Administrative Assistant

An administrative assistant manages and assists in clerical and administrative..

Administrative Assistant

What does a Administrative Assistant do?

Median Pay $37,230
Growth Rate 3%
Citation Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org

An administrative assistant manages and assists in clerical and administrative duties. This is key in helping a business or organization run efficiently. A typical day normally consist of answering phones, transferring calls, taking messages, maintaining filing systems and databases both electronically and on paper, greeting clients or visitors, scheduling appointments, and drafting routine memos. Secretaries and administrative assistants work in a variety of settings and have differing levels of responsibility pending on what position they are employed with.

How to Become a Secretary

secretary and administrative assistant

An applicant with a high school diploma that has basic computer and office skills has a good chance for employment. However, it is becoming more common to gain training, certifications, or earn associates degree in this occupational field. Community colleges and technical schools offer classes in basic office and administrative skills, computer skills, and english grammar. Most employers give on-the-job training lasting several weeks.

Some secretaries are in more technical jobs such as legal and medical settings, therefore require several months of training and often attend community colleges or technical schools to learn industry-specific terminology. In addition, an executive secretary usually needs a bachelor’s degree or some college courses to be considered for employment.

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Job Description of a Secretary

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of tasks throughout the day. This can very from company to company, however typical tasks include editing company correspondences, proof-reading documents for accuracy, basic bookkeeping, answering the phone, handling mail and faxes, using computer software or fax machines, or even operating video conferencing equipment. Some secretaries and administrative assistants also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or libraries.

Their duties depend on the level of skill and place of employment. Some examples of specific settings include a medical secretary processing insurance claims or a legal secretary preparing legal documents such as motions or subpoenas. An executive secretary or administrative assistant provides high-level support for top executives of an business or organization. They handle more complex responsibilities such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, preparing reports, and sometimes even supervising other clerical staff.

Secretaries and administrative assistants usually work full time and most often work in an office setting. They can be found working in health care, social service, education, scientific or technical services, and state/government agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there is a slower than average growth in this occupational field, however medical secretaries will be in high demand and have better employment opportunities.


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