While specific responsibilities vary according to the needs of the employer, an Administrative Assistant is a person who provides various kinds of support to individuals or groups, particularly in a business setting. Most often, the term Administrative Assistant is a formal title, although it can also simply be a designation for the role that person plays in the organization.
Administrative Assistants can be found in many industries, including government agencies, corporations, legal and medical offices, hospitals, schools and universities. They are often critical to ensuring that everything runs smoothly within an organization.
Some of the duties an Administrative Assistant might perform include:
- Coordination and communication between departments
- Scheduling of meetings, interviews and events
- Handling sensitive information and communications
- Data entry and note taking
- Resolving day-to-day operational issues in an administrative role
- Assisting with various aspects of management, logistics, and inventory
Training & Education
While a formal education is not always necessary, a degree is sometimes required and will help an applicant in negotiating for a higher salary. For most entry-level Administrative Assistant positions, a high school diploma or GED along with some office skills are all that is necessary. Exceptionally strong communication and time management skills are required for most administrative assistants. Vocational programs exist that will help in training for administrative support positions, as they teach the specific skills required for such a role.
Employers hiring Executive Assistants are more likely to seek out candidates with a college degree, especially one closely related to the business or industry the executive works in.
While applicants with a formal education are usually at an advantage, experience and location will play a role in salary, as will the type of administrative assistants position. For example, office support positions usually pay significantly less than executive assistant roles.