What are Some Different Administrative Assistant Careers?

Debra Bacon

Administrative assistant careers impact industries such as financial management, human resources, office management, and insurance. The administrative assistant is considered support staff to executive and other management team members. Within the scope of administrative assistant careers one has many choices in relation to challenge and accomplishment, depending on background and training.

Administrative assistants commonly work in an office setting.
Administrative assistants commonly work in an office setting.

Administrative assistant training is available through technical schools, major colleges, and for some, on-the-job training. The complexity, detail, and professionalism required for those interested in administrative assistant careers often makes formal training necessary. The executive administrative assistant supports the executive staff of an organization and can be responsible for travel arrangements, the development and presentation of complex reports, meeting organization, and calendars. In this role, the assistant may supervise other administrative staff.

An administrative assistant typically fields phone calls and greets clients.
An administrative assistant typically fields phone calls and greets clients.

A generalist can fill many levels afforded the administrative assistant, because of experience and knowledge of various industries and corporate cultures. For example, administrative management in an office environment generally requires an experienced, high-level administrative assistant. The high-level assistant may have a title such as Key Administrator or Office Manager, yet be coded in an organizations human resources system as an administrative assistant, with a level. These levels are generally numbers tied to pay scale and role, such as managers, and are positions most often desired when considering administrative assistant careers.

Support assistants are generally beginning their administrative assistant career path or have been working in their field of expertise for just a few years. Responsibilities in this role can include report generation, tables and chart creation, and data entry. They may also transcribe and write letters, and handle other mail tasks.

Receptionists are considered to be administrative assistants, and generally come under the category of support assistants. Typically, a receptionist can be responsible for answering multi-line phone systems, taking messages, and greeting guests at an organization. There may also be some light typing, filing, and other tasks, as assigned by a supervisor.

Career counselors and administrative recruiters can be a valuable resource when looking for administrative assistant jobs. These resources can provide leads to available positions, as well as offer suggestions for further training. They can also assist in determining which skill sets need honing when striking out on a search for administrative assistant jobs.

Administrative assistant careers can include recruiting or counseling positions as a professional advances in the field. Through on-the-job training and other outside education, such as seminars or classes at a local college, the administrative assistant can propel to higher paying positions with more responsibility. A friendly demeanor and good people skills can help an administrative assistant fulfill his or her desired career goals.

An administrative assistant may only work for one executive.
An administrative assistant may only work for one executive.

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