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administrative assistant

What does an Administrative Assistant do?

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.

Salary

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.

air traffic controller

What does an Air Traffic Controller do?

Air traffic controllers are tasked with ensuring that the skies are safe by guiding the myriad of aircraft that are airborne at any given time in the nation. An air traffic controller is basically responsible for directing private, commercial, and military aircraft from the time they take off until the time they return back to Terra Firma. Their work helps guarantee the safety of pilots, passengers, and cargo 24/7, 365-days-a-year.

Duties of an Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers man the more than 350 control towers, communication facilities, and radar centers throughout the nation. In addition to clearing traffic for landing or taking off, they also issue weather advisories and monitoring the in-flight progress of the thousands of aircraft that are aloft at any given time. Air traffic controllers also play a role in national defense by identifying illegal aircraft that have violated national airspace.

With this much responsibility on their plate at any given time, air traffic controllers’ work under very stressful circumstances, and efforts are made to break up their schedule to maintain alertness. As such, they tend to work rotating shifts, which feature working “on position” for upwards of two hours followed by a thirty minute break. Research has proven that when controllers work longer than that their performance and efficacy rapidly drops.

Core Skills and Training Required of Air Traffic Controllers

Certain core skills typically accompany the successful aircraft controller to work. As a group, they are generally well-organized, quick with computations, demonstrate strong decision making skills, and exhibit excellent communication abilities. Moreover, since the position is largely deemed as one of the most mentally challenging careers available, trainees undergo thorough physical and psychological testing to ensure that they are up to the demanding physical and mental rigors of the job.

There are three major pathways to becoming an air traffic controller:

  • The military provides a steady reservoir of available candidates who have received specialized training from the FAA or the Department of Defense.
  • Four years of college, or combination of study and three years of related work experience.
  • Completion of a certified program in aviation at one of the FAA’s Air Traffic Training Initiative.

New employees must also complete a 12-week program at the FAA’s Oklahoma City academy prior to placement in one of the nation’s control towers. As one might expect, air traffic controllers are highly compensated for their skills, and competition is sharp whenever a position opens.

business administrator

What does a Business Administrator do?

The Role of a Business Administrator

Business administration is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of business management careers. Whether a company conducts business on an international level or is a local, independently owned start-up, it needs business administrators to ensure its long-term success.

business administrator

A business administrator is trained to handle the day-to-day issues that arise in a business. They may oversee a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Establishing and executing goals, procedures and policies
  • Providing direction and oversight for financial and budgetary issues
  • Overseeing the processes that are involved in providing the company’s goods or services
  • Helping their workplace improve by implementing new procedures
  • Analyzing performance indicators
  • Identifying areas that can be eliminated to reduce costs and promote efficiency

Business administrators play an essential role in a number of different industries, including retail sales, hospitality and operations management. Business administrators fill a variety of roles and are an essential part in ensuring the productivity and success of an organization.

What Career Paths Are Available?

There are a large number of career paths available for business administrators. Many business administrators work in retail sales or direct sales. In addition to this, they may also work as project assistants, managers in an office environment, or as support specialists in technology industries. Business administrators play a role in federal, private and non-profit companies. Successful entrepreneurs often have a background in business administration, as their experience in developing organization and management skills are essential in starting a small business.

How Can I Become A Business Administrator?

Obtaining a college degree is the first step you will take in your pursuit of a career in business administration. An associate’s degree in business will equip you for an entry level position. A bachelor’s degree will help you advance your knowledge in management skills and techniques, organizational leadership, and strategic planning. With a bachelor’s degree in business, you will immediately be qualified for a variety of careers pertaining to business administration. Some professionals continue in their education and obtain a Master in Business Administration (MBA). This highly respected degree typically takes one to two years of additional coursework to obtain.