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Become A Business Administrative Assistant

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Working As A Business Administrative Assistant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $42,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Business Administrative Assistant 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 A Business Administrative Assistant

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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Business Administrative Assistant Career Paths

Business Administrative Assistant
Executive Assistant Office Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Bookkeeper Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Administrator Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Executive Administrative Assistant Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Executive Assistant To Chief Executive Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Consultant Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Executive Administrative Assistant Assistant To Executive Vice President
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Senior Administrative Assistant
Senior Executive Assistant
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Executive Assistant/Office Manager Owner
Owner And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Administrative Coordinator Coordinator
Senior Administrative Coordinator
6 Yearsyrs
Administrative Coordinator Coordinator Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Administrative Coordinator Project Coordinator Administrator
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Secretary Administrator Operations Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Secretary Consultant Senior Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Secretary Human Resources Assistant Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Business Administrator Business Manager Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Business Administrator Business Manager Property Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Business Administrator Senior Administrative Assistant
Administrative Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Business Assistant 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Business Administrative Assistant
Secretary 4.4%
Internship 4.1%
Cashier 3.8%
Volunteer 3.3%
Manager 2.0%
Assistant 1.8%
Top Careers After Business Administrative Assistant
Cashier 4.5%
Secretary 2.3%
Internship 2.2%
Manager 2.0%
Assistant 1.9%

Do you work as a Business Administrative Assistant?

Business Administrative Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

78.9%

Male

11.4%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.5%

French

11.8%

Italian

3.9%

Russian

3.3%

Chinese

3.3%

Portuguese

2.6%

German

2.6%

Greek

2.0%

Tagalog

2.0%

Swahili

1.3%

Mandarin

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Japanese

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Marshallese

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Luganda

0.7%

Hebrew

0.7%

Danish

0.7%
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Business Administrative Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

27.5%

Strayer University

6.6%

American InterContinental University

4.8%

California State University - Los Angeles

4.8%

New York University

4.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

Baker College

3.9%

Liberty University

3.9%

Davenport University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.5%

San Francisco State University

3.5%

Troy University

3.5%

Houston Community College

3.5%

San Jose State University

3.5%

Kaplan University

3.5%

Central Piedmont Community College

3.1%

Ashford University

3.1%

University of Southern California

3.1%

Miami Dade College

3.1%

American University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

41.7%

Accounting

7.5%

Management

4.4%

Health Care Administration

4.1%

Marketing

3.9%

Psychology

3.5%

Communication

3.3%

Liberal Arts

3.3%

Legal Support Services

3.2%

English

3.1%

Human Resources Management

3.1%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Finance

2.4%

Education

2.3%

General Studies

2.2%

Nursing

1.9%

Political Science

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

1.7%

Fine Arts

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.9%

Other

25.7%

Associate

14.1%

Masters

11.9%

Certificate

4.8%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.7%
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Top Skills for A Business Administrative Assistant

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Payroll
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Revamped loan application and personal financial statements forms and improved initial application process.
  • Provide necessary information and review for bi-weekly payroll processing.
  • Developed extensive data entry experience through updating the university alumni information in the university alumni database.
  • Provided quality customer service, and scheduling operations programs, which established an excellent community base rapport.
  • Assisted managers with many projects, responsible for answering/screening calls, ordering office supplies and business cards and mail distribution.

What is it like to work as a Business Administrative Assistant

2.0

Administrative Assistant

April 18, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Business Administrative Assistant.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Business Administrative Assistant?

Meeting some interesting people which are kind and few and far between the nasty crowd... Show More

What do you NOT like?

Nasty people calling in with a bad attitude. Favoritism is so blatantly obvious it's painful. The under tone of racism of higher management... Show More

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