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What Does An Administrative Assistant Do?

Administrative assistants, or admin assistants, do general clerical and administrative activities. Their duties involve organizing and maintaining files and records, preparing documents, scheduling meetings and appointments, and providing general support in the office. Administrative assistants handle incoming and outgoing official correspondences, take minutes of important meetings and manage calls to the main office number. They also assist executives in providing structure to their day by managing their schedule, drafting e-mails, and other activities that executives may need assistance in. Administrative assistants should have the following skills: organizing, business writing, decision-making, and communication.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real administrative assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Post open positions for company on social media websites, manage company Facebook page.
  • Manage and update social media outlets including Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Manage a computerize database for large client orders while executing planning responsibilities and controlling company inventory.
  • Manage company finances using QuickBooks software, including monitoring the operating budget and collecting on unpaid invoices.
  • Manage executive calendars and handle logistics of meetings and conference calls, coordinate travel and conduct internet research for special projects.
  • Review course syllabi to ensure grammatical correctness and ensure it is in accordance with DoD policies and regulations.
  • Organize conventions and seminars, to include: invitation mailings, promotion, catering, facilities, set-up and logistics.
  • Monitor progress toward meeting the logistics plan, identify the possible impact of delays and take ownership to prevent known problem.
  • Coordinate badge/access card issuance with proper clearance identification.
  • Monitor payroll records for various factors contributing to budgetary overages.
Administrative Assistant Traits
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
Organizational skills are essential to working as efficiently as possible through being able to focus on projects at hand while also keeping a clean workspace.
Writing skills is important when it comes to clearing expressing yourself in any written document.

Administrative Assistant Overview

When it comes to understanding what an administrative assistant does, you may be wondering, "should I become an administrative assistant?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, administrative assistants have a growth rate described as "decline" at -7% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of administrative assistant opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is -276,700.

Administrative assistants average about $16.11 an hour, which makes the administrative assistant annual salary $33,510. Additionally, administrative assistants are known to earn anywhere from $26,000 to $42,000 a year. This means that the top-earning administrative assistants make $16,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become an administrative assistant. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a clerk's assistant/administrative assistant, customer service administrative assistant, accounts payable/administrative assistant, and administrative assistant/communications.

Administrative Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Administrative Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 11% of Administrative Assistants are proficient in Customer Service, Data Entry, and Communication. They’re also known for soft skills such as Interpersonal skills, Organizational skills, and Writing skills.

We break down the percentage of Administrative Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Customer Service, 11%

    Served as liaison to customer service department for inventory updates - Other duties as assigned by the Manager of Generic Pharmaceutical Procurement

  • Data Entry, 8%

    Completed data entry for accounting department efficient project completion coordinate and arrange scheduled military trips, for government personnel.

  • Communication, 7%

    Provide administrative support for all Delivery Services personnel and interface as a positive link for communication and team effectiveness.

  • Phone Calls, 6%

    Directed visitors to designated locations throughout the facility; answers/redirects phone calls and assists with administrative office tasks as needed.

  • Office Procedures, 5%

    Administered office procedures, originated own correspondence, maintained financial reports and statements, and organized and managed numerous files.

  • Powerpoint, 5%

    Created presentation books and submission materials for underwriters review for premium quotes as well as facilitated meeting with underwriters via PowerPoint.

Some of the skills we found on administrative assistant resumes included "customer service," "data entry," and "communication." We have detailed the most important administrative assistant responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for an administrative assistant to have happens to be interpersonal skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that administrative assistants can use interpersonal skills to "used strong interpersonal skills to collaborate with staff members to create solutions to issues. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform administrative assistant duties is the following: organizational skills. According to a administrative assistant resume, "secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently." Check out this example of how administrative assistants use organizational skills: "utilize organizational and administrative skills while scheduling appointments, answering phones, preparing estimates and contracts. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among administrative assistants is writing skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a administrative assistant resume: "secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "handled customer service, scheduling appointments, writing letters, and running errands. "
  • See the full list of administrative assistant skills.

    Before becoming an administrative assistant, 38.0% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 3.5% administrative assistants went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, some administrative assistants have a college degree. But about one out of every four administrative assistants didn't attend college at all.

    Those administrative assistants who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a psychology degree. Less commonly earned degrees for administrative assistants include a accounting degree or a health care administration degree.

    Once you're ready to become an administrative assistant, you should explore the companies that typically hire administrative assistants. According to administrative assistant resumes that we searched through, administrative assistants are hired the most by Robert Half International, Aerotek, and Kelly Services. Currently, Robert Half International has 392 administrative assistant job openings, while there are 70 at Aerotek and 58 at Kelly Services.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, administrative assistants tend to earn the biggest salaries at Friendship Village Tempe, Freedom Park, and SNI Companies. Take Friendship Village Tempe for example. The median administrative assistant salary is $64,509. At Freedom Park, administrative assistants earn an average of $57,159, while the average at SNI Companies is $54,594. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on administrative assistant salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a administrative assistant include University of California Press, United States Army, and Kelly Services. These three companies were found to hire the most administrative assistants from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    In general, administrative assistants fulfill roles in the education and finance industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the administrative assistant annual salary is the highest in the health care industry with $35,874 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the retail and manufacturing industries pay $34,871 and $33,845 respectively. This means that administrative assistants who are employed in the health care industry make 12.2% more than administrative assistants who work in the government Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious administrative assistants are:

      What Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistants Do

      A clerk's assistant/administrative assistant is responsible for supporting the company's operations and customers' needs by performing administrative and clerical duties as needed. Clerk's assistants/administrative assistants respond to customers' inquiries and concerns, acknowledging and processing orders, and posting their payments. They also sort company documents, manage office supply inventory, submit business transaction reports, schedule appointments, and operate office equipment. A clerk's assistant/administrative assistant must be very organized. They must also have excellent time-management and multitasking skills to perform office duties with high accuracy and efficiency under minimal supervision.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take clerk's assistant/administrative assistant for example. On average, the clerks's assistant/administrative assistant annual salary is $1,046 lower than what administrative assistants make on average every year.

      Even though administrative assistants and clerks's assistant/administrative assistant have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require customer service, data entry, and phone calls in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because an administrative assistant responsibility requires skills such as "communication," "database," "special events," and "staff meetings." Whereas a clerk's assistant/administrative assistant is skilled in "payroll," "dmv," "patient care," and "records management." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Clerks's assistant/administrative assistant receive the highest salaries in the manufacturing industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $36,282. But administrative assistants are paid more in the health care industry with an average salary of $35,874.

      Clerks's assistant/administrative assistant tend to reach similar levels of education than administrative assistants. In fact, clerks's assistant/administrative assistant are 2.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.6% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Customer Service Administrative Assistant?

      A customer service administrative assistant is responsible for responding to customers' inquiries and concerns, alongside performing administrative tasks as required. Customer service administrative assistants must escalate high-level complaints to the appropriate department, organize client meetings, process business letters, assist with developing promotional offers and marketing materials, and research potential clients. They also manage inventories and request stock supplies, create expense reports, and update customer records in the database. A customer service administrative assistant must have excellent customer service skills, as well as the ability to multitask and work under pressure and strict deadlines.

      Now we're going to look at the customer service administrative assistant profession. On average, customer service administrative assistants earn a $5,755 lower salary than administrative assistants a year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both administrative assistants and customer service administrative assistants are known to have skills such as "customer service," "data entry," and "communication. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real administrative assistant resumes. While administrative assistant responsibilities can utilize skills like "database," "word processing," "appropriate person," and "confidential information," some customer service administrative assistants use skills like "payroll," "outbound calls," "customer accounts," and "credit card."

      On average, customer service administrative assistants earn a lower salary than administrative assistants. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, customer service administrative assistants earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $31,147. Whereas, administrative assistants have higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $35,874.

      On the topic of education, customer service administrative assistants earn similar levels of education than administrative assistants. In general, they're 3.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Accounts Payable/Administrative Assistant Compares

      An accounts payable/administrative assistant works alongside the department head. This position focuses on the administrative side of a budgeting department. They are responsible for organizing a company's financial records, which include all documentation of financial transactions, such as invoices and receipts. They also manage all paperwork needed by their department.

      Let's now take a look at the accounts payable/administrative assistant profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than administrative assistants with a $586 difference per year.

      Using administrative assistants and accounts payable/administrative assistants resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "customer service," "data entry," and "phone calls," but the other skills required are very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from administrative assistant resumes include skills like "communication," "database," "scheduling meetings," and "scheduling appointments," whereas an accounts payable/administrative assistant might be skilled in "vendor invoices," "credit card," "ach," and "journal entries. "

      When it comes to education, accounts payable/administrative assistants tend to earn similar education levels than administrative assistants. In fact, they're 2.4% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Administrative Assistant/Communications

      An administrative assistant for communications is responsible for handling administrative duties to ensure that corporate communications and announcements are disseminated across the organization and media platforms appropriately. Administrative assistants for communications review documents and files to check for accuracy and conduct revisions as needed before publication. They also manage media relations, create promotional campaigns, and coordinate with clients for any important updates regarding business performance. An administrative assistant for communications must be highly reliable and organizational to work under minimal supervision and meet strict deadlines.

      Now, we'll look at administrative assistants/communications, who generally average a higher pay when compared to administrative assistants annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $5,241 per year.

      According to resumes from both administrative assistants and administrative assistants/communications, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "data entry," "communication," and "office procedures. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "customer service," "phone calls," "database," and "appropriate person" are skills that have shown up on administrative assistants resumes. Additionally, administrative assistant/communications uses skills like special projects, company website, procedures, and calendar management on their resumes.

      Administrative assistants/communications earn a higher salary in the finance industry with an average of $54,810. Whereas, administrative assistants earn the highest salary in the health care industry.

      The average resume of administrative assistants/communications showed that they earn higher levels of education to administrative assistants. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 6.3% more. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.1%.