Commonly referred to as secretaries, administrative assistants perform a wide range of clerical duties that are essential for running an organization smoothly and efficiently.
While specific job duties tend to vary greatly depending on the individual’s place of employment, administrative assistants are generally responsible for assisting with all day-to-day operational matters, from organizing files to scheduling appointments and preparing documents.
Daily Duties for Administrative Assistants:
- Answering telephones and receiving messages or transferring calls
- Scheduling upcoming appointments and updating calendars
- Arranging staff meetings and preparing meeting minutes or meeting notes
- Creating and maintaining organized office filing systems
- Sending incoming and receiving outgoing mail appropriately
- Drafting routine memos, billing invoices, documents, reports, and presentations
- Editing company correspondence to ensure document accuracy
- Performing basic bookkeeping functions
- Managing inventory of assets and supplies to monitor critical levels of stocks
- Coordinating between departments to resolve administrative or operational issues
Administrative Assistant Job Description
What do administrative assistants do? Holding nearly four million jobs in the United States, administrative assistants can be handling an office’s administrative activities in nearly every industry of the economy. However, administrative assistants can find the most employment opportunities in private corporations, legal firms, hospitals or other medical facilities, schools, and government agencies.
Most administrative assistants are employed full-time, but some may be able to find part-time opportunities depending on the sector. Assistants who are hired to work from a home office and provide support to multiple clients in different industries on a contract basis often have the most flexibility in their scheduling. During their workday, administrative assistants normally work in office settings to interact with clients, executives, customers, and other staff.
Skills Needed to Be an Administrative Assistant
While most administrative assistants qualify for entry-level positions with a high school diploma, those who work in the medical or legal field may need to learn industry-specific knowledge by attending a certificate or associate’s degree program. Due to their daily tasks, it is important that all administrative assistants have solid background knowledge in basic office functions, computer skills, business terminology, professionalism, and English grammar.
In order to be successful as an administrative assistant, individuals must possess strong interpersonal skills for effectively interacting with others to create a positive work environment, organizational skills to keep files in proper order for smooth office functioning, and writing skills to compose memos with accuracy and a professional tone. Administrative assistants must also have integrity when handling sensitive information that must be kept confidential to protect client or patient privacy.