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Become A Senior Administrative Assistant

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Working As A Senior Administrative Assistant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $44,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Administrative Assistant Career Paths

Senior Administrative Assistant
Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Executive Assistant Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager Business Manager
Business Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant/Office Manager Owner Assistant Vice President
Administration Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Assistant Property Manager
Assistant Community Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Department Manager Administrative Manager
Human Resources Administration Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Assistant Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Project Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Supervisor
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Executive Assistant Office Manager/Administrative Assistant Assistant Office Manager
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Department Manager Administrative Manager
Administrative Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Secretary
Senior Executive Secretary
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Executive Assistant Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Coordinator
7 Yearsyrs
Administrative Supervisor Administrative Services Supervisor
Administrative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Manager Executive
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Human Resources Assistant
Senior Human Resources Generalist
8 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Senior Administrative Assistant
Secretary 5.2%
Top Careers After Senior Administrative Assistant
Secretary 1.7%

Do you work as a Senior Administrative Assistant?

Senior Administrative Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

83.9%

Male

8.2%

Unknown

7.9%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.3%

French

9.5%

German

3.6%

Portuguese

3.4%

Italian

3.2%

Chinese

2.1%

Japanese

1.9%

Mandarin

1.8%

Russian

1.6%

Arabic

1.4%

Tagalog

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Polish

0.9%

Hindi

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%

Croatian

0.6%

Dutch

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Vietnamese

0.4%
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Senior Administrative Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

32.1%

Strayer University

8.2%

University of Maryland - University College

5.1%

Kaplan University

5.0%

Houston Community College

4.6%

Ashford University

4.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.9%

University of Houston

3.8%

Katharine Gibbs School

3.5%

Northeastern University

3.3%

American InterContinental University

3.2%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.0%

San Jose State University

2.9%

Liberty University

2.7%

Capella University

2.7%

New York University

2.6%

San Francisco State University

2.5%

Montgomery College

2.4%

DePaul University

2.2%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

2.1%
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Majors

Business

41.5%

Accounting

5.3%

Psychology

4.8%

Health Care Administration

4.3%

Communication

4.1%

Management

4.1%

Human Resources Management

4.0%

Legal Support Services

3.6%

Liberal Arts

3.5%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

3.2%

English

2.9%

Education

2.8%

General Studies

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

1.8%

Computer Science

1.6%

Political Science

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%

Finance

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.9%

Other

28.6%

Associate

15.9%

Masters

10.3%

Certificate

6.7%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$44,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Modern Technology Solutions
Highest Paying City
Phoenix, AZ
Highest Paying State
Arizona
Avg Experience Level
4.8 years
How much does a Senior Administrative Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Administrative Assistant in the United States is $44,733 per year or $22 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $74,000.

Real Senior Administrative Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Administrative Assistant To The General Pre United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices Annapolis, MD Jan 02, 2010 $200,000 -
$225,000
Senior Administrative Assistant Active Knitwear Resources Inc. Alhambra, CA Sep 30, 2015 $65,333
SR. Administrative Assistant Radiant Overseas Express Inc. Diamond Bar, CA Sep 01, 2015 $57,616
Senior Administrative Assistant Pinnacle Wireless LLC Monterey Park, CA Aug 09, 2011 $54,912
Senior Administrative Assistant Paradigm Health & Wellness, Inc. Industry, CA Dec 08, 2011 $54,912
Senior Administrative Assistant Pinnacle Wireless LLC Monterey Park, CA Oct 20, 2011 $54,912
Senior Administrative Assistant Pinnacle Wireless LLC Monterey Park, CA Oct 25, 2011 $54,912
Senior Administrative Assistant Pinnacle Wireless LLC Monterey Park, CA May 07, 2012 $54,912
Senior Administrative Assistant ACI Enterprises, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 07, 2016 $48,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Administrative Assistant

  1. Expense Reports
  2. Office Supplies
  3. Data Entry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created detailed expense reports and requests for capital expenditures.
  • Ordered all needed office supplies and call maintenance/service technicians when office equipment is malfunctioning.
  • Performed accurate data entry in a high-volume and faced-paced environment.
  • Improved efficiency by organizing paperwork and files into confidential, detailed-oriented filing system; designed and improved forms that expedited procedures.
  • Maintained budget database for districts, reviewed financial statements and notified supervisors of potential overruns.

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