Administrative Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

An Administrative Assistant, or Administrative Support Assistant, is someone who helps with office administration functions within an organization. The main responsibilities of an Administrative Assistant include filing paperwork, answering phone calls, directing them to the right contact, helping with any travel arrangements for company executives, and restocking office supplies.

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Administrative Assistant duties and responsibilities

When writing a job description for an Administrative Assistant, it is important to specify the main functions of the role. Some of these important duties and responsibilities may include: 

  • Handling and assisting with document distribution and other administrative projects and responsibilities
  • Returning phone calls and emails on behalf of the company or a company executive
  • Researching travel options, presenting itineraries to CEO, and booking itineraries with travel agency contact
  • Arranging and attending meetings as required
  • Preparing and submitting purchase orders and expense reports
  • Managing manufacturer representative application forms and project registrations
  • Helping company employees with internal and external research projects
  • Performing basic data entry as required

What does an Administrative Assistant do?

An Administrative Assistant typically works at the front desk of an organization to greet clients and employees or for an individual. The role of the Administrative Assistant is to help make an office run smoothly by taking care of miscellaneous office duties. An Administrative Assistant is typically responsible for filing and organizing company paperwork. When working for a company executive, an Administrative Assistant may also be responsible for keeping up the individual’s calendar and ensuring they are attending meetings on time.

Administrative Assistant skills and qualifications

A successful Administrative Assistant candidate possesses various prerequisite skills and qualifications for the duties of this job. Some of these may include: 

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to complete a high volume of work within deadlines
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Experience writing and delivering communications to other departments
  • Ability to work with little supervision and the ability to take initiative
  • Strong attention to detail

Administrative Assistant experience requirements 

Most Administrative Assistant positions are entry-level and don’t require any prerequisite experience as on the job training can be provided. However, other positions may require one or two years of previous experience as an Administrative Assistant or another related role. For more senior roles, such as being the Administrative Assistant to an Executive, five or more years of experience in a related role is required. It is best to look for a candidate who has experience working in a similar sized company or similar industry to ensure an easy transition. 

Administrative Assistant education and training requirements 

When reviewing resumes for an Administrative Assistant, look for someone who has obtained at least a high school diploma. A good Administrative Assistant candidate may also have a four-year college diploma in secretarial studies, administrative assistance, or a related field. Some candidates may also have additional training in particular computer software programs related to the position such as Microsoft Office, JIRA, or other data entry programs.

Administrative Assistant salary expectations 

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Administrative Assistant in Canada is $20.45 per hour. The salary can vary depending on many factors including experience, location, or the company that is hiring. 

Job description samples for similar positions 

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Administrative Assistant job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Administrative Assistant?

When looking for an Administrative Assistant, look for someone who has a lot of initiative and a desire to be helpful. A good Administrative Assistant should also be an expert with email programs, Microsoft Office, scheduling, and data entry. Administrative Assistants should also have a pleasant demeanor and maintain their composure while under pressure. A good Administrative Assistant candidate will also have a willingness to learn new skills, programs, or projects. Lastly, an Administrative Assistant should be able to prioritize competing responsibilities. 

What makes a good Administrative Assistant job description?

A good Administrative Assistant job description will go into detail about whether the candidate will be responsible for providing administrative duties on behalf of an organization or individual. Since the role of an Administrative Assistant can over many different jobs and duties, be as specific as possible with the day to day responsibilities such as answering phone calls, setting up meeting rooms, or taking meeting notes. Another good way to help your job description stand out is to specify if the role has any additional company benefits such as an RRSP-matching program or health spending account. 

What is the difference between an Administrative Assistant and an Executive Assistant?

While the roles and responsibilities of an Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant can sometimes overlap there are some differences. An Executive Assistant is meant to act as the right hand to a company executive, celebrity, or government official. Executive Assistants must know the ins and outs of their manager’s position because they are often responsible for acting as their spokesperson. An Administrative Assistant by contrast is more likely to perform more repetitive administrative tasks when they are assigned to a specific individual such as filing reports, data entry, and taking messages.

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