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 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]

Job Duties Administrative assistants perform clerical duties in nearly every industry. Some administrative assistants, like those in the legal industry, may be more specialized than others. Most administrative assistant duties revolve around managing and distributing information within an office. This generally includes answering phones, taking memos and maintaining files. Administrative assistants may also be in charge of sending and receiving correspondence, as well as greeting clients and customers.

Bookkeeping Administrative assistants in some offices may be charged with monitoring and recording expenditures. Duties may range from creating spreadsheets to reporting expenses to an office manager. As such, some administrative assistants may be required to be knowledgeable in office bookkeeping software, such as Microsoft Excel.

Planning and Scheduling Planning events like board meetings and luncheons may also be the responsibility of administrative assistants. This may require researching vendor prices or inquiring about participants' availability. Other duties may include scheduling appointments and preparing presentation materials.

Documentation Administrative assistants may also help office members with documentation. Aside from storing, organizing and managing files, assistants may need to type, edit and proofread documents. Some assistants may need to take dictation or record the minutes of meetings.

Specialized Administrative Assistant Duties Administrative assistants in some fields may be required to have extensive professional knowledge. Accordingly, duties for these assistants may be more specialized. For example, legal administrative assistants may need to have a thorough understanding of legal terminology and procedures, while medical assistants may need to be well versed in dealing with insurance companies and reading medical reports.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information Average employment growth of 12% was expected for secretaries and administrative assistants, from 2012-2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). General secretaries and administrative assistants, not serving as legal, medical or executive secretaries, earned an annual median wage in 2013 of $32,840, according to the BLS.

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
  • operate a range of office machines such as photocopiers and computers

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[4]


  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. ^ The Administrative Professional Fulton-Calkins Rankin Shumack

External links[edit]