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Administrative Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Administrative Assistant, or Office Administrator, provides support to other employees and coordinates business communication. Their key duties include directing phone calls, responding to inquiries, and managing meeting schedules. Administrative Assistants perform general clerical work for their department, create and maintain recordkeeping systems, schedule appointments, take messages for staff, and facilitate communication with clients.

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What does an Administrative Assistant do?

Administrative Assistants are in charge of maintaining the overall flow of workplace operations. They are the central point of contact for clients and employees alike and generally keep track of employee directories, essential contact information, all staff schedules, and the structure of an organization. When clients call the company number, Administrative Assistants make sure they reach the right person who can help them with their inquiry.

Small companies may have a single Administrative Assistant handling all of the recordkeeping and incoming messages, while larger businesses need multiple Administrative Assistants to support various departments. Administrative Assistants can specialize in a niche field to provide high-level support in skilled fields like law and medicine.

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Administrative Assistant duties and responsibilities

Administrative Assistants coordinate office activities and manage company information in a central location by completing a range of clerical tasks. They take care of basic customer service responsibilities, bookkeeping, and data reporting. On any day of the week they may perform the following tasks:

  • Greeting visitors and answering phones
  • Making adjustments to staff schedules and updating the master calendar
  • Coordinating staff meetings
  • Writing down minutes and meeting summaries
  • Running errands
  • Picking up supplies and office equipment
  • Filing forms and documents
  • Sending invoices and collecting receipts

Administrative Assistant skills and qualifications

Administrative Assistants candidates need to have a range of interpersonal skills, technical skills, and industry knowledge to perform their duties efficiently, share accurate information and help their team meet goals in a timely manner. Some of the key skills required include:

  • Proficiency in word processing software
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Organization skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility
  • Time management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Resourcefulness

Administrative Assistant experience requirements

Some companies provide training for Administrative Assistants and do not require candidates to have prior administrative experience to qualify for entry-level positions. High-level Administrative Assistant positions that work with top executives or oversee large departments generally require several years of experience and proof that the candidate can meet deadlines and efficiently accomplish delegated tasks. Candidates with a background in customer service or other front-facing fields where they provide support to others often have the experience and skills to excel in an Administrative Assistant role.

Administrative Assistant education and training requirements

Administrative Assistants typically have at least a high school diploma, but this may vary from case to case. Administrative Assistants with post-secondary education often focus on office procedures, business management, and accounting. Community colleges and vocational schools often provide training courses in computers and general office administration. By completing a bachelor’s degree, Administrative Assistants show that they are well-rounded in writing, math, and computer skills. Professional certifications and a bachelor’s degree in business administration make candidates more competitive for top Administrative Assistant roles.

Administrative Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average pay for an administrative assistant is about $20.08 per hour, but can change based on location, company size and years of experience.

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If an Administrative Assistant doesn’t match your specific job role needs, similar positions include: 

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Administrative Assistant job description FAQs

What are administrative roles?

Administrative roles are the positions that support businesses, offices, and executives. Some specific administrative roles include Receptionist, Office Administrator, Office Assistant, Office Manager, Executive Assistant, Events Administrator, and Administrative Support Specialist.

Is an Administrative Assistant the same as a Receptionist?

Administrative Assistants are generally responsible for a wider range of more complex tasks than Receptionists. Administrative Assistants can act as Receptionists when answering and directing incoming calls, but they usually have additional responsibilities while Receptionists focus on coordinating the front desk of a department or company.

How do you describe an Administrative Assistant on a resume?

Administrative Assistants should have a good command of their communication skills, strong organizational skills, and a high degree of attention to detail. They should be energetic and flexible so as to provide professional administrative support to other office members.

What are the three essential skill types of an Administrative Assistant?

Administrative Assistants need to have skills in three main areas: human, technical, and conceptual. Human skills refer to the way that an Administrative Assistant interacts with others, makes others feel at ease, and encourages teamwork. Technical skills are based on proficiency in the specific processes, tools and methods a company uses. Conceptual skills are related to how the Administrative Assistant understands their role and contributes to the overall company mission.

Job Description Examples

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