You might be excused for thinking that a records manager is a die-hard music enthusiast who works in an independent record store, who’s responsible for making sure there are no scratches on the vinyl, pontificating about the glory of acid jazz, and arranging CDs in alphabetical order.
However, these dynamic squirrels of the information management world actually work for all kinds of organisations, managing documents, digital records and other pieces of vital information.
Effective records management, for the purposes of security, efficiency and accessibility, is incredibly important to public sector organisations and corporate companies alike.
As a records manager, you will be responsible for organising and archiving important records. However, the professional life of records manger is so much more important than that of a filing clerk.
Indeed, you will also be responsible for defining, developing and adapting your organisation’s records management strategy, creating complex filing systems, overseeing the implementation of new document management systems, and managing junior staff in accordance with the records management policies and processes you have outlined.
Many records management systems are now outdated. Consequently, part of your job may be to revolutionise your organisation’s approach to records management; overseeing the transition from a paper-based system to an electronic document and records management system (EDRMS).
At all times, you will need to be mindful of information management legislation, and it’ll be your responsibility to make sure junior members of staff understand and comply with these rules and regulations.
As part of your managerial duties, you will also be responsible for budget control, staff training and making sure you keep up to date with any technological innovations in the industry.
Salary & benefits
Entry-level records managers tend to earn between £18,000 and £25,000 per annum, while experienced professionals can command annual salaries somewhere between £28,000 and £42,000.
In the private sector, some senior records managers can earn upwards of £70,000 a year.
Most records managers work nine-to-five. However, you may occasionally have to work overtime when your work schedule demands it.
The majority of your work will be done in an office, or carried out amongst the claustrophobic corridors of a cavernous archive centre.
Entry into this line of work is not possible unless you have an undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree or HND (higher national diploma).
You can begin a career in records management with a degree in any discipline, although a degree in information management or archive administration will really set you apart from the rest of the pack.
Training & progression
The majority of your training as an entry-level records manager will be delivered internally and will involve familiarising yourself with the existing systems and processes.
However, once you are settled in, you may be invited to attend training seminars and workshops hosted by external organisations, such as the Society of Archivists. This will ensure that you keep up to date with industry developments and technological innovation.
Once you have settled into the prestigious position of records manager, there is not much room for movement up the career ladder. Really, the only way to find new challenges is to move to a larger organisation and work on other records management projects.
Alternatively, you could explore freelance consulting opportunities, where you will be drafted into organisations to initiate change and drastically improve flawed records management systems.