Show me the money...

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (28)

Host

What are typical administrative assistant salaries? Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

Reply - Report abuse

LynnAnn

91 months ago

What are typical administrative assistant salaries? Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

I would really like to know the typical administrative salaries in the Portland, Oregon area as well in Vancouver, WA.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Betty in Rancho Santa Margarita, California

91 months ago

It is only natural for a business or corporation to try to get as much out of you for as little compensation as possible.

You will see impressive titles such as Administrative Assistant/Accountant/Project Director. Wow, imagine getting three titles for the price of one!

Unless you are a Certified Public Accountant, it may be wise to pass on that opportunity. And as much as you would like to learn program management, be aware that Program Managers can expect a median salary of $95,000/year in the greater geographic areas.

I suggest you carefully, and honestly, compare your skills with the description of the job that is being offered. They probably won't give you the specific job description, so you must cleverly ask questions.

Then go on a salary data website to learn the market value of the job description. Now you are in a much better position to negotiate.

Best of luck.

womanswallstreet.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_newsearch.asp

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Emma (Host) in Stamford, Connecticut

91 months ago

LynnAnn said: ... I would really like to know the typical administrative salaries in the Portland, Oregon area as well in Vancouver, WA...

Try doing some searches on the Indeed Salary Search tool. Here are a couple I did to help get you started:

Administrative Assistant in Portland, Oregon:
www.indeed.com/salary?q1=Administrative+Assistant&l1=Portland%2C+OR&tm=1

Administratve Assistant in Vancouver, WA:
www.indeed.com/salary?q1=Administrative+Assistant&l1=Vancouver%2C+WA&tm=1

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

gloria in San Antonio, Texas

84 months ago

I think that it all depends on the experience that you have.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

83 months ago

I think it depends:
1) on your skills and experience
2) the field you work in (legal, hi-tech, medical, government etc.)
3) your location
Where I work (Ottawa, Canada) in a law firm the top range is $55,000. In some govenrment positions is can be as high as $65,000. And in some small companies it can be as low as $35,000.
The more experience you have the higher up the scale you will go. Then if you prove yourself and they like you they will pay to keep you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Betty in Rancho Santa Margarita, California

83 months ago

Thank you for continuing this conversation.

With 20 years administrative and technical experience, I've worked my way up from clerk typist to executive assistant.

As I am in the job market again, I find it very disheartening to learn how administrative assistants are generally regarded. And worse, that many administrative assistants allow it--perhaps out of financial necessity.

I recently spoke with a couple of recruiting agencies in the hope of adding another dimension to my job campaign efforts.

One of their most pressing questions was, "What is the least you can accept as salary?"

It was impossible to even have a reasonable conversation once I explained that the least amount I can accept is the low number on the current salary reports (e.g., salary.com) for that specific position--in other words, a salary within the current fair market rate. Obviously, this was not the right thing to say.

I think what they were really asking is, "What is the least amount of money can you survive on from day to day?"

I can understand that the recruiter's allegiance is towards whomever is paying them (the companies), but they certainly seem to be in the business of moving very cheap labor. And as long as job candidates agree, the recruiters will continue to take advantage.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Betty
South Orange County, California

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

looking for a job in Aliso Viejo, California

82 months ago

I agree betty i have signed up with many many recruiters and they seem to be trying to find the cheapest thing out there, i cannot believe i have been out of work for 4 months, i have experience, a college degreee, stellar references and the best that these recruiters can come up with is 15 bucks an hour AND when i look for a job myself on the job boards, companies expect you to have a college degree, years of experience, knowledge of many many software programs, ability to work nights and weekends???, AND be bilingual in spanish - what are they offering for all of this 11-14 bucks an hour....

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Moca22 in Saint Paul, Minnesota

82 months ago

Hi just got certified as an Administrative Assistant. The most jobs are paying is between 12 to 15 dollors an hour. But I don't have much experience I will just get an parttime job and go back to school to work on my associate then my B.A. I have not found a job yet they want you to have all of these year of experiene. And a person with a years of experience is more likely to get get a job then the person with an degree. So its not fair at all to settle for that but get your foot in the door and work your way up yiou get a job easyer when you are workin already.

Think about it

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

K in Temple, Texas

82 months ago

Moca22 in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: Hi just got certified as an Administrative Assistant. The most jobs are paying is between 12 to 15 dollors an hour. But I don't have much experience I will just get an parttime job and go back to school to work on my associate then my B.A. I have not found a job yet they want you to have all of these year of experiene. And a person with a years of experience is more likely to get get a job then the person with an degree. So its not fair at all to settle for that but get your foot in the door and work your way up yiou get a job easyer when you are workin already.

Think about it

I have a degree, but this job doesn't require it. The pay of this job is low for the amount of work you do. The degree doesn't give any more money either.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

sharon5777

82 months ago

Moca22 in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: Hi just got certified as an Administrative Assistant. The most jobs are paying is between 12 to 15 dollors an hour. But I don't have much experience I will just get an parttime job and go back to school to work on my associate then my B.A. I have not found a job yet they want you to have all of these year of experiene. And a person with a years of experience is more likely to get get a job then the person with an degree. So its not fair at all to settle for that but get your foot in the door and work your way up yiou get a job easyer when you are workin already.
Think about it

12 to 15 dollars an hour? Lucky you! I have 15 years of experience and was making 18 an hour and all I've been offered is 8.....try looking for a job in a small town where the salaries haven't changed in years. I had one offer of minimum wage. Needless to say I am still looking after three months and I did not qualify for unemployment. I may have to take a job at "THE" local retailer to just get some money coming in.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Rosebuds in Tarpon Springs, Florida

82 months ago

I have been unemployeed since May of 2007. I have been doing secretarial work for about 10 years. I have 2 certifications in computer science. Why can I not find a job. Most of the jobs her want all the skills but only want to pay 10-12 an hour. You are real lucky if it is a permanent job.
I have experience in Department of Defence, City, Medical and various other sectors. It has never taken me so long to get a gob as it has now! What has happened! Help me too!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

hopeful in Irvine, California

82 months ago

THANK YOU, thought it was just me....Here in california i've talked to many recruiters, hiring managers, all of my contacts, and the consensus is that at least here in California, with the fall of the mortgage industry, thousands of laid off mortgage people are flooding employers with resumes. its an employers market, if they want to pay 15 bucks to a seasoned degree holder they will. it is very sad, i have been unemployed 4 months. it has NEVER taken me this long. YOU CANNOT SURVIVE on 15 bucks an hour in southern orange county. hopefully it will turn around soon

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

hopeful in Irvine, California

82 months ago

Moca22 in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: Hi just got certified as an Administrative Assistant. The most jobs are paying is between 12 to 15 dollors an hour. But I don't have much experience I will just get an parttime job and go back to school to work on my associate then my B.A. I have not found a job yet they want you to have all of these year of experiene. And a person with a years of experience is more likely to get get a job then the person with an degree. So its not fair at all to settle for that but get your foot in the door and work your way up yiou get a job easyer when you are workin already.

Think about it

DO YOU HEAR WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO SAY....EVEN IF YOU HAVE A DEGREE AND YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND SPEAK 10 LANGUAGES, THEY WILL STILL PAY YOU 10-15 BUCKS AN HOUR...PLUS ONCE YOU ARE AN ADMIN ASST YOU ARE LABELED AS SO AND WILL MOST LIKELEY NEVER MOVE UP IT DOESNT MATTER IF YOU HAVE THE FOOT IN THE DOOR THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE TO START AT WHAT YOU WANT TO MAKE

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Rosebuds in Tarpon Springs, Florida

82 months ago

Thanks for replying! The market here in Florida really is not a god thing. Most of the properties up for sale, stay on the market for more than 1 year. Where is the best place to relocate?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Rosebuds in Tarpon Springs, Florida

82 months ago

Just one more thing! I have applied with 6 temp agency's here in Florida. I have never been unemployed more than 2 weeks before. Next week will be my 5th MONTH. That is not a good thing. The market is as a definete low! What can we do to get a job to survive? It does not matter how many jobs you apply for, you are real lucky to get a reply that you did not get picked for the position! We really need to make something happen! ANY SUGGESTIONS!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Rosebuds in Tarpon Springs, Florida

82 months ago

sharon5777 said: 12 to 15 dollars an hour? Lucky you! I have 15 years of experience and was making 18 an hour and all I've been offered is 8.....try looking for a job in a small town where the salaries haven't changed in years. I had one offer of minimum wage. Needless to say I am still looking after three months and I did not qualify for unemployment. I may have to take a job at "THE" local retailer to just get some money coming in.
I know what you are saying! The job market rellly is not a good thing. It seems to be all over the US. LET US MAKE A CHANGE!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Rosebuds in Tarpon Springs, Florida

82 months ago

I wish here in Florida they would offer me $15 an hour! I woud take it!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

K in Temple, Texas

82 months ago

You have hit the nail on the head. I have been with the same employer for 13 years. I have moved up to the Administrative Assistant job 10 months ago; but even with a Business Administration degree, I can't break through to the management level. I can't even get an interview and I am an employee whose evaluations are excellent. I have no black marks on my name, but getting someone to look at you as management material is very difficult once you have been in "secretarial" roles.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Sharon

82 months ago

Rosebuds in Tarpon Springs, Florida said: I know what you are saying! The job market rellly is not a good thing. It seems to be all over the US. LET US MAKE A CHANGE!

Well here in Texas the market is good, it will depend on where you live and what you are willing to do. I moved here from Austin to get away from an ex husband, but since I didn't ever file a restraining order against I didn't qualify for unemployment. So I've been living on my savings and the kindness of an old friend who has given me the spare room. Today again I will pound the pavement and hope for the best. I was working in the mortgage industry also and that sure doesn't seem to be a field you want to be in now with all the lenders that are going down the tubes. I too have signed up with the 3 employment agencies and the TX Workforce. Is that ever a joke. I agree that they like to push cheap labor and finally told them I wouldn't take less than 10. I needed that just to survive.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Mandy in Libertyville, Illinois

81 months ago

I just recently started in the admin field and I make $19.00 per hour. Around this area they pay well for admins.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Linda in Palatine, Illinois

81 months ago

Mandy in Libertyville, Illinois said: I just recently started in the admin field and I make $19.00 per hour. Around this area they pay well for admins.

Hi Mandy, where do you work. You don't have to name the company if you do not want to but maybe the intersection or something close by. Did you go through an agency, which one if you did. Thank you for a reply. Linda

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Lynn in Palm Harbor, Florida

81 months ago

I would also like to be making $19 an hour. Here in Florida, that will just not happen. I have been unemployed since May of this year. I did some changing on my resume. I found out that the last company that I worked for was giving me a negative reference. That is after I signed a release that I would not sue them for wrongful discharge. They did it anyway. They are now in breach of contract! How much do I ask for in a settlement? Any ideas?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Erin in Palo Alto, California

81 months ago

Check out this post at Admins @ Work regarding salaries for Administrative Professionals - adminsatwork.com/2007/11/05/how-much-should-you-be-making/. It should help you in evaluating your options.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Working Mom in Huntsville, Alabama

81 months ago

It is equally frustrating in Alabama. I have almost 18 years total experience as an Admin. However, I quit my job to stay home with my children when #3 came along (after 15 years of being an Admin). That was 8 years ago. I went back to work 3 years ago as an Admin Assistant but at a little less than the rate I was making when I quit to stay home. As of right now, my hourly rate is exactly what it was 8 years ago so I haven't moved forward at all. I keep being told that your pay is based on what you made at your previous job. However, for the 10 years before I quit my job and for the most recent 3 years (total of 13 years), I have supported Executive-level management. VPs and Presidents. And $15/hour is all I make. And for the last 3 years, I haven't even had the title of "Executive Assistant or Executive Secretary". Not that titles mean that much but when that's what you do and that's who you support, it's frustrating enough that you don't make at least somewhat more than you did 8 years ago - now they don't even want to give you an accurate title.

I agree that companies are paying less and less for admins and on top of that, now they want admins who have BS Degrees, if not Master's Degrees. No, I don't have a college degree, but 18 years of total admin experience should speak for SOMETHING. I am extremely thankful I have a job (since many of you don't). But I am extremely hard-working and always go the extra mile to make sure everything gets done. I'm just wondering if it really matters since I would make the same rate if I had 1-3 years experience or if I have 18.

Very frustrating indeed.

a

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Paul Anderson in Kirkland, Washington

79 months ago

Admins with more than 1 year of experience should no longer stay an admin unless that is what they LOVE doing. We can't pay you more than 12/15/hr for what you provide to the company. I understand that you do a lot and that you should be getting paid more. The issue of pay is about the amount of value you add to the company.

Let me make an example. When I was at McDonalds, I started out making $5.15/hr flipping burgers. Once I learned how to make cheeseburgers I got a raise to $5.50/hr. That is because I can provide more value making burgers than simply flipping the meat. This was a turning-point in my career because I used that lesson to advance myself up and within only three years (no real education, not a lot of experience) I surpassed the 6-figure income. I have my own admin, office, stocks, benefits - everything is beautiful. The reason I made more money was because I was able to take positions that added more value. So I went from fastfood to retail to sales (corporate, insurance) to technology. I didn't stay at my jobs very long - only as long as I needed to learn what I needed to learn to move on.

I coach lots of admins. I show them that everytime I changed my position and made more money I did less work. more money = less work. I then show them (you can read some of my other posts) how they can start marketing themselves toward new positions. Once we get the right strategy within 2-3 weeks they start working as a project coordinator or even a program/project manager. Their salary double and triple so fast they don't believe it. One way to start moving up is to stop complaining, stop reading these news groups (especially the negative posts) and start coaching with people that have been there done that. You can work with me or others - it doesn't matter. Just work with someone that has been through the path and truly understands how the job market/process works and isn't just a fluff.

Good luck guys
Paul Anderson
[Edited by Host] Contact info deleted

Please do not post Contact info

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Working Mom in Huntsville, Alabama

79 months ago

Thank you for comment and you are absolutely dead-on!! Since I wrote my post, I started thinking about what I could do differently. I think the biggest change I made was that I started THINKING of myself and PROJECTING myself differently. Since then, I landed a FANTASTIC interview and the job would be doing exactly what I love doing - AND the they told me the pay range up-front and it would be 65-75% more than my current salary. And I totally agree with you - the more money you make the less work you do. Not that this job won't involve a lot of work - but it's the kind of work that certainly isn't hard and you interact all day long with top executives. Fortunately, I am finally in the financial position that I can say no to jobs I don't want to do (I realize some can't do that - mortgages still have to be paid and kids still have to be fed). But I truly believe that when you start thinking of yourself as being as important as the CEO and PROJECTING that attitude, you get a whole lot further! HOWEVER - sometimes you can find yourslef working for bosses that are simply not ever going to promote you or see any of the value you bring to the table. You could run circles around everyone else in the office but they know they already have you at a cheap rate so they have no incentive to promote you much less pay you more. You're already doing the work for nothing and they know you'll do it for that rate. So basically, you just have to leave and go somewhere else to better yourself. I finally figured out that I had to market myself differently and not settle for less. I'm finding that the jobs and salaries are out there if you go about it all differently. Thanks again for you post - it's great advice and I hope others will heed it as well!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Working Mom in Huntsville, Alabama

79 months ago

Hey everyone - here's a prime example about not giving up and changing approaches and attitudes about yourself! I got the job from the fantastic interview and the pay was 65% more than my current salary. Keep plugging along, learn how to market yourself differently - you WILL find something out there!! It has taken over a year to find this job and I literally looked at job postings every single day. Good luck!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.