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How to become an Administrative Assistant

To become an administrative assistant you may be required to:

  1. Graduate from high school or obtain a GED.
  2. Build your office management skills and computer software application knowledge through lower-level positions such as data entry.
  3. Obtain any required industry-related certifications to learn industry-specific terminology and practices.
  4. Consider completing an associate's degree in a business-related field.
  5. Complete on-the-job training.
How to become: Receptionist · Office Administrator · Office Assistant · Front Desk Agent · Receptionist/Administrative Assistant
These qualifications are required: Real Estate License · CPR Certification · First Aid Certification
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What skills help Administrative Assistants find jobs?

  • Accounting
  • Administrative experience
  • Analysis skills
  • Bilingual
  • Clerical experience
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service
  • Data entry
  • Editing
  • English
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Career progression for Administrative Assistant

Education levels for Administrative Assistants

Based on the requirements of Administrative Assistant job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
High school diploma or GED46.4%
Bachelor's degree27.4%
Associate's degree21.5%
Master's degree4.5%
Doctoral degree0.2%
Middle school education0.2%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as an Administrative Assistant in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$27,900
4 - 8$30,600
8 - 12$32,200
12 - 16$33,300
16 - 20$33,900
20 - 24$34,000
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Common qualifications for Administrative Assistants

Explore popular schools to earn these qualifications

First Aid Certification

National CPR Foundation
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Explore other and more common qualifications
  • certificationReal Estate License
  • certificationCertified Notary Public
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Common questions about career advices for an Administrative Assistant

What are the best soft skills for an administrative assistant to have?

Some of the most ideal skills for an administrative assistant include:

  • Organization: A quality secretary makes sure no one misses a meeting, files are easy to find and the office runs smoothly
  • Communication: You need to be able to speak clearly, communicate information accurately and write well
  • Attention to detail: Your writing, data entry and reporting have to be error-free to present information accurately and professionally
  • Time management: You may work for multiple people, perhaps within multiple departments, which makes your own time management very important
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What career paths are available for administrative assistants?

Administrative assistants can advance to become executive administrative assistants. This normally requires having a bachelor's degree and may also require having CAP certification. You will need to have some years of experience and also, preferably, knowledge of the business. With the knowledge and experience you gain as an executive secretary, you could possibly move up to become a manager.

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Are there certifications which administrative assistants can take to improve the career prospects?

While you don't need any certifications to become an administrative assistant, you can gain a competitive advantage in the job market by becoming a Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). To take the CAP exam, you must have particular work experience qualifications depending on your education level.

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