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Become A Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant

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Working As A Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $34,454

    Average Salary

What Does A Clerk's Assistant/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 Clerk's Assistant/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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Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant Career Paths

Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant
Office Manager Accounts Payable Clerk Staff Accountant
Accounting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Accounts Payable Clerk Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Case Manager Assistant Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Front Desk Coordinator Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Office Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Accounts Receivable Clerk Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounting Clerk Controller General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Specialist Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Account Manager Purchasing Manager
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Accounting Clerk Accountant
Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Specialist Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Controller Chief Finance Officer
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Human Resources Coordinator
Executive Assistant/Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Clerk Office Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Business Partner
10 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Driver Operation Supervisor
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Clerk Data Entry Specialist Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Legal Secretary Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Department Secretary School Secretary
Principal Secretary
7 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant Account Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Clerk Technician Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Clerk 4.1 years
Clerk Typist 3.6 years
Clerk Secretary 3.4 years
Secretary 2.8 years
Support Clerk 2.7 years
Clerk/Assistant 2.3 years
Office Clerk 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant
Cashier 5.6%
Secretary 4.3%
Teller 3.6%
Internship 2.8%
Clerk 2.5%
Manager 2.0%
Top Careers After Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant
Cashier 4.2%
Clerk 2.6%
Teller 2.4%
Secretary 2.4%

Do you work as a Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant?

Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

85.3%

Male

12.6%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

59.1%

Hispanic or Latino

18.4%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.2%

French

6.4%

Japanese

2.7%

Tagalog

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Mandarin

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Filipino

1.6%

Portuguese

1.6%

German

1.6%

Hmong

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Chinese

1.1%

Dakota

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Swedish

0.5%

Cherokee

0.5%

Romanian

0.5%

Hindi

0.5%
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Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.9%

Kaplan University

9.4%

Strayer University

7.8%

Ashford University

7.4%

Liberty University

6.5%

Miami Dade College

3.9%

Grand Canyon University

3.9%

Walden University

3.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.6%

Colorado Technical University

3.2%

Valencia College

2.9%

Broward College

2.9%

Central Texas College

2.9%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.9%

Community College of Rhode Island

2.9%

Palm Beach State College

2.6%

Florida State University

2.6%

American InterContinental University

2.6%

University of Maryland - University College

2.3%

Nassau Community College

2.3%
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Majors

Business

32.3%

Accounting

9.5%

Health Care Administration

8.2%

Psychology

5.3%

Criminal Justice

4.8%

Legal Support Services

4.0%

General Studies

3.8%

Medical Assisting Services

3.6%

Management

3.3%

Nursing

3.1%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Communication

3.1%

Human Resources Management

3.0%

Education

2.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.0%

Elementary Education

1.9%

Computer Science

1.7%

Information Technology

1.7%

English

1.7%

Political Science

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

33.4%

Bachelors

28.2%

Associate

18.7%

Masters

8.3%

Certificate

7.1%

Diploma

2.7%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.7%
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Top Skills for A Clerk's Assistant/Administrative Assistant

  1. Payroll
  2. Customer Service
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Sole Responsibility for bookkeeping, office management and payroll for family owned business.
  • Worked closely with customer service department in record keeping of returned merchandise, ensuring customers received timely credit for merchandise returned.
  • Use knowledge of different programs, operations and general office procedures to make independent decisions concerning processing of information and materials.
  • Prepared requisitions and other related documents for office supplies and equipment.
  • Evaluated subordinate job performance and conformance to regulations, and recommended appropriate personnel action.

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