Often referred to as secretaries, administrative assistants perform a wide range of routine organizational and clerical duties that are necessary to support the smooth and efficient operation of various office settings.
Administrative assistants are typically responsible for maintaining paper or electronic filing systems of records, distributing incoming mail, answering telephones or email messages promptly, editing organization letters for accurate spelling and grammar, operating office equipment, and scheduling appointments for other staff members.
How much does an administrative assistant make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2,085,680 administrative assistants employed throughout the United States earn an average yearly administrative assistant salary of $33,560, which is equivalent to a mean hourly wage of $16.13.
The bottom ten percent in the profession makes $20,230 or less, the top ten percent brings home a salary of $48,520+ each year. Administrative assistants employed in elementary or secondary schools earn slightly higher than average at $34,030, but those that work for the postal service make the highest wages at $54,860 annually. The top-paying states for the field are the District of Columbia and Massachusetts, where administrative assistants earn a mean annual salary of $47,240 and $40,780 respectively.
Although administrative assistants can find employment in nearly every industry, the greatest percentage, around 14 percent, work in local, state, or private educational service settings to perform supportive tasks for the entire school community.
Other administrative assistants are employed at hospitals, physicians’ offices, government agencies, law firms, and corporations. Some are also self-employed to work from the comfort of a home office as virtual assistants for multiple clients over the Internet. Most administrative assistants across the various settings are employed on a full-time basis during normal business hours.
Overall, the employment for administrative assistants is expected to grow about as fast as the national average for all other professions at a rate of 12 percent between 2010 and 2020. However, job prospects with vary greatly depending on the occupational setting. For instance, administrative assistants can expect the most promising outlook by specializing in delivering supportive services in the medical industry. Due to the increase in need for healthcare to serve the aging population, there is predicted to be a skyrocketing growth of 41 percent for medical secretaries, thus creating 210,200 new jobs in the thriving healthcare industry alone.