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Working As an Administrative Support

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $32,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Administrative Support Do

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.

Duties

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:

  • Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
  • Schedule appointments and update event calendars
  • Arrange staff meetings
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
  • Prepare memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Edit documents
  • Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
  • Perform basic bookkeeping

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Secretaries and administrative assistants also use videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.

Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also review legal journals and help with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive is the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.

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How To Become An Administrative Support

High school graduates who have experience using computer software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although most secretaries learn their job in several weeks, many legal and medical secretaries require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. Executive secretaries usually need several years of related work experience.

Education

High school graduates can take courses in word processing and office procedures at technical schools or community colleges. Some temporary placement agencies also provide training in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.

Some medical and legal secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. For executive secretary positions, employers increasingly prefer to hire those who have taken some college courses or have a bachelor’s degree.

Training

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. During this time they learn about administrative procedures, including how to prepare documents. Medical and legal secretaries’ training may last several months as they learn industry-specific terminology and practices.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Executive secretaries can gain experience by working in administrative positions that have less challenging responsibilities. Many secretaries and administrative assistants advance to higher level administrative positions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can demonstrate competency to employers.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience, depending on their level of education, and pass an examination.

Legal secretaries have several certification options. For example, those with 1 year of general office experience, or who have completed an approved training course, can acquire the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) certification through a testing process administered by NALS (previously known as National Association of Legal Secretaries). NALS also offers the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification, considered to be an advanced certification for legal support professionals.

The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification is conferred by Legal Secretaries International in areas such as intellectual property, criminal law, civil litigation, probate, and business law. Candidates typically need to have 5 years of legal experience and pass an examination to become certified.

Advancement

Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor, office manager, or executive secretary.

With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals or legal assistants.

Important Qualities

Integrity. Many secretaries and administrative assistants are trusted to handle sensitive information. For example, medical secretaries collect patient data that is required, by law, to be kept confidential in order to protect patient privacy.

Interpersonal skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff. They should communicate effectively and be courteous when interacting with others to create a positive work environment and client experience.

Organizational skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently.

Writing skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers. Therefore, they must have good grammar, ensure accuracy, and maintain a professional tone.

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Administrative Support Career Paths

Administrative Support
Executive Assistant Office Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Manager Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Consultant
Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Administrator Consultant Senior Accountant
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Staff Accountant Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Staff Accountant Accounts Payable Supervisor
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Consultant Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Specialist Project Coordinator
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Team Leader Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Team Leader Operations Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Executive Administrative Assistant Assistant To Executive Vice President
Senior Executive Assistant
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Specialist Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Account Executive Customer Service Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Payroll Administrator Accounting Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Administrative Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Foreman Business Owner
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Administrative Support
Cashier 7.3%
Secretary 4.3%
Internship 4.2%
Volunteer 2.2%
Manager 2.2%
Clerk 2.0%
Assistant 1.9%
Supervisor 1.8%
Top Careers After Administrative Support
Cashier 7.3%
Internship 3.1%
Secretary 2.5%
Volunteer 2.4%
Assistant 2.2%
Manager 2.1%

Do you work as an Administrative Support?

Average Yearly Salary
$32,000
Show Salaries
$18,000
Min 10%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Goldman Sachs
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does an Administrative Support make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Administrative Support in the United States is $32,506 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $18,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $56,000.

Real Administrative Support Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Administrative Services Support Aleo Solar North America, Inc. Broomfield, CO Jan 01, 2012 $61,651 -
$78,976
Administrator Support Supervisor The House of Charity Houston, TX May 23, 2008 $47,694
Administrative Support Hispanic Family Counseling, Inc. Orlando, FL Sep 02, 2016 $31,305 -
$33,392
Administrative Support Real-Time Sports, Inc. New York, NY Jul 01, 2014 $27,861

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Top Skills for An Administrative Support

  1. Customer Service
  2. Data Entry
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Nurtured culturally appropriate interactions and connections with team, customer-owners, and the community with an emphasis on exceptional customer service.
  • Processed invoices for accounting department Organized and maintained filing department for company Data entry and mailings Special clerical projects
  • Introduced and implemented document scanning software system, resulting in increased efficiency in administrative and business processes, and database management.
  • Manage vendor relationships related to ordering and updating office supplies and miscellaneous office equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Tracked Administrative Review action items and distributed to the appropriate Personnel Security Specialist.

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Top 10 Best States for Administrative Supports

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New Jersey
  3. Connecticut
  4. Minnesota
  5. Maryland
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. New York
  9. Washington
  10. North Dakota
  • (153 jobs)
  • (513 jobs)
  • (208 jobs)
  • (322 jobs)
  • (389 jobs)
  • (638 jobs)
  • (760 jobs)
  • (1,014 jobs)
  • (373 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)

Administrative Support Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 21,177 Administrative Support resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Administrative Support Resume

View Resume Examples

Administrative Support Demographics

Gender

Female

70.3%

Male

18.5%

Unknown

11.2%
Ethnicity

White

60.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.8%

French

9.4%

German

4.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Portuguese

2.7%

Italian

2.4%

Russian

2.1%

Chinese

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Mandarin

1.7%

Korean

1.2%

Carrier

1.1%

Hindi

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Tagalog

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Swedish

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%

Croatian

0.6%
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Administrative Support Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

31.9%

Strayer University

8.0%

Kaplan University

6.0%

Ashford University

4.7%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.6%

Liberty University

4.3%

American InterContinental University

3.8%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

Houston Community College

3.4%

San Jose State University

3.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.1%

University of South Florida

2.9%

Temple University

2.8%

University of Washington

2.7%

University of Houston

2.6%

Prince George's Community College

2.6%

Capella University

2.6%

Walden University

2.5%

Arizona State University

2.5%

The Academy

2.4%
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Majors

Business

33.6%

Health Care Administration

6.9%

Accounting

6.1%

Psychology

5.6%

Communication

4.4%

Criminal Justice

4.4%

Human Resources Management

3.5%

Management

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Computer Science

3.2%

English

3.2%

Legal Support Services

2.9%

General Studies

2.9%

Education

2.7%

Medical Assisting Services

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

Nursing

2.2%

Sociology

2.1%

Information Technology

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.7%

Other

27.5%

Associate

15.6%

Masters

10.6%

Certificate

6.4%

Diploma

2.1%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.4%
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Updated May 19, 2020