How to Become a Records Manager

How to Become a Records Manager: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a records manager, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a records manager:


• Are you comfortable holding others accountable and directing their work?

• Do you enjoy devising and implementing plans?

• Do you have excellent organizational and analytical skills?

• Do you enjoy managing information?


Those who become records managers are typically individuals who enjoy organizing and synthesizing information. They are comfortable directing the work of others, and holding others accountable.


Records managers must have the attention to detail, the analytical ability, and the necessary knowledge base to ensure that their organization’s legal obligations are met with regards to the creation and retention of both paper and electronic records.


Becoming a records manager is an excellent choice for those who want a career that allows them to leverage their people, IT and problem solving skills into a career that gives them the opportunity to plan and implement records management systems.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a records manager. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Records Manager

In order to get a job as a Records Manager, you typically need a graduate degree in a field such as Records Management, Business Administration, or a related field. The undergraduate degree you obtain may not be relevant to your employer, although a degree in one of the following fields will prepare you for this career by providing you with an excellent knowledge base for this career, as well as a relevant skill set.


• Business Administration

• Library Studies

• Computer Science

• Management


Although having a graduate degree is typically the requirement for becoming a records manager, it is also possible to gain employment in an entry-level records management job with an undergraduate degree and then move into positions of increasing responsibility with enough experience. 




Records Manager Job Description

A records manager is an information manager who is responsible for overseeing the effective management of their organization’s records, from their creation to their eventual disposal. They must control the number of records created and stored, and identify which records are to be preserved for historical, compliance and research purposes, and which are to be destroyed.


Records managers are also responsible for providing access to records for a range of operational and strategic purposes. Due to ever-expanding legislation pertaining to records and information, a records manager must also maintain current knowledge of proper practices and procedures, and be able to adapt to relevant changes.



Records Manager Job Duties

• Enable access to information for appropriate individuals or departments

• Respond to internal and external information inquiries and requests

• Oversee the management of electronic and paper records and information

• Arrange, classify, index and store electronic and paper based information

• Develop and implement record disposal and retention systems and schedules

• Respond to internal and/or external information enquiries

• Use information management software and other resources to resolve information management problems

• Facilitate the development and maintenance of filing systems to meet administrative, legal, and financial requirements

• Advise senior management on complex legal and regulatory issues such as the Freedom of Information Act and other relevant legislation



Who Creates Jobs for Records Managers?

Records managers are typically employed by large public and private organizations that need support with the management of a vast range of records and records systems. Types of organizations that hire Records Managers typically include:


• Hospitals and healthcare organizations

• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government agencies

• Finance and insurance firms

• Real estate (residential, commercial and industrial) and property management firms

• Public institutions, such as libraries

• Oil, gas and mining companies

• Colleges, universities, school boards and other academic institutions

• Banks and financial institutions

• Large retail organizations

• Legal firms

• Large multinational organizations, such as pharmaceutical companies

• Museums and galleries

• Non-profit organizations




Certification for Records Managers

Some employers may require that you are a Certified Records Manager (CRM) in order to be hired, while others may not. Even if it is not a requirement of employment, CRM designation has many benefits for a career as a Record Manager, including:


• Additional knowledge gained through the certification process

• Tangible documentation of knowledge, competency and experience

• Increased self-confidence in solving records management problems

• Potential for increased job responsibility with commensurate salary benefits


The primary certification for records managers is the Certified Records Manager (CRM). The CRM is a designation for experienced information and records management professionals with management-level responsibilities. The Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM) is the primary international certifying organization of and for professional records and information managers. 



Skills and Traits Needed to Become a Records Manager

In order to become an effective Records Manager you need to posses a certain set of personality traits, as well as soft and hard skills. These traits and skills will help you perform your job duties with competence, and will help you negotiate the challenges of this career.


Personal Characteristics


• Responsible, accountable and trustworthy

• Comfortable directing the work of others and holding others accountable

• Enjoy performing work that involves paying attention to details

• Enjoy devising and implementing plans


Soft Skills


• Problem-solving and analytical skills

• Project management and organizational skills

• The ability to gain a clear overview of an organization and its activities

• Comfortable with new technology and adapting rapidly to new trends


Hard Skills


• Knowledge the data protection and freedom of information legislation

• Familiarity with information systems and archives

• Experience in the development and maintenance of records and filing systems

• Able to effectively use specialized software and other information management resources



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Records Manager Salary

The salary level of archivists can vary depending on their personal qualifications, the size and type of their employer, as well as the specific responsibilities of the job. There is no reliable salary information available specifically for Records Managers, although we can get a good idea of what they earn by looking at the expected salary levels of closely related careers.


Records Manager Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working as part of the Archivists occupational group earn an average of between $32.00 and $41.50 per hour.


Records Manager Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadian workers in the Archivists occupational group is $41,199 per year.


Records Manager Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary level for American workers in the Administrative Services Managers occupational group is $81,080 per year. 



Careers Similar to Records Manager

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Records Manager, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.





Medical Records Specialist

Information Systems Designer



References: How to Become a Records Manager

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a Records Manager.


Occupations in Alberta:Records Management Technician.” (March 31, 2019). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 11, 2020.

Management:Administrative Services Managers.” (September 4, 2019). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 11, 2020.

Job Profile:Records manager.” AGCAS editors (January, 2018). Prospects website. Retrieved January 11, 2020.

Job Descriptions:Records Manager.” (n.d.) GradIreland website. Retrieved January 11, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Records Manager

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Records Manager can be found on the following pages:


Business Administration Scholarships

Computer Science Scholarships

Management Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Records Manager: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a Records Manager. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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