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What Is an Administrative Assistant and How to Become One


What Do Administrative Assistants Do?

Administrative Assistants perform various clerical duties in a company depending on the specific position and employer. Responsibilities may include filing paperwork, scheduling appointments, data entry, answering the phone, greeting visitors, and generally providing support to other people in the office. An Administrative Assistant job is great for those who enjoy working with people and being that go-to person within a company.

How to Become an Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant positions are available in almost every industry, from education, government, and law to healthcare and business. This is a key role within a company, as you're often the first face clients see when they come to the office. You won’t need extensive experience to get your foot in the door. A high school diploma is often required, but some employers may also prefer a bachelor’s degree. If you do not have prior administrative or office experience, consider pursuing a typing course and perhaps a basic accounting course. Seek entry-level or temporary positions to help you gain practical experience, or develop your professional office skills and work as a receptionist for a year or two. You will need to demonstrate fundamental computer competencies and be exceptional at communicating via phone and email.

Top 10 Skills Needed for Administrative Assistants

Do your skills line up with what hiring managers are looking for when they are reviewing resumes for a Administrative Assistant position? ZipRecruiter scanned over 9,000,000 job postings and created a list of the most commonly required abilities for Administrative Assistants below.

Based on our assessment, mastering the skills below and listing them on your resume is critical in getting your Administrative Assistant job application to the top of the stack.

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Attention to Detail
  3. Scheduling
  4. Clerical Skills
  5. MS Office
  6. Customer Service
  7. Data Entry
  8. Coordinating
  9. Office Management
  10. Secretarial

Are Office Assistant Jobs Rewarding?

Working as an Administrative Assistant can be incredibly rewarding. You help out on a wide variety of projects in many departments and can make a meaningful difference across the entire organization. Particularly for people who love stepping up to the plate and lending a helping hand to others in the office, a position as an Administrative Assistant can be a great option.

How Do I Get an Administrative Assistant Job With No Experience?

Administrative Assistant jobs requiring no experience are available. Typically, most positions require a high school diploma or a GED certificate, and occasionally, employers prefer that applicants have an associate degree. You can volunteer at an organization that may need administrative work to get some experience, or you may participate in classes or certification programs to help set you apart from the competition. Administrative Assistants work in a wide variety of industries and offices. You can find employment nearly anywhere—from medical offices to manufacturers.

Administrative Assistant Job Description Sample

With this Administrative Assistant job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Administrative Assistant role.

Job Summary

We are seeking an organized and proactive Administrative Assistant to join our organization. When guests arrive at the office, you will greet them and determine the reason for their visit. You will support our staff with clerical duties, including answering phones, making copies, and organizing files. When necessary, you will also input information into our database to ensure our electronic files are updated. We prefer candidates who have some administrative support experience, but we are willing to train the right person.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Welcome and greet clients and office guests
  • Support office staff and executives with clerical tasks
  • Plan and schedule meetings, presentations, other office-related events, and travel arrangements; send reminders regarding upcoming appointments
  • Answer phones in a professional manner and direct calls to appropriate persons or take detailed messages
  • Type out paper and electronic correspondence and prepare outgoing mail and packages for executives
  • Help prepare presentation materials
  • Monitor and maintain office equipment and supplies; request repair or restocking when necessary
  • Ensure office is kept clean and organized at all times

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • 1+ years of experience as an administrative assistant a plus
  • Fast, proficient, and accurate typist
  • Proficient with Microsoft Suite and common office equipment
  • Excellent customer service and communication skills
  • Self-starter who works well independently
  • Professional demeanor