Administrative Assistant

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This article is about a class of clerical employees. For U.S. congressional staff title, see Chief of staff (United States Congress). For for U.S. military staff title, see Chief of staff.

Administrative Assistant is a broad job category that designates an individual who provides various kinds of administrative support to people and groups in business enterprises.[1][2][3]

Kinds of administrative assistants[edit]

The term "administrative assistant" can be a formal title, or it can be a general description of an employee's function in an office.[4] Depending on the kind of work a person does, there are many variations of job descriptions that fall under this role:

  • Employees with the title of Administrative Assistant generally provide support to specific departments or teams in a company, such as Human Resources, Accounting, Development, Sales and Marketing or Information Technology (see IT assistant). In small companies, a single "admin" can potentially provide support for everyone in the office.
  • Secretaries or Executive Assistants provide support to individual (usually high-ranking) company executives or small groups of executives. Their responsibilities often include handling more private or sensitive corporate and personal information than other employees.
  • The main job of a Receptionist is to answer the telephone and take messages for an office or a department, and also to greet visitors to the office.
  • Project Assistants provide support to specific projects in a company (e.g. activities that have a defined goal and end-point).
  • Personal Assistants provide support for a specific individual, and their responsibilities often include taking care of non-office related tasks, such as running personal errands.
  • Clerks often provide office support that is confined to one or two specific tasks, such as filing or data entry.
  • Accounting Assistants provide support to a company's finance, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable departments. Employees in these positions tend to have more specialized knowledge of accounting and finance.
  • Production Assistants provide support for people and groups in film and television production.

Duties of administrative assistants[edit]

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Assisting with all aspects of administrative management, directory maintenance, logistics, equipment inventory and storage
  • Managing inventory of assets and supplies, sourcing for suppliers (vendors) and submitting invoices
  • Coordinating between departments and operating units in resolving day-to-day administrative and operational problems
  • Scheduling and coordinating meetings, interviews, events and other similar activities
  • Sending out and receiving mail and packages
  • Preparing business correspondence, typically using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook)
  • Data entry using 10-key keypad
  • Sending faxes
  • Managing files
  • Address resident concerns in accordance with company policies
  • Performing multifaceted general office support
  • Sending and receiving forms for the company
  • Answering the phone
  • All day-to-day operation matters

Employer expectations[edit]

Employers look for workers with knowledge, combination of skills, personal traits, and attitudes. They include:

  • Strong work ethic
  • Productivity
  • Professionalism
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Technical skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Customer focus
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills[5]


  1. ^ "Administrative Assistant Job Information | National Careers Service". 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  2. ^ "Find Jobs on". 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  3. ^ "How to Interview: Administrative Assistant |". 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  4. ^ "Secretaries and Administrative Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics". 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  5. ^ The Administrative Professional Fulton-Calkins Rankin Shumack

External links[edit]