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Become An Administrative Technician

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Working As An Administrative Technician

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

  • Repetitive

  • $79,965

    Average Salary

What Does An Administrative Technician 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 Technician

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 Technician Jobs

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Administrative Technician Career Paths

Administrative Technician
Human Resource Specialist Analyst Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Assistant Director Nursing Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Administrative Specialist Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Administrative Coordinator
Administrative Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Human Resource Specialist Project Manager President
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Manager Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Recruiter Career Counselor
Career Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Support Specialist Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Administrative Specialist Specialist Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Product Manager Business Developer
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Business Partner
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Production Supervisor Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Specialist Maintenance Technician
Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Administrative Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Employers Before
Secretary 7.0%
Clerk 5.7%
Internship 4.8%
Cashier 4.0%
Teller 3.1%
Supervisor 2.7%
Technician 2.3%
Manager 2.3%
Assistant 2.3%
Top Employers After
Secretary 3.9%
Clerk 3.5%
Technician 3.1%
Consultant 3.1%
Cashier 3.0%
Owner 2.6%
Specialist 2.6%

Do you work as an Administrative Technician?

Administrative Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

64.0%

Male

33.9%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

59.0%

Hispanic or Latino

18.0%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.6%

French

5.6%

German

3.5%

Chinese

2.8%

Carrier

2.8%

Portuguese

2.1%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Filipino

2.1%

Russian

2.1%

Tagalog

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Japanese

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Greek

0.7%

Hungarian

0.7%

Luganda

0.7%

Sanskrit

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Polish

0.7%
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Administrative Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.4%

Strayer University

7.3%

Ashford University

6.5%

University of Central Oklahoma

6.3%

Austin Community College

6.3%

Liberty University

6.0%

Kaplan University

5.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.3%

Texas State University

4.0%

Community College of the Air Force

4.0%

University of Oklahoma

3.8%

University of Houston

3.5%

University of Texas at Austin

3.3%

San Antonio College

3.3%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.0%

Oklahoma City Community College

2.8%

American InterContinental University

2.8%

Anne Arundel Community College

2.8%

East Central University

2.3%

San Francisco State University

2.3%
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Majors

Business

30.2%

Computer Science

6.3%

Accounting

6.2%

Health Care Administration

5.4%

Computer Information Systems

5.3%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

Psychology

4.7%

Information Technology

4.6%

Human Resources Management

3.8%

Management

3.7%

Education

3.3%

General Studies

2.7%

Nursing

2.6%

Legal Support Services

2.6%

Computer Networking

2.3%

Communication

2.3%

Electrical Engineering

2.2%

Elementary Education

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Sociology

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.3%

Other

27.2%

Masters

14.4%

Associate

13.4%

Certificate

5.8%

Diploma

1.7%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.3%
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Top Skills for An Administrative Technician

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  1. Personnel
  2. Procedures
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared personnel requisitions and participated in the interviewing and hiring process.
  • Monitored the Automated Information Systems ensuring that classified computer systems were configured and not networked according to prescribed security procedures.
  • Maintained student database in computerized instructional modules, tracked performance and customized individual self-paced instruction as necessary.
  • Provided administrative assistance to other staff on issues ranging from benefits to computer programs and budget analysis and data entry
  • Performed network administration provided technical assistance to current and potential users to minimize disruptions of computer operations.

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Top 10 Best States for Administrative Technicians

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Alaska
  3. Connecticut
  4. Minnesota
  5. North Dakota
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Nevada
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Wyoming
  10. Maine
  • (577 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (203 jobs)
  • (393 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (116 jobs)
  • (109 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (93 jobs)

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