What Does an Administrative Assistant do?
Administrative Assistants typically work for organizations to oversee routine and advanced duties for other professionals. They work closely with Administrators and other employees to organize files, create correspondence and prepare reports or documents. Their job is to complete a range of clerical tasks including manage calendars, sorting mail, or preparing invoices. They may also be responsible for engaging in event planning and meeting setup and implementation.
Administrative Assistant Skills and Qualifications
In order to perform their various duties, an Administrative Assistant must exhibit many varied skills and qualifications. At the core, the Administrative Assistant is a support position, meaning that communications and decision-making are paramount. A few of the specific skills that all administrative assistants should possess include:
Decision-making: Administrative Assistants have to make independent decisions on a daily basis, addressing the best way to handle specific tasks.
Communications and collaboration: An Administrative Assistant must collaborate with other administrators and support personnel, management and clients on a regular basis.
Organizational skills: Organization and prioritization are the core elements of the Administrative Assistant’s responsibilities. You must know how to keep yourself and others organized and how to determine which tasks are the most important in a given list.
Writing: Spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and writing are essential to an Administrative Assistant, who must be proficient in a variety of styles, from creative to professional to technical to education and more.
Administrative Assistants can make a fairly good living, especially as they advance in their job. While the starting salary for a brand-new secretary-level Administrative Assistant can be as low as $7.25 an hour, on average an Administrative Assistant in the United States makes about $15.42 per hour. At the highest end of the range, executive Administrative Assistants with a great deal of education and experience can earn as much as $30.25 an hour.
Administrative Assistant Education and Training Requirements
The minimum level of education for an Administrative Assistant is a high school diploma or GED. Temporary agencies may also provide training in these areas. For those straight out of high school, courses in word processing and general office procedures are offered at vocational schools and community colleges and can be very helpful. Administrative Assistants with a bachelor’s degree are more marketable, as they are seen to have a more well-rounded education that includes writing and mathematics, which can be useful to the job.
Administrative Assistant Experience Requirements
While prior experience is not strictly required for work as an Administrative Assistant, many employers value prior work in the field. This is because many office professionals learn their major skills through on-the-job training, and a strong history of long-term work with other organizations can show reliability, responsibility and that you possess the skills you need. Starting as a secretary and working up through the ranks also shows increasing skill development and dedication.
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