access records efficiently

  • Archiving records that have value to a company or community

  • Answering inquiries and requests for information from clients

  • Cataloging and coding management systems for company use

  • Monitoring company information systems

  • Controlling access to confidential information

Read more: 8 Important Clerical Skills to Include on Your Resume

Traits of a successful records manager

Maintaining a high level of integrity and accountability is essential to this job. A company may task you with developing a records management system, so you may identify areas for improvement in a company's record-keeping process. You may also create document policies and procedures to maintain accountability for other team members in your workplace. Punctuality as a record manager ensures the timely and efficient retrieval of information through the record management system. If you excel at keeping tight schedules and can deliver records to the correct people on time, record management may be a suitable position for you.

If you choose to explore record management, it's beneficial to know and understand the current regulatory and operational guidelines in the industry. As a record keeper, you're responsible for keeping company documents open and verifiable. If you edit and update records when needed, your employer can access them quickly if they're undergoing an audit or similar procedure. Remaining transparent in this position is beneficial to the company's personal and interested parties. Maintaining rational procedures allows more efficient use and access to the data.

Read more: The Essential Guide on How to Become a Librarian

Typical work settings for record managers

Meticulous organization of a company's files and documents is integral to the success of the company's practices and business goals. Record managers are necessary for many workplaces, including businesses in the public and private sectors. They may also hold positions in non-government organizations (NGOs), charities, and family businesses. Companies that handle a large amount of information and data need record managers to protect their information and making accessible to their employees.

These professionals use their knowledge of federal and provincial regulations and standards in their industry to treat large amounts of data. A record manager has the skill set to use record management systems to prioritize and disseminate data in the system efficiently. The following organizations usually require records managers:

  • Companies with limited office or storage space

  • Startup businesses

  • Companies operating under regulatory requirements

  • Online retailers and technology companies

  • Universities and colleges

  • Federal intelligent services

  • Construction companies

  • Pharmaceutical businesses

  • Hospitals and private clinics

  • Local authorities

  • Real estate agencies

  • Health care facilities

  • Consumer research companies

  • Museums and galleries

Read more: Public Sector Jobs (With Description and Salary Information)

Salary for a records manager

The national average salary of a records manager is $22.40 an hour. Their wages can vary significantly depending on their employers, level of expertise, and years in the field. Because record management is a broad field, your salary may also depend on factors like education and certifications. Your salary may be higher if you work in a specialized area of record management, like in legal documents.

The location of your job and the cost of living in your region may also affect your salary. The growth of these positions remains steady because of the need of many companies to convert to a fully electronic document management system.

Read more: What's the Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills?

How to become a records manager

Employers may expect records managers to be proficient in specific software related to this industry. If you want to pursue a career in the document storage and records management business, you can follow these steps below to become a records manager:

1. Research the qualifications

Record management encompasses a large body of work, and there are several career opportunities in virtually every industry. Sometimes a record professional may require a postgraduate qualification in archives or management. If you earned a degree in the following subjects, you might also have the introductory qualifications to become a records manager:

  • Administration

  • Law

  • History

  • English

  • Library and information studies

  • Archive and museum studies

  • Geography

  • Modern languages

Read more: 226 Resume Power Words to Convey Your Qualifications

2. Take supplementary courses

General computer operation courses, systems programming classes, and technical support experience are beneficial to a records manager. Alternatives to full university courses may include industrial placements and internships. If you want to enter this career path, there are several accreditations you can complete to make you a more competitive candidate in the record management job market.

3. Research record management software

The primary education for this position involves earning a certificate as a Certified Records Manager (CRM). This certification is available at many universities and offers international accreditation as a professional record and information manager. Some universities or institutions that offer CRM courses may require a bachelor's degree to qualify for enrollment. You may learn in this course about how to manage electronic and paper records, records information management (RIM) tools and technologies, skills on examining privacy protection and legislation, and national and international record management standards.

4. Ensure it's right for you

Once you gain the required knowledge, certification, and experience, you can tailor your cover letter to highlight your relevant skills. It can be beneficial to underline abilities such as analytical skills, organizational skills, and time management skills. If you want to explore the field of records management, you may ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have organizational and analytical skills?

  • Do I like managing a large amount of data?

  • Do I enjoy repetitive tasks?

  • Do I enjoy creating and implementing plans?

  • Am I comfortable handing confidential information?

  • Can I monitor several tasks simultaneously?

What to include on your resume

There are several skills for a records manager you can implement to increase the success of your application. You can organize your resume so that your potential employer can see your applicable skills first. Arranging your accreditations or certificates at the top lets the employer know that you have the required experience and expertise for the job. It's important to list every previous occupation that you feel has prepared you to assume the position as a records manager.

In your cover letter, you can highlight your skills through applicable stories and examples that demonstrate that you have the ideal character traits for the job. Providing examples of where you have used record management skills in the past is also an impressive demonstration of your employability. A useful anecdote demonstrating your skills lets the employer know you take your duties seriously and commit to ensuring the privacy, safety, and accessibility of a company's information.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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