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Become A Project Assistant

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Working As A Project Assistant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Project 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 Project 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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Project Assistant Jobs

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Project Assistant Career Paths

Project Assistant
Project Coordinator Executive Assistant
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Executive Assistant Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Legal Secretary Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Administrator Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Administrator Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Consultant Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Contracts Administrator Senior Contract Administrator/Contract Administrator
Contracts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Specialist Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Paralegal Team Leader Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Administrator Project Manager Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Project Administrator Project Manager Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Team Leader Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Systems Engineer Administrator
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Human Resources Coordinator Senior Administrative Assistant
Senior Executive Assistant
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Specialist Accountant
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Recruiter Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Owner Business Owner
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Project Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Project Secretary 2.7 years
Project Assistant 2.0 years
Project Associate 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Project Assistant
Internship 13.7%
Volunteer 4.2%
Cashier 3.9%
Assistant 3.4%
Secretary 2.8%
Server 1.8%
Top Careers After Project Assistant
Internship 8.7%
Volunteer 4.2%
Consultant 3.3%
Assistant 3.1%
Cashier 2.8%
Associate 2.4%
Manager 2.4%

Do you work as a Project Assistant?

Project Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

57.8%

Male

29.5%

Unknown

12.7%
Ethnicity

White

54.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Asian

14.0%

Black or African American

10.9%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.8%

French

13.3%

Chinese

9.3%

Mandarin

9.0%

German

5.3%

Russian

3.6%

Portuguese

3.4%

Arabic

3.1%

Italian

3.0%

Japanese

2.9%

Cantonese

2.2%

Korean

2.1%

Hindi

1.3%

Turkish

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Polish

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Hebrew

0.6%

Greek

0.4%

Persian

0.4%
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Project Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.6%

University of Wisconsin Extension

6.8%

George Washington University

6.5%

New York University

6.2%

University of Wisconsin - Madison

6.1%

Northeastern University

6.1%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

5.3%

University of Houston

4.2%

University of New Mexico

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.1%

George Mason University

4.0%

Strayer University

3.9%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.8%

University of Southern California

3.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.7%

University of Washington

3.7%

American University

3.6%

Texas A&M University

3.4%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.4%
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Majors

Business

27.7%

Psychology

6.3%

Accounting

5.5%

Communication

5.1%

Finance

4.7%

Political Science

4.6%

Management

4.3%

Marketing

4.1%

English

4.0%

Computer Science

3.9%

Law

3.9%

Project Management

3.6%

Civil Engineering

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.1%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.8%

Legal Support Services

2.7%

Economics

2.7%

Biology

2.6%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.7%

Masters

26.0%

Other

15.7%

Associate

7.5%

Doctorate

4.6%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$40,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$24,000
Min 10%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Sidley Austin
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.9 years
How much does a Project Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Project Assistant in the United States is $40,810 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $24,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $66,000.

Real Project Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Manager (Assistant Vice President) WNS North America Inc. New York, NY Oct 26, 2009 $162,000
Project Assistant Medical Care Development International Silver Spring, MD Aug 20, 2012 $83,512
Clinical Project Assistant Populus Group LLC Foster City, CA Feb 09, 2016 $73,045
Clinical Project Assistant Populus Group LLC Foster City, CA Aug 27, 2016 $73,045
Regulatory Project Assistant Astrazeneca LP Gaithersburg, MD Sep 14, 2016 $68,058 -
$78,100
Engineering Project Assistant Integrated Logistical Support, Inc. New Orleans, LA May 08, 2016 $67,330
Engineering Project Assistant Integrated Logistical Support, Inc. (ILSI Engineering) New Orleans, LA Aug 24, 2016 $67,330
Clinical Project Assistant-Oncology On Assignment, Inc. Florham Park, NJ Apr 04, 2011 $65,000
SR. Project Assistant Moody Nolan Dc, LLC Washington, DC Mar 15, 2011 $65,000
Project Assistant (SQL Developer) FTI, LLC Washington, DC Oct 28, 2010 $64,085 -
$79,477
Senior Clinical Project Assistant Clindatrix, Inc. Irvine, CA Aug 29, 2013 $58,000
Project Assistant and Research Analyst DMG Investments, LLC New York, NY Jul 30, 2016 $55,286
Engineering Project Assistant Integrated Logistical Support, Inc. (ILSI Engineering) New Orleans, LA Sep 10, 2015 $55,016
Project Assistant (ART Curator) URS Corporation New York, NY Oct 19, 2009 $52,175
Sales Operations Coordinator and Project Assistant Virgin Healthmiles Inc. Framingham, MA Oct 12, 2009 $50,400
Operations Coordinator and Project Assistant Virgin Healthmiles, Inc. Framingham, MA Nov 09, 2009 $50,400
SR. Project Assistant Moody*Nolan, Inc. Columbus, OH Sep 01, 2009 $50,000 -
$55,000
Research Project Assistant Northwestern University Chicago, IL May 01, 2014 $49,000
Assistant Project Cvent, Inc. McLean, VA Oct 01, 2015 $45,090
Project Assistant/Market Research Cogent Research LLC Cambridge, MA Oct 01, 2011 $45,000
Project Assistant Pacifica Services, Inc. Pasadena, CA Oct 01, 2009 $43,680
Project Assistant Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange BETW Washington, DC Jun 01, 2010 $43,616
Cultural Heritage Projects Assistant Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC Sep 28, 2015 $43,057
Project Assistant Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange BETW Washington, DC May 01, 2014 $42,631
Design & Development Project Assistant Urbanica, Incorporated Boston, MA Oct 01, 2012 $42,000
Project Assistant Montana State University Bozeman, MT Aug 02, 2012 $42,000
Design and Development Project Assistant Urbanica, Incorporated Boston, MA Oct 01, 2012 $42,000
Project Assistant Light and Salt Association Houston, TX Dec 09, 2016 $40,947

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Top Skills for A Project Assistant

  1. Project Management
  2. Data Entry
  3. General Contractors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Create binders that contain all contract paperwork and bidding information necessary for project management.
  • Reviewed financial documents for accuracy and completeness as well as performed data entry when necessary to update financial spreadsheets.
  • Worked as construction liaison to General Contractors for building renovations.
  • Update and localize clinical policies and procedures in preparation for California Department of Health Care Services and Medi-Cal facility licensing visits.
  • Tracked project and subcontractor invoices and verify/reconcile against purchase orders.

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Top 10 Best States for Project Assistants

  1. New York
  2. Massachusetts
  3. California
  4. Connecticut
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Alaska
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. Rhode Island
  10. North Dakota
  • (2,316 jobs)
  • (1,569 jobs)
  • (4,961 jobs)
  • (417 jobs)
  • (390 jobs)
  • (119 jobs)
  • (746 jobs)
  • (861 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)

Top Project Assistant Employers

Jobs From Top Project Assistant Employers

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