What Does an Administrative Assistant Do? How to Become One, Jobs, Salary & Required Skills

What Does an Administrative Assistant Do? How to Become One, Jobs, Salary & Required Skills
What Does an Administrative Assistant Do? How to Become One, Jobs, Salary & Required Skills

An administrative assistant, sometimes called an office secretary, receptionist, or secretary, is someone who performs day-to-day clerical and organizational tasks.  They are one of the most important employees of the organization, keeping everything uninterrupted behind the scenes.

  What exactly does an administrative assistant do?

Secretaries and administrative assistants work in different institutions and have different levels of responsibility in anticipation of their positions and perform various tasks during the day. Sometimes, may also negotiate with vendors, purchase materials, and manage warehouses or libraries.

Their responsibilities depend on the level of qualification and place of work.  Some examples of specific settings include a medical secretary who handles insurance claims or a legal secretary who prepares legal documents such as petitions or subpoenas.

The executive secretary or administrative assistant provides a high level of support to senior business or organizational leaders.

Administrative assistant work environment

Secretaries and administrative assistants usually work full time and most often work in the office.  They can be found in health, social services, education, scientific or technical services and government / government agencies.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a slower growth in this area of ​​occupations, but health secretaries will be in high demand and have better employment opportunities.

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  Skills and competencies needed as an administrative assistant

To become an administrative assistant, you will need a few basic skills

  • Computer and software skills: You should be comfortable using Microsoft Office, e-mail, and the Internet. You may need to familiarize yourself with QuickBooks or other accounting software if you work in a small business.
  • Multitasking skills: This can be especially important if you are a manager. You should be able to discuss several requirements at once.
  • Interpersonal skills: You will work with others, including clients and other office staff. Good manners and calm behavior can be very important.
  • Organizational skills: You need to be detail-oriented and organized, able to find a document or withdraw a protocol in an instant.
  • Decision-making skills: You often find yourself doing multiple tasks almost simultaneously, especially in busy offices, so you need to be able to prioritize and make time-efficient decisions.

  Responsibilities of an administrative assistant

  • Answer and make direct phone calls
  • Organize and schedule meetings
  • Schedule meetings and draw up detailed minutes
  • Write and distribute e-mail, correspondence, letters, faxes and forms
  • Assist in the preparation of regular scheduled reports
  • Develop and maintain a submission system
  • Update and support office policies and procedures
  • Liaison with executive and senior administrative assistants to process requests and requests from senior managers

What is administrative assistant  Salary?

The average hourly wage of Administrative Assistant in the United States is $21, but the range is typically $ 19 to $ 24.  The hourly rate can vary widely depending on many important factors; including education, certification, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.

How to become an Administrative Assistant

•        Take the basic typing course

If you didn’t take typing at school, you’ll need to improve your skills so you can respond quickly to emails, edit documents, and take notes.  A number of free typing courses are available online.

•        Consider accounting or bookkeeping course

Put these classes in your resume and you will signal that you are serious about the daily tasks that are part of and have many job positions.  Land for work, and courses will help you do your job well.

•        Get your GED – or better yet – higher education.

While this is not required for all administrative assistant positions, having a degree in education and high school and a certain college job will carry your resume higher into the pile.  Completing a graduate or bachelor’s degree goes a little further than setting a flag – it shows that you are stuck in something to the end, and signals that you have at least basic skills to manage projects, work in teams and communicate.

•        Network

Choose an industry you like and start expanding your network in it: touch your friends to connect, work with alumni connections at your school, and cover sites like LinkedIn.  Clearly define what type of position you are looking for and ask for advice on how to achieve this goal.

•        Search for positions of administrative assistant at the entry-level

Many positions of administrative assistants are entry level.  Look for a job as an administrator in your area on Localwise.com.

•        Take an internship

If you’re still in college or just graduating, an internship is a good stepping stone to being an administrative assistant.  This gives you a chance to prove that you are organized, communicate well and work well under pressure, which sets you up for a permanent role when the internship ends or when a position becomes available.

•        Temp

Temping is a great way to gain experience as an administrative assistant while hooking your feet at several companies.  And good salaries often get full-time offers – so be sure to make a good impression.

•        Start with the role of administrator

If you are unlucky enough to get entry-level administrative roles, look for a job as a receptionist – good receptionists often have many of the same skills as administrative assistants, but the barrier to entry is usually slightly lower (as is pay).  Hone your communication and organization skills and work towards promotion, or turn it into a desired role in a new company.

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When is Administrative Assistant Day?

Administrative Assistant Day is celebrated on Wednesday of the last full week in April each year.  The day celebrates the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other administrative support specialists.  These professionals are central to any business so that the office is organized and efficient.

Administrative Professionals ‘Day (also known as Secretaries’ Day or Administrator’s Day) is a day celebrated annually in a small number of countries.  In none of them is it a public holiday.  In some countries, it falls on the Week of Administrative Professionals (the last full week of April in the United States).

The day celebrates the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, executive assistants, personal assistants, receptionists, customer service representatives and other administrative support professionals.  As a rule, administrative specialists are given cards, flowers, chocolates and lunches.

This day of recognition has undergone several transformations to reflect the change of administrative names and responsibilities in the modern workforce.  Despite the fact that his nickname has changed, the goal of the Day of Administrative Professionals remains the same: to celebrate and shed light on the dedicated, valued work of administrative staff.

  Requirements for Administrative Assistant jobs

  • Proven experience as an administrator or assistant
  • Knowledge of office management systems and procedures
  • Excellent time management skills and the ability to perform multitasking and prioritize work
  • Attention to detail and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational and planning skills
  • Owns MS Office
  • At least 7 years of experience in this field or in a related field
  • High school diploma or equivalent

Administrative Assistant job titles

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Administrative coordinator
  • Administrative Director
  • Administrative manager
  • Administrative Services Manager
  • Administrative Services Officer
  • Administrative specialist
  • Administrative Support Manager
  • Head of Administrative Support
  • Administrator
  • Assistant Director
  • Assistant
  • Administrator of executive services
  • Human Resources Administrator
  • Legal Secretary
  • Medical Secretary
  • Program administrator
  • Program Manager
  • Secretary
  • Senior Administrative Coordinator
  • Senior Administrative Services Officer
  • Senior Assistant Executive Director
  • Senior Special Events Coordinator
  • Senior Support Assistant
  • Senior Support Specialist
  • Coordinator of special events
  • Coordinator of special programs


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