Administrative Assistants: Career at a Glance
Many offices depend on the work of skilled administrative assistants. An administrative assistant, whether a medical administrative assistant or legal administrative professional, is typically responsible for organizing physical and electronic files, facilitating communications among staff and externally, managing projects, and using technology to help offices run smoothly. Expert administrative assistants possess skills in a variety of areas, such as: written and oral communications, organizing, word processing, customer service and technology applications, such as desktop publishing and spreadsheets. Executive-level administrative assistants should also be discreet, have sound judgment, and be able to work independently.
What to Know About Administration Assistant Programs and Degrees
Some administrative assistants obtain entry-level positions with a high school degree and training in office skills. Training can be offered through high school vocational education programs, or dedicated programs in office administration that take one to two years to complete. Executive-level administrative assistant jobs usually require a four-year degree. If you are interested in legal administration assisting or becoming a medical administrative aid, you may need an administration assistant degree offered in your specialty. These programs are available through community colleges and online.
Administrative Assistant Salary and Career Outlook
As of May 2008, median annual wages for administrative assistants were $40,030. Annual income breaks down among sectors as follows:
- Companies and enterprises: $45,190
- Local government: $41,880
- Colleges, universities, and professional schools: $39,220
- State government: $35,540
- Employment services: $33,820
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment for secretaries and administrative assistants will grow 11 percent from 2008 through 2018, equal to the national average for all occupations.