An office specialist is responsible for performing administrative and clerical duties to support the organization's daily operations. Office specialists must be highly organizational, as well as having excellent time-management skills to handle work units. They have duties including data entry procedures, greeting visitors, responding to customers' inquiries through phone calls and e-mails, and filing and sorting documents. Office specialists are responsible for creating meeting reports, scheduling appointments, evaluating financial statements, coordinating with other staff for event planning, and assisting the senior management with complex functions.

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Office Specialist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real office specialist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Provide support for enrolling patients into health coverage programs and manage sensitive patient information to ensure accuracy and confidentiality.
  • Manage and maintain patients' medical records by utilizing computer applications management database processing system to ensure county compliance.
  • Manage operational FedEx relationship through order fulfillment, shipment tracking, and communication with parties involve in shipment transaction.
  • Provide assistance to office staff including preparing and proofreading memos and grants, transcribing meeting minutes for staff and answering phones.
  • Perform multiple bookkeeping duties including departmental payroll, print financial reports and other financial material as needed.
  • Communicate HIPAA compliance to staff, field and outside agencies.
  • Handle and maintain confidential documents in accordance with HIPAA and FERPA regulations.
  • Prepare mail and packages for external shipment and coordinate deliveries and pick-ups (includes USPS, pickup/delivery).
  • Prepare presentations and organizational charts for senior management using PowerPoint.
  • Edit and proof documents and create PowerPoint presentations while executing reception responsibilities.
  • Prepare payroll adjusting entries/budgete modifications.
  • Clean tables, sweep floors, wipe windows, and organize cabinets.
  • Print and distribute WIC program vouchers to participants.
  • Assist and support the WIC program coordinator by compiling special formula requesting and corresponding with participants for formula pick up.
  • Prepare payroll adjusting entries/budgete modifications.

Office Specialist Job Description

When it comes to understanding what an office specialist does, you may be wondering, "should I become an office specialist?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, office specialists have a growth rate described as "decline" at -4% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of office specialist opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is -110,600.

An office specialist annual salary averages $33,477, which breaks down to $16.09 an hour. However, office specialists can earn anywhere from upwards of $25,000 to $43,000 a year. This means that the top-earning office specialists make $20,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become an office specialist, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming an administrative support specialist, business office associate, office worker, and office clerk.

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Office Specialist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 18% of Office Specialists are proficient in Customer Service, Data Entry, and Patients. They’re also known for soft skills such as Customer-service skills, Detail oriented, and Organizational skills.

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

  • Customer Service, 18%

    Provide excellent customer service by communicating with customers, employees and other individuals to answer questions and explain information.

  • Data Entry, 10%

    Performed data entry using Microsoft excel, modified documents using Microsoft word, and managed physician calendars using Microsoft outlook.

  • Patients, 9%

    Provided support for enrolling patients into health coverage programs and manage sensitive patient information to ensure accuracy and confidentiality.

  • Office Equipment, 6%

    Skilled in a variety of modern office equipment, including computer and verbal/written communication and Microsoft Suite.

  • Phone Calls, 6%

    General reception duties, all scheduling insurance authorizations, charting/documentation and patient phone calls.

  • Word Processing, 4%

    Supported technical word processing for Engineering staff through a wide variety of correspondence, documents, technical reports, and contracts.

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"customer service," "data entry," and "patients" aren't the only skills we found office specialists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of office specialist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Customer-service skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for an office specialist to have. According to a office specialist resume, "general office clerks often provide general information to company staff, customers, or the public" office specialists are able to use customer-service skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "assist with answering phones and assist with customer service by scheduling appointments, directing questions to the right discipline. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling office specialist duties is detail oriented. According to a office specialist resume, "general office clerks perform many clerical tasks that require attention to detail, such as preparing bills." Here's an example of how office specialists are able to utilize detail oriented: "results-oriented data entry professional with 10 years managing clerical, communication and project management tasks in corporate environments. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among office specialists is organizational skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a office specialist resume: "general office clerks file and retrieve records" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "served as organizational liaison in the presence of issues and performed general administrative functions as needed. "
  • See the full list of office specialist skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming an office specialist. We found that 44.0% of office specialists have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 4.8% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While some office specialists have a college degree, you may find it's 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 specialists were not college graduates.

    Those office specialists who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a accounting degree. Less commonly earned degrees for office specialists include a general studies degree or a psychology degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become an office specialist. We've found that most office specialist resumes include experience from Thrivent, The State of Oregon, and Southern Illinois Healthcare. Of recent, Thrivent had 15 positions open for office specialists. Meanwhile, there are 12 job openings at The State of Oregon and 11 at Southern Illinois Healthcare.

    If you're interested in companies where office specialists make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Goldman Sachs, and General Electric. We found that at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the average office specialist salary is $61,546. Whereas at Goldman Sachs, office specialists earn roughly $49,236. And at General Electric, they make an average salary of $44,099.

    View more details on office specialist salaries across the United States.

    The industries that office specialists fulfill the most roles in are the government and education industries. But the highest office specialist annual salary is in the finance industry, averaging $37,752. In the professional industry they make $35,891 and average about $35,491 in the government industry. In conclusion, office specialists who work in the finance industry earn a 4.3% higher salary than office specialists in the education industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious office specialists are:

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    What Administrative Support Specialists Do

    An administrative support specialist is a professional who is involved in the office management, clerical tasks, and back-office duties of an organization. To run the office smoothly, administrative support specialists must manage the purchasing and inventory of office supplies as well as schedule the maintenance of office equipment. They serve as a liaison for executives by screening incoming calls and emails, sorting mails, and setting appointments with employees, customers, and vendors. Administrative support specialists must also be able to draft memos and edit report proposals and other business documents.

    We looked at the average office specialist annual salary and compared it with the average of an administrative support specialist. Generally speaking, administrative support specialists receive $4,767 higher pay than office specialists per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both office specialists and administrative support specialists positions are skilled in customer service, data entry, and patients.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because an office specialist responsibility requires skills such as "office support," "hr," "office management," and "hipaa." Whereas a administrative support specialist is skilled in "office procedures," "strong customer service," "human resources," and "database management." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Administrative support specialists really shine in the government industry with an average salary of $42,241. Whereas office specialists tend to make the most money in the finance industry with an average salary of $37,752.

    On average, administrative support specialists reach similar levels of education than office specialists. Administrative support specialists are 2.0% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Business Office Associate?

    Business office associates are responsible for providing clerical and administrative support to the office staff for efficient and smooth operations of the office operations. They typically perform a number of tasks that include managing and entering data to spreadsheets and databases, organizing and maintaining files and documents, and assisting with bookkeeping activities. Additionally, they are responsible for managing work projects and overall office management, collaborating with other departments, and maintaining financial documents and customer information. Business office associates are also expected to oversee human resource activities such as handling of employment forms and administering health insurance.

    The next role we're going to look at is the business office associate profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $3,848 lower salary than office specialists per year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Office specialists and business office associates both include similar skills like "customer service," "data entry," and "patients" on their resumes.

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, office specialist responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "phone calls," "word processing," "office support," and "financial reports." Meanwhile, a business office associate might be skilled in areas such as "vehicle sales," "payable functions," "cash management," and "proper paperwork." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    In general, business office associates study at similar levels of education than office specialists. They're 0.2% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How an Office Worker Compares

    An office worker is responsible for performing administrative and clerical duties to support the daily operations of the business. Office workers assist in receiving calls to respond to the clients' inquiries and concerns, as well as welcoming visitors, verifying their appointments, and leading them to the appropriate personnel and department for their business needs. They also do data processing, sorting mail, and filing documents for easy retrieval and reference, especially during meetings and company activities.

    The office worker profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of office specialists. The difference in salaries is office workers making $7,526 higher than office specialists.

    Using office specialists and office workers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "customer service," "data entry," and "office equipment," but the other skills required are very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from office specialists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "patients," "phone calls," "office support," and "financial reports." But a office worker might have skills like "computer programs," "credit card," "computer software," and "windows."

    Additionally, office workers earn a higher salary in the education industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $40,267. Additionally, office specialists earn an average salary of $37,752 in the finance industry.

    Office workers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to office specialists. Additionally, they're 1.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Office Clerk

    Office clerks are administrative employees who handle clerical activities for the organization. They are in charge of managing company records, organizing and storing documents, filing and sorting hard copies of documents, and liaising with other departments or external partners. They are also in charge of handling and scheduling meetings and appointments, managing the reservation of office meeting rooms, and manning telephone lines. Office clerks may also be in charge of ordering office supplies, preparing purchase requisitions for office needs, sending out and receiving official company documents, and other correspondences.

    Now, we'll look at office clerks, who generally average a lower pay when compared to office specialists annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $2,550 per year.

    While both office specialists and office clerks complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like customer service, data entry, and office equipment, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "patients," "phone calls," "office support," and "financial reports" are skills that have shown up on office specialists resumes. Additionally, office clerk uses skills like purchase orders, clerical tasks, business transactions, and database systems on their resumes.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The transportation industry tends to pay more for office clerks with an average of $31,504. While the highest office specialist annual salary comes from the finance industry.

    In general, office clerks reach similar levels of education when compared to office specialists resumes. Office clerks are 2.4% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.