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Administrative assistant

Earnings Potential

Median annual earnings of executive secretaries and administrative assistants were $34,970 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $28,500 and $43,430. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,810, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $53,460.  Salaries vary a great deal, however, reflecting differences in skill, experience, and level of responsibility. Certification in this field usually is rewarded by a higher salary.

Facts at a glance

  • Numerous job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave this very large occupation each year.
  • Opportunities should be best for applicants with extensive knowledge of software applications.
  • Increasing office automation and organizational restructuring will lead to slower than average growth in overall employment of administrative assistants.

Summary of what this career entails

The fundamental job of an administrative assistant is to oversee and actually perform duties for the office. They also have to organize office material for storing, retrieving and disseminating. There have been changes to the position in the last couple of years because of the advancing technology. Administrative assistants are now performing functions that were once reserved for management alone. Many administrative assistants train new staff to the ways and duties of the job. They also conduct research online and are in charge of any new technology in the office that may come about.

Examples and or details of work

The administrative assistant position is one of the most sought after and most seen jobs on the Internet. When someone goes on or looking for jobs, they will see administrative assistant often. All offices need someone to handle the research, note taking, typing, phone answering and basic customer service that an administrative assistant does. An administrative assistant should have strong typing skills in order to be able to produce or reproduce documents in a timely fashion. They should also know their way around the Internet and as many aspects of Microsoft Office as possible. The kinds of offices that an administrative assistant may work in are doctor’s offices, corporate offices, schools, hospitals, government agencies, or legal offices.

Degrees that lead to this career

While college degrees are not as important to this position as they are for many other jobs, getting a college degree is a leg up in a competitive field. Many administrative assistant jobs require that you get a bachelor’s degree no matter what the field. Others require/prefer an associates degree in business. There is a prominent certification for experienced administrative assistants which are the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). 

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific job openings in the administrative assistant field include: administrative assistant, secretary, sales coordinator, customer service, receptionist, technical assistant, bookkeeper, executive assistant, and medical assistant.