Every Industry Needs Administrative Assistants

Virtual assistants and in-office administrative assistants keep things running.

Administrative assistants are the backbones of many organizations, the unsung heroes who are critical for smooth workplace operations and company success. If you’re considering working as an administrative assistant, here are the things you need to know. On average, administrative assistants in the United States earn $17 an hour, and and virtual assistants earn more with $25.00 an hour.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups administrative assistants with secretaries, and states that in 2014, more than 3.9 million admin assistants and secretaries worked in the U.S. It expects there will be 118,800 new jobs in the field between 2014 and 2024. They work in a number of industries, including education, health care, government, and legal services.



Administrative Assistant Typical Duties

Working as an administrative assistant is seen as a good choice for generalists due to the wide range of tasks these professionals perform. While responsibilities can vary from industry to industry, typical days are spent:

  • Organizing and maintaining digital and paper files
  • Creating or typing reports and other documents
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Answering emails, telephone calls, and written correspondence
  • Greeting visitors to workplace
  • Monitoring stock levels and ordering new supplies
  • Organizing company travel
  • Basic account keeping and financial work

Administrative assistants are crucial for business success; they work behind the scenes to keep the office running smoothly. Those who keep their cool under pressure and have the technical prowess to keep up with ever-changing business practices will find the most success as an administrative assistant.

Administrative Assistant Working Environment

As they are often required to greet clients and customers, they must wear professional dress which is neat and tidy. Much work is performed sitting down at the admin assistant’s own workstation.



Landing Work as an Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants typically only need a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some industries may require secondary training.

Roles like these are among the most commonly advertised, so finding potential new jobs should be easy. Your resume will stand out if you highlight a wide range of skills and experience you can bring to the role.

To ace your interview, research common interview questions and have answers prepared. During the interview, talk up your hard skills, like experience with computers, software, and travel coordination. Don’t forget to highlight soft skills too, like organizational abilities, persistence, and ability to handle stress. Remember to speak positively about your relationships with previous employers and senior staffers.

Jobs related to virtual assistant:

  • Data entry
  • Virtual assistant
  • Office assistant
  • Personal assistant
  • Secretary
  • Manager
  • Assistant
  • Administrative
  • Office manager
  • File clerk
  • Executive assistant

Career Potential for Administrative Assistants

While many people enjoy working as an administrative assistant for the duration of their careers, others use this role as a springboard for other career opportunities. Working as an administrative assistant can be a stepping stone to many roles, including office manager, project coordinator, project manager, and business analyst.

People with job-specific knowledge may also use their insight to pursue a seemingly unrelated role after more training. For example, an administrative assistant working for a school may become trained as a teacher.

To advance your career, you should network with people further up the career ladder. Formalize your qualifications in skills you already have or want to develop and revamp your resume to highlight skills necessary in the role you want.

With plentiful jobs across a range of industries, working as an administrative assistant makes a good choice for people with a range of clerical skills.

Salaries for Assistants

For an administrative assistant, the hourly wage averages $17.00, while a virtual assistant can earn $25.00 an hour.

Administrative assistants in the financial sector usually command the highest salaries, especially in the areas of hedge funds, investment banking, and mergers and acquisition. Administrative assistants in the legal industry are also well compensated. In contrast, administrative assistants working in fashion, advertising, and publishing typically earn the lowest salaries, although these roles can come with other perks like clothing allowances and concert tickets.

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