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Administrative Assistant Explained + 3 Steps to Help Launch Your Career

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Become the Assistant Making Operations Work

Responsibilities & Requirements


As an Administrative Assistant, you would be a vital part in an organization’s operations and serve as a support system for managers and visitors by completing various administrative tasks within a timely manner. 

These tasks would include: 

  • Filing papers and reports in an accurate, well-organized manner. 
  • Aiding with the planning, setting up and cleaning up of meetings and company events. 
  • Creating informative presentations to be used in meetings and advertisements. 
  • Aiding our customers in setting up meetings and appointments with our employees. 
  • Checking the mail frequently and ensuring it is processed accordingly. 
  • Making travel arrangements for our employees as needed. 
  • Maintain office supplies and order new supplies as needed. 
  • Oversee the cleaning and organization of the office.  
  • Answering telephone, email, and social media inquiries and directing them to other employees when appropriate 
  • Typing workplace documents, including letters and reports 
  • Processing incoming and outgoing mail 
  • Creating and maintaining computer records 
  • Performing basic bookkeeping duties 
  • Taking minutes during business meetings 
  • Coordinating appointments for executives and managers 
  • Performing all other tasks as needed. 


  • Education 
    • At the minimum, entry-level positions require a high school degree or GED. Other positions may require an associates or bachelor’s degree in a related field. 
  • Personable Attitude 
    • Administrative assistants work closely with other roles involved in the operations of an organization. A friendly attitude will  
  • Technical Skills 
    • Administrative assistants need computer skills to operate word processing software, database and spreadsheet software, Microsoft Office, and the internet. Proficiency in typing is also crucial for completing tasks in a timely manner. 
  • Precision 
    • When completing tasks such as proofreading drafts of reports and letters, administrative assistants must pay strong attention to detail in order to produce high-quality results free of errors. 
  • Organization Skills 
    • Administrative assistants must have the organization and time management skills to keep track of schedules and multitask on their day-to-day duties. 

Workplace Factors


Full-time Administrative Assistants will work anywhere from 35 to 40 hours a week. Some industries may require you to work overtime or outside of traditional business hours or days. For example, an administrative assistant working at a law firm will most likely work an 8 hour day shift Monday through Friday, while an administrative assistant work at a hospital may work an overnight or weekend shift. 


The yearly pay for Administrative Assistants ranges from $30,000 to $42,000, averaging at about $38,346 a year. Your pay will depend on years of experience, level of education, and location. 

Work Environment 

Administrative assistants work in various industries, such as law firms, medical offices, government agencies, schools, and hospitals. Their work environment consists of a quiet office space shared with other professionals.  

3 Steps to Help You Embark on Your Career as an Administrative Assistant: 


Entry-level administrative assistant roles require a high school degree or the equivalent. However, earning at least an associate degree in database management or office administration can place you ahead of your competitors. 


Once you have completed your education, gain experience in in an entry-level administrative assisting job. Not only will this offer a competitive edge, but it will also help you familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of administrative assistants. 


Completing certification programs is another step that can give you an advantage when applying. Some examples are Administrative Assistant Certification and Certified Administrative Professional. You can also obtain a Microsoft Office Certification or become an HR Certified Professional. These certifications will help you master administrative and technical skills important for the job. 

Sources: BLS.gov | careeronestop.org | Millennium Search LLC’s Job Market Research Department

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