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Become A Contract Administrative Assistant

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Working As A Contract Administrative Assistant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $41,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Contract 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 Contract 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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Contract Administrative Assistant Career Paths

Contract Administrative Assistant
Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Manager Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager Accounting Manager
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Senior Contract Administrator/Contract Administrator
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Contracts Manager Project Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Project Manager General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Specialist Account Executive
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Administrator Assistant Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Consultant Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Executive Administrative Assistant Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Executive Assistant To Chief Executive Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Executive Administrative Assistant Assistant To Executive Vice President
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Team Leader Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Contracts Specialist Team Leader Customer Service Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Contracts Specialist Consultant Senior Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Contracts Specialist Consultant Accounting Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Contracts Assistant Assistant To Executive Vice President Senior Administrative Assistant
Senior Administrative Coordinator
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Contracts Assistant Assistant To Executive Vice President Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Specialist Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Administrator Business Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Administrator Registered Nurse Supervisor
Administrative Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Contract Administrative Assistant
Secretary 3.4%
Internship 2.5%
Cashier 2.2%
Top Careers After Contract Administrative Assistant
Cashier 2.8%

Do you work as a Contract Administrative Assistant?

Contract Administrative Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

80.9%

Male

10.4%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.4%

French

10.4%

Portuguese

4.2%

Russian

3.5%

Mandarin

2.8%

German

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Polish

2.1%

Chinese

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Lithuanian

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Tagalog

0.7%

Korean

0.7%
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Contract Administrative Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

28.2%

Strayer University

8.7%

Prince George's Community College

5.9%

University of Houston

4.8%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.1%

Ashford University

3.9%

Colorado Technical University

3.9%

Houston Community College

3.6%

Liberty University

3.6%

George Mason University

3.4%

Kaplan University

3.4%

George Washington University

3.0%

University of Cincinnati

3.0%

American InterContinental University

3.0%

Montgomery College

2.7%

Arizona State University

2.7%

Florida International University

2.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.5%

Northeastern University

2.5%
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Majors

Business

35.9%

Accounting

7.3%

Health Care Administration

5.6%

Legal Support Services

5.0%

Psychology

5.0%

Communication

4.1%

Human Resources Management

3.7%

Management

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

English

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.2%

Marketing

2.8%

Education

2.7%

General Studies

2.5%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

2.3%

Medical Assisting Services

2.0%

Sociology

2.0%

Nursing

1.7%

Computer Science

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.6%

Other

27.3%

Associate

16.5%

Masters

8.6%

Certificate

7.5%

Diploma

1.8%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.7%
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Top Skills for A Contract Administrative Assistant

  1. Legal Documents
  2. Data Entry
  3. Office Supplies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed and audited financial and legal documents and information to determine level of investment interest.
  • Assist HMC's with borrower follow up, and questions/concerns - Outgoing and incoming calls, and administrative duties - Data entry
  • Monitored office equipment, requested and coordinated repairs or replacement, ordered office supplies.
  • Prepared, processed and tracked purchase requisitions/purchase orders for vendor payment.
  • Instituted office policies and procedures and organized newly established branch office, including record-keeping and filing procedures.

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Top Contract Administrative Assistant Employers

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