Office Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Office Assistant performs clerical and administrative duties in an organization to aid the team or management. These duties may include preparing and organizing documents, arranging meetings and communications, and managing organizational documentation and records, all of which free the team to perform mission-critical functions.

 

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What does an Office Assistant do?

An Office Assistant is tasked with administrative and clerical duties in an organization, such as preparing documentation, organizing meetings, and managing organizational documentation. An Office Assistant may be required to answer phones and greet clients, assist in document filing, perform basic bookkeeping, organize financial records, perform dictations, route telephone calls, organize office activities, and mail correspondence. Office Assistants may also be responsible for miscellaneous tasks like arranging drinks and meals for staff, posting company policies in the office, and operating office equipment like photocopiers, voicemail systems, and facsimile machines.

 

Office Assistant duties and responsibilities

Office Assistants are tasked with ensuring the office runs smoothly and that the individual team members are supported. Key responsibilities and duties for an Office Assistant may include:

  • Maintaining and updating files and records
  • Answering calls, taking messages, and redirecting calls
  • Sorting and distributing incoming mail and preparing outgoing mail
  • Using office equipment like facsimile machines, printers, photocopiers, and computers
  • Organizing travel for individuals or teams
  • Arranging appointments and managing calendars
  • Organizing conferences and trade shows
  • Handling basic bookkeeping tasks like invoicing and issuing checks

 

Office Assistant skills and qualifications

Office Assistants have to be adaptable and possess many hard and soft skills to assist the office teams effectively. Successful Office Assistant candidates should have the following skills or qualifications:

  • Proficiency with basic accounting and office procedures
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Proficiency with office software like Microsoft Office Suite
  • Efficient typing
  • Diplomacy and tact with clients
  • Knowledge of standard office equipment

 

Office Assistant experience requirements

An Office Assistant isn’t usually required to have any formal education. Sometimes, an Office Assistant is preferred to have two or more years of work experience in the position or a related position. Office Assistants should also have experience using office equipment, such as printers, fax machines, and photocopiers, and software programs like Microsoft Word and Excel. If the candidate has the appropriate work experience or on-the-job training, certifications in these skills aren’t usually necessary.

 

Office Assistant education and training requirements

Office Assistants are usually not required to have any formal education or degrees. A high school diploma or equivalent is often required, and an associate’s degree in business may be preferred. Office Assistants also need experience with various software systems and office equipment, which may be obtained from certificate programs, previous job experience, or on-the-job training. 

Office Assistants may also be required to attain a certificate in basic accounting to handle the position’s bookkeeping task. Certification isn’t a requirement for an Office Assistant, though it may be preferable to hire a candidate with advanced qualifications or skill sets in the specific job tasks. If a candidate has the necessary soft skills, such as organizational skills and communication skills, the employer can provide training to develop technology or office equipment skills.

 

Office Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Office Assistant $16.95 per hour. Bear in mind that salary may be dependent on the relevant experience, location, and company.

 

Job description samples for similar positions

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Office Assistant job description FAQs

 

Do Office Assistants only work inside an office?

Most of an Office Assistant’s responsibilities take place within the office, but some tasks require leaving the office. Office Assistants may carry mail to the post office, shop for new office equipment, meet with clients, and pick up coffee or other supplies for the office.

 

What can I look for in an ideal Office Assistant candidate?

Office Assistants need to be comfortable speaking confidently and professionally, so candidates should have excellent oral communication skills. Candidates should also have previous experience in an office environment and a willingness to take on new tasks and responsibilities to allow for the office to function properly.

 

Do an Office Assistant's responsibilities change with different industries?

Though the responsibilities of an Office Assistant are fairly consistent, Office Assistants in some industries may have different or additional job duties. In the medical industry, for example, Office Assistants may need to prepare reports for physicians, arrange hospitalizations and referrals, process insurance claims, and learn medical terminology and coding. Office Assistants in the legal industry must prepare legal documents like summonses, subpoenas, and motions, and they need to know legal terminology. When creating a job description, it’s important to identify the industry and any specialized skills that may be required.

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