There are certain jobs that are pretty standard roles at companies, regardless of size and mission. Among is the role of an administrative assistant, who is tasked with helping ensure the office operations run smoothly. This is different than an executive assistant, who typically has more autonomy.
Starting out your career as an administrative assistant is a good way to learn the office culture, company values and interact with multiple teams. You’ll inevitably deal with employees across the business and, potentially, visitors or customers to the company’s offices or storefront.
This kind of role puts you in a place where you can impress your boss by showing how organized, efficient, and diligent you are at tackling small tasks as they come. It can also serve as a stepping stone to other jobs internally or as a good starter job to indicate how professional and organized you are.
Here’s what you need to know about the job description for an administrative assistant
While the exact job duties for an admin assistant will inevitably vary from company to company, the role is largely consistent across the board.
So what are the typical duties of an admin assistant?
Admin assistants are largely responsible for helping take care of clerical and office administrative tasks. These can range from filing and organizing internal and external correspondence, to ordering supplies and booking travel arrangements for employees. Expect to know everything from how to refill the coffee machine, to how to fax documents, to who to contact if a light fixture goes out.
Admin assistants are also often the first point of contact between a business and potential customers or visitors to the company offices. Consider admin assistant a cross between a secretary and an office manager. In this role, you might take minutes for a meeting, print and organize paperwork for a supervisor, or maintain a database of important work processes and company policies.
Who is this job ideally for?
You’ll enjoy a role as an admin assistant if you’re someone who enjoys processes and having tasks clearly defined. Starting out your career as an administrative assistant is also usually a good way for you to develop communication skills, since you’ll inevitably be dealing with internal and external correspondence. If you’re looking to advance within a company into a business administration role or a communications role, this job could serve as a great stepping stone.
This job, however, is not for someone who isn’t self-regulating and well-organized. You’ll be dealing with a lot of coordination and correspondence across the company. Being reliable and having a preference for independent work as well as a positive, friendly attitude are important.
What are the usual job requirements?
Most companies will not require anything more than a high school diploma for the role. In order to narrow the pool of applicants, some companies might list two to three years of experience as a requirement. Evens so, almost any type of office work can help you qualify for an admin assistant job.
Hiring managers will mostly expect you to readily handle a variety of clerical office tasks. Knowledge and experience using Microsoft suite, like Word, Excel, and Outlook will typically be requirements. Aside from that, the rest of the required job skills are usually soft skills. Think: lGood communication, professionalism, reliability, and enthusiasm.
What’s the average salary like?
The base pay for an administrative assistant is $41K per year, according to data from Glassdoor. Average salaries for admin assistants, however, will inevitably vary by company, depending on the size and scope of the role. The role is mostly considered an entry-level job.
So, expect salaries to skew largely on the lower end of the spectrum. The majority of the more than 45,000 anonymous salaries submitted for admin assistants fall below that range.