Administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties to keep an organisation running smoothly. This typically includes directing calls, creating and maintaining filing systems, making appointments and organising calendars, typing up correspondence, arranging meetings, and creating spreadsheets and other reports. Admins may work exclusively for one executive but often manage the business affairs for several.
Standard business hours
Most administrative assistants work full time in an office environment. Jobs span all industries, including business, government, schools and healthcare. To assist executives at meetings and events, some travel may be required.
Admins working as virtual assistants operate from a home office, completing all tasks and communication electronically.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
DVM / VMD degree
Formal education generally isn't required for entry-level administrative assistant positions. You can learn the necessary software and procedures through on-the-job training. Look to ommunity colleges, technical schools, placement agencies and online schools for coursework in word processing, accounting software and other related subjects that can make you a more desirable job candidate.
Previous clerical or secretarial job experience can also set you apart from the competition. Some employers, particularly for executive assistant positions, prefer candidates with a BA in business.
You may require additional months of training or coursework for administrative assistant jobs in specialty fields like law and medicine.
The field of administrative assistants has been steadily shrinking, due to a combination of recession-related budget cuts and technological advances that make it easier for executives to do tasks they once delegated to admins. Available jobs do provide a challenging, fast-paced environment, as administrative assistants often handle organisational tasks for 4 to 10 executives.
There is room for advancement within the field, as assistants can work their way up to positions with more responsibility and higher salaries. Job experience and a business degree opens the door to executive assistant roles, particularly in larger companies.
Experience as an admin and a BA in a relevant field can also lead to even higher-level positions such as human resources manager, corporate event planner or administrative services manager.