What Does An Office Assistant Do?

When compared to other jobs, Office Assistant careers are projected to have a decline growth rate of -0.04% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a Office Assistant by 2028 is -110,600.

Office Assistants typically earn $30,235 annually, which breaks down to $14.54 an hour. However, Office Assistants can earn anywhere from upwards of $23,000 to $38,000 a year. This means that the top-earning Office Assistants make $15,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Let's say you're currently a Office Assistant, but maybe you're looking for a new opportunity. You may even be playing around with the idea of becoming a Office Assistant. If that's the case, you'll probably want to know how these roles compare to other positions. Luckily, you came to the right place. Here, you'll find extensive information on roles such as a Front Desk Administrative Assistant, Assistant Secretary, Clerical/Administrative Assistant, and Office Secretary just so you can compare job roles and responsibilities. We'll explain how these compare to Office Assistants in a bit.

Office Assistant Traits
Organizational skills
Organizational skills are essential to working as efficiently as possible through being able to focus on projects at hand while also keeping a clean workspace.
Detail oriented
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.
Customer-service skills
Customer-service skills involve listening skills that allow you to communicate efficiently and respectfully with a customer.

Office Assistant Job Description

Here are the duties and responsibilities that an Office Assistant is likely to perform in their role.

  • Manage incoming and outgoing mail, distributing letters and packaging to staff and administrative offices, check staff email.
  • Manage operational FedEx relationship through order fulfillment, shipment tracking, and communication with parties involve in shipment transaction.
  • Perform daily office tasks which include: updating the EMR, filing, typing, and organizing patient records.
  • Proofread and edit documents, forms, records, and/or correspondence for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Type correspondence, schedule meetings, make travel arrangements, send out FedEx packages, copy, and fax materials.
  • Proofread and edit psychiatric evaluations for physician's forensic caseload.
  • Maintain insurance billings and authorizations, ICD9 billing, daily accounts receivable, collections and medicaid insurance claims processing.
  • File client paperwork upholding HIPAA standards.
  • Distribute executives mail, sort and prioritize, arrange messenger and overnight package services.
  • Train in HIPAA information and how to deal with patient sensitive information.

Office Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 12% of Office Assistants are proficient in Office Supplies, Data Entry, and Customer Service. They’re also known for soft skills such as Organizational skills, Detail oriented, and Customer-service skills.

We break down the percentage of Office Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Office Supplies, 12%

    Directed all administrative and project support efforts including receptionist responsibilities, organization of meetings and luncheons, and ordering office supplies.

  • Data Entry, 11%

    Offered and accepted various positions while still job hunting including data entry, receptionist, administrative assistant and procurement associate.

  • Customer Service, 10%

    Provided excellent customer service and information to constituents, prepared responses to inquiries, maintained and improved customer relations.

  • Phone Calls, 10%

    Responded to incoming correspondence, phone calls and maintained office equipment and supplies including purchase requisitions and management of inventory.

  • Telephone Calls, 7%

    Fielded telephone calls and answered customer inquiries about policies; interpreted for Spanish-speaking customers; performed Daily Payment Reminder calls.

  • Scheduling Appointments, 4%

    Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files.

Office Assistants are known for having more than just Office Supplies, Data Entry, and Customer Service. You can read about other common personality traits here:

  • Organizational skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for an Office Assistant to have. General office clerks file and retrieve records an Office Assistant is able to use Organizational skills in the following example: Showed leadership, and organizational skills; thrived within a detail-oriented, deadline-driven environment.
  • Yet, another important trait for an is Detail oriented. General office clerks perform many clerical tasks that require attention to detail, such as preparing bills. Here's an example of how Office Assistants are able to utilize Detail oriented: "Greeted customers and provided detailed cooperate packages Researched problems with billing related situations Answered multiple phone lines while scheduling appointments."
  • Customer-service skills is also an important skill for Office Assistants to have. General office clerks often provide general information to company staff, customers, or the public. Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "Provided customer service by answering telephones and providing customers with information regarding scheduling appointments, directions, and other inquiries."
  • Now that you have the skills necessary to secure a career in your dream job, we've taken it a step further to figure out what type of education might be necessary or helpful. The results showed that 39.0% of Office Assistants have graduated with a bachelor's degree. What's more is that 6.9% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While it may be true that some Office Assistants have a college degree, you may find it also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every five Office Assistants were not college graduates.

    Those Office Assistants who do attend college, typically earn either Business degrees or Psychology degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for Office Assistants include Health Care Administration degrees or Accounting degrees.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you're prepared to start applying to become an Office Assistant. We've found that typically Office Assistants are mostly employed at Robert Half International, McDonald's, and Helzberg Diamond Shops. Of recent, Robert Half International had 30 positions open for Office Assistants. Meanwhile, there are 26 job openings at McDonald's and 19 at Helzberg Diamond Shops.

    If you're in it for the money, you'll want to apply for positions at Health First, Entercom Communications, and Activision Blizzard as that's where Office Assistants seem to make the most money. Let's take a closer look. At Health First, the average Office Assistant salary is $68,002. Whereas at Entercom Communications, Office Assistants earn roughly $58,879. And at Activision Blizzard, they make an average salary of $41,557. Before you get too excited over those salary numbers, you should make sure that securing a job at these companies is doable. For example, while Health First has 0 job listings for Office Assistants, Entercom Communications and Activision Blizzard have 0 and 1 job listings respectively.

    Salaries aside, the most respected Office Assistants are working at The Ohio State University, Boston University, and Laboratory For Physical Sci. By assessing which schools Office Assistants mainly earn their degrees, and comparing that with the companies that have hired a significant number of Office Assistants from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, we're able to determine the most prestigious companies.

    For the most part, Office Assistants make their living in the Health Care and Professional industries. Office Assistants tend to make the most in the Manufacturing industry with an average salary of $31,019, while they generally only make $30,626 and $30,410 in the Finance and Health Care industries respectively. Additionally, Office Assistants who work in the Manufacturing industry make 5.3% more than Office Assistants in the Hospitality Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious graphic designers are:

      How an Office Assistant Compares to a Front Desk Administrative Assistant

      Up to bat, or first to compare, is Front Desk Administrative Assistant. Looking at the salary aspect, Front Desk Administrative Assistants earn a $350 higher salary than Office Assistants annually.

      Even though Office Assistants and Front Desk Administrative Assistants have vast differences in their careers, the skills required to do both jobs are similar. Just as an example, both careers require Office Supplies, Data Entry, and Customer Service in the day-to-day roles.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. an Office Assistant is more likely to need to be skilled in Fax Machines, Office Tasks, Database, and Office Operations. Whereas a Front Desk Administrative Assistant requires skills like Appointment Scheduling, Credit Card Transactions, Conference Room, and Staff Members. Just by understanding these different skills you can see how truly different these careers are.

      Front Desk Administrative Assistants tend to make the most money in the Construction industry by averaging a salary of $32,400. In contrast, Office Assistants make the biggest average salary of $31,019 in the Manufacturing industry. That's quite a difference.

      The education of Front Desk Administrative Assistants is a bit different than the education of Office Assistants in that they tend to reach similar levels of education. A 0.9% of Front Desk Administrative Assistants are less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree. Additionally, they're 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Office Assistant Compares to an Assistant Secretary

      Next up to compare are Assistant Secretaries, which typically earn a higher pay of roughly $97,486 higher than Office Assistants per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Office Assistants and Assistant Secretaries both require similar skills like Office Supplies, Data Entry, and Customer Service.

      But both careers also require different skills. While Office Assistant also utilizes skills like Patient Care, Office Tasks, High Volume, and New Clients, the typical Assistant Secretary is skilled in areas like Financial Statements, Student Records, Meeting Minutes, and Logistics. This is just the beginning of what makes these two careers so very different.

      While we already know that Assistant Secretaries earn higher, we took a step further to see what industry these workers typically make the most. Interestingly, Assistant Secretaries earn the most pay in the Retail industry with an average salary of $131,068. Whereas, Office Assistants have higher paychecks in the Manufacturing industry where they earn an average of $31,019.

      When it comes to education, Assistant Secretaries tend to reach higher levels of education than Office Assistants. In fact, they're 6.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Office Assistant Compares to a Clerical/Administrative Assistant

      In the hole for a comparison are Clerical/Administrative Assistants. On an average basis, this career brings in lower money than Office Assistants with a lower salary of $1,615 annually.

      Both Office Assistants and Clerical/Administrative Assistants utilize similar skills, such as Office Supplies, Data Entry, and Customer Service, but beyond that the careers look very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are the other skills necessary to get the job done. For example, a Office Assistant is likely to be skilled in Special Events, Office Tasks, Database, and Important Documents, whereas a Clerical/Administrative Assistant is skilled in Temporary Assignments, Financial Statements, Office Documentation, and General Information.

      Interestingly, Clerical/Administrative Assistants earn the most pay in the Telecommunication industry, where they command an average salary of $29,511. As mentioned previously, Office Assistants rake in the most money in the Manufacturing industry with an average salary of $$31,019.

      Is less better than more? Maybe in some cases, but when you're talking about Clerical/Administrative Assistants they typically study at similar levels than Office Assistants. In fact, they're 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Office Assistant Compares to an Office Secretary

      Next up off the bench for comparison are Office Secretaries. In this career, workers tend to earn a higher pay than Office Assistants by about $7,210 per year.

      While both Office Assistants and Office Secretaries complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like Office Supplies, Data Entry, and Customer Service, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      This is where the similarities find their end though. Each job requires different skills like Office Tasks, High Volume, New Clients, and Client Information, which can be used by a Office Assistant. Then on the other side of things, Office Secretary uses skills like Financial Statements, Student Records, Purchase Orders, and Staff Members. Based on these skills, you can truly appreciate the difference between the two careers.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The Government industry tends to pay more for Office Secretaries with an average of $38,672.

      When it comes to education, these two careers couldn't be more different. For example, Office Secretaries reach similar levels of education when compared to Office Assistants. The difference is that they're 3.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 1.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.