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How to become an Office Assistant

Five steps to follow to become an office assistant include:

  1. Earn an education. Some employers give preference to those with at least a high school diploma or GED, while others require an associate or bachelor's degree. Some community or technical colleges offer diploma programs that prepare students to specialize in office administration, including courses in computer literacy, actuarial sciences, office administration, operations management bookkeeping, accounting and project management.
  2. Practice necessary hard skills. Useful skills for office assistants include business finance, business correspondence, word processing, records management, word processing, data entry and email management.
  3. Develop soft skills. Strong organizational skills, the ability to work effectively in an office environment, effective communication, attention to detail and customer service are all vital soft skills for office assistants.
  4. Gain entry-level experience. Some office assistant positions may be entry-level, which can allow you to develop the necessary skills and practice working in an office environment.
  5. Consider certification. There are many related certifications you may consider to refine your skills, demonstrate your qualifications to employers and possibly increase your earning potential. Certifications for specific software, those in leadership and project management as well as industry-specific certifications may be great options.
How to become: Administrative Assistant · Office Administrator · Receptionist · Receptionist/Administrative Assistant · Front Desk Agent
These qualifications are required: CPR Certification · Driver's License
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What skills help Office Assistants find jobs?

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

Education levels for Office Assistants

Based on the requirements of Office 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 GED56.3%
Bachelor's degree22.5%
Associate's degree17.9%
Master's degree2.6%
Middle school education0.6%
Doctoral degree0.2%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as an Office Assistant in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$23,700
4 - 8$26,400
8 - 12$28,000
12 - 16$28,900
16 - 20$29,400
20 - 24$29,500
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Common qualifications for Office Assistants

Explore popular schools to earn these qualifications
certification

CPR Certification

National CPR Foundation
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Explore other and more common qualifications
  • certificationDriver's License
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Common questions about career advices for an Office Assistant

What skills are needed to be an office assistant?

An office assistant should be tech-savvy, should have good organizational and communication skills, should be resourceful and excel in time management. It also helps if the assistant is observant, with attention to detail and is very perceptive when it comes to anticipating needs.

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What are the advancement opportunities for the office assistant?

Being an office assistant can be a great way to begin a career in business, and if you are ambitious and wish to advance further, with the right training and experience, you can progress to Office management. A few ways to start your move up is by asking for more responsibility, and always keep striving to improve both personally and professionally.

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What does training look like for an office assistant?

Many office assistants gain on-the-job training after being hired. They are likely to observe a current office assistant or another professional in the office familiar with the role's responsibilities and the specific necessities of the office. Depending on the employer, some training may last a few days to a few weeks and may include observation and supervised work until the office assistant is comfortable completing tasks on their own.

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