What is an Office Assistant

Office assistants are typically those nice people you find at the front of the (you guessed it) office. They are responsible for a lot of clerical and administrative duties.

The great thing about this job is that there are so many opportunities. Like you remember that Campbell soup commercial where they dare you to open up to possibilities. That actually applies to this career. There are office assistant jobs in nearly every industry, including education, medical, government and legal fields. The possibilities are endless.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an office assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.64 an hour? That's $30,443 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -4% and produce -110,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Office Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many office assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, detail oriented and organizational skills.

Learn more about what an Office Assistant does

How To Become an Office Assistant

If you're interested in becoming an office assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 42.4% of office assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.1% of office assistants have master's degrees. Even though some office assistants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an office assistant. When we researched the most common majors for an office assistant, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on office assistant resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an office assistant. In fact, many office assistant jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many office assistants also have previous career experience in roles such as administrative assistant or sales associate.

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Average Salary
$30,443
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
94,085
Job Openings
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Office Assistant Career Paths

Top Careers Before Office Assistant

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Average Salary for an Office Assistant

Office Assistants in America make an average salary of $30,443 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $39,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Salary
$30,443
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Office Assistant Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Office Assistant. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Office Assistant Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Office Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Office Assistant Resume Examples And Templates

Office Assistant Demographics

Office Assistant Gender Statistics

female

77.2 %

male

18.4 %

unknown

4.4 %

Office Assistant Ethnicity Statistics

White

58.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

22.1 %

Black or African American

9.3 %

Office Assistant Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

63.3 %

French

8.0 %

Mandarin

3.7 %
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Office Assistant Education

Office Assistant Majors

25.3 %

Office Assistant Degrees

Bachelors

42.4 %

High School Diploma

22.3 %

Associate

21.8 %

Top Colleges for Office Assistants

1. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Ball State University

Muncie, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,896
Enrollment
15,529

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,105
Enrollment
13,729

6. Cedar Crest College

Allentown, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$39,216
Enrollment
1,303

7. Morgan State University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,900
Enrollment
6,404

8. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

9. Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$27,124
Enrollment
2,035

10. University of Akron

Akron, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,463
Enrollment
13,676
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Online Courses For Office Assistant That You May Like

Microsoft Office; Excel, Word & PowerPoint 2019 - Beginners
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Learn basic to advanced Microsoft Office skills in this 8-course bundle for Office 365 or Office 2019...

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Top Skills For an Office Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.9% of office assistants listed data entry on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and detail oriented are important as well.

  • Data Entry, 12.9%
  • Office Procedures, 8.3%
  • Customer Service, 7.6%
  • Scheduling Appointments, 6.5%
  • Front Office, 6.5%
  • Other Skills, 58.2%
  • See All Office Assistant Skills

12 Office Assistant RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For an Office Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an office assistant. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and California. Office assistants make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $36,073. Whereas in Oregon and Washington, they would average $35,256 and $35,010, respectively. While office assistants would only make an average of $33,826 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Office Assistant Jobs:
534
Highest 10% Earn:
$48,000
Location Quotient:
1.05
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Massachusetts

Total Office Assistant Jobs:
1,227
Highest 10% Earn:
$47,000
Location Quotient:
1.09
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Office Assistant Jobs:
835
Highest 10% Earn:
$48,000
Location Quotient:
0.93
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Office Assistants

How Do Office Assistant Rate Their Jobs?

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5.0

I have experienced in appointment setting answering phone's, also filingMay 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoI have experienced in appointment setting answering phone's, also filingMay 2019

What do you like the most about working as Office Assistant?

Interacting with the public very friendly helpful in problem solving also I have patience with others Show More

What do you NOT like?

Rude customers who use profanity Show More

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Top Office Assistant Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ office assistants and discovered their number of office assistant opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Food Lion was the best, especially with an average salary of $34,848. Kelly Services follows up with an average salary of $31,793, and then comes Robert Half International with an average of $30,147. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an office assistant. The employers include None, None, and None

Office Assistant FAQs

Do you need a degree to be an office assistant?

No, you do not need a degree to be an office assistant. Generally, all a person needs to become an office assistant is a high school diploma or equivalent.

However, some office assistant roles prefer a person to have their associate's degree or complete a vocational school program. It is also beneficial for a person to seek out a professional certification, such as the Administrative Assistant Certificate.

Some higher-level office assistant roles might want to hire an individual with a bachelor's degree, often in fields like Business or Communications. However, this is rare, and it is often more beneficial for a person to pursue gaining experience in the role to move into higher-level positions than to pursue a bachelor's degree.

Overall, this position has very few entry-level requirements and can be a good alternative to get established in a specific organization than attaining a degree.

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How long does it take to become an office assistant?

An office assistant is an entry-level job and typically does not require more than one year of experience. While not necessary, it can be useful to take a year of vocational schooling to gain critical office skills in common software and word processing programs, data entry, and customer service skills.

Generally, additional training is provided on the job. This typically includes modeling expected tasks with supervision until a person has learned to complete the tasks independently.

The newly hired office assistant will often shadow the current office assistant in order to learn not only the tasks they need to complete but also understanding the various ways that the function of the Office Assistant intersects with other roles.

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Is an office assistant the same as a receptionist?

No, an office assistant is not the same role as a receptionist. While these roles can be similar in some companies and even be held by the same person, the roles are not the same.

The office receptionist is the representative of the company that visitors encounter first. Their duties are primarily in customer service, ensuring that everyone who walks through the door or who makes a phone call has a positive first impression of the company.

Meanwhile, office assistant is more focused on their administrative duties. A person in this role spends most of their day making sure that the office is running smoothly. The office assistant will type documents, send emails and faxes, schedule appointments, and perform any other office related task that they are assigned.

Essentially, an office receptionist is focused on ensuring excellent customer service, while an Office Assistant is focused on ensuring excellent office support.

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Is being an office assistant a good job?

Yes, being an office assistant is a good job. While the role of an Office Assistant starts with a low salary, it offers ample opportunity for career and salary growth.

This is especially true for people who choose not to pursue higher education. This entry-level office role can be a great stepping stone into positions within a company that would otherwise be blocked due to educational requirements.

Additionally, being an office assistant is a good job for people who enjoy diverse tasks and working with other people a lot. If a person has a high level of interpersonal skills and is detail-oriented, they will likely thrive within this role.

Ultimately, despite low initial payment, the Office Assistant role is a good job due to the opportunity for career growth that it presents as well as the interesting and diverse workload.

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What does an office assistant do?

An office assistant handles organizational and administrative tasks. The role of an office assistant often involves ensuring that an office is operating as efficiently as possible.

This role does the following tasks:

  • Organizes and maintains filing system

  • Schedules meetings and manages calendars

  • Drafts emails, invoices, and memos

  • Maintains office supplies

  • Answers phone calls and welcome guests

A successful Office Assistant goes beyond fulfilling simple clerical duties and takes the initiative to strategically assist with various business needs. Rather than simply completing their tasks, an excellent office assistant looks for areas of improvement throughout the office.

This might mean reorganizing the filing system to allow a person to find needed documents more easily or strategically scheduling meetings to manage the conference room space more efficiently.

The fulfillment of these and other daily duties by the office assistant enables the business to run smoothly. An office assistant also helps a company maintain a positive public image and make a good impression on customers.

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What is the qualification of an office assistant?

The basic qualification needed to be an office assistant is a high school diploma or equivalent. Other common educational qualifications for the role are a vocational school diploma or an associate's degree. Aside from this, achieving professional certifications and work experience in an office setting are other useful qualifications.

A variety of soft skills are also considered qualifications for the role of Office Assistant. An office assistant needs to be punctual, efficient, and reliable. This role requires someone who can think both quickly and thoroughly to make sure all necessary supplies and information are gathered.

Other common qualifications required for an office assistant include:

These are all skills that can be developed through education or experience working in an office setting.

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What skills do you need to become an office assistant?

The top skills needed to become an office assistant are interpersonal skills and organizational skills. The office assistant ensures that the office is running as efficiently as possible, which requires a variety of soft and hard skills.

Having a wide variety of skills and being able to execute them effectively in the workplace is greatly beneficial to excel in the role of office assistant. Verbal and written communication skills are critical to effectively and professionally communicate with coworkers, clients, and managers.

Additionally, it is absolutely critical that an office assistant has a high level of technological skills. As an office assistant, you'll be responsible for understanding your company's various computer software programs and assisting others in utilizing them.

Organizational and time management skills are needed because office assistants often take on multiple tasks at once, as well as being in charge of scheduling meetings and phone calls for others. Therefore, they must be adept at organizing and prioritizing assignments.

Finally, an office assistant should have advanced problem-solving skills and resourcefulness. A common aspect of the role is responding to questions for the coworkers that they support. Being the main source of contact for multiple people means the person in this role should have a highly developed ability to find solutions.

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Updated August 18, 2021