administrative assistant

Administrative Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

Offices all over the world are held together by a unifying thread in the company. This thread is given the title of administrative assistant. The admin assistant must be proficient in many different facets of the business, ranging from communication to finance to technical skills.

Here we will discuss what an administrative assistant is, what the position entails, how to get a job in administration, and how much you can expect to earn in the role.

What Is an Administrative Assistant?

An administrative assistant is employed to handle all administrative tasks in an office. They are responsible for ensuring the office runs smoothly. They typically report to management. They may help establish goals and direct staff to implement these goals.

Organization and communication are among the top skills this position requires. An administrative assistant must become an expert in the business and maintain very high standards of accuracy and efficiency in work. Often they will oversee time-sensitive and confidential information.

administrative assistant working

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Difference Between Admin Assistant and Secretary

Often the position titles of administrative assistant and secretary are used interchangeably, but they are actually different positions. Although both positions work in the realm of office administration and run the clerical gamut, the assistant role will have a great deal more responsibility in the office.

A secretary is often the front of the office. Admin assistants may also run the front desk from time to time, but this isn’t their primary function. Admin assistants are expected to perform with a greater sense of independence in the company. Admin assistants usually oversee a variety of long-term projects, while this is less common in secretarial work.

Admin assistants may also delegate tasks to junior employees. This is not generally an expectation for a secretary.

Necessary Skills

An administrative assistant is a multi-project handling position that involves a great deal of planning. Employers look for specific experience and skill sets on résumés that will show if a candidate is qualified for the role.

The experience and skills necessary to perform the function of the administrative assistant role adequately include:

  • Experience in administrative roles
  • Time management skills
  • Ability and willingness to multi-task
  • History of prioritizing work
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Writing skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Knowledge of supply management

  • Understanding of inventory control
  • Typing skills
  • Phone handling skills
  • Efficiency

Administrative assistants are the backbone of any office. They hold the operation together. They are often given a great deal of responsibility within the office setting. Both personal attributes and professional qualifications are required to excel in this career.

Admin assistants must possess a combination of many types of skills and be willing to behave in ways that are most conducive to a professional environment. Admin assistants are very frequently the liaison between management and staff as well as the company and clients. The role of admin assistant is diverse and challenging.

Duties & Responsibilities

administrative assistant working on something

Image from Pixabay

In an office, the role with the most diversity is typically held by an administrative assistant. Those holding this position are required to learn everything about the business. Their job is to make the office function.

The tasks involved in assisting with office administration include a variety of technical and soft skills. Here is the master list of general administrative assistant duties and responsibilities:


General Administrative Duties

Financial Duties

Travel Arrangements

Soft Skills

Technical Requirements

Career Path & Salary

pay slip

Image from Pixabay

Choosing a career path in administration is a popular choice for many individuals who are strong organizers and multi-taskers. There are millions of jobs in this particular field.

Most employers expect a combination of both schooling and experience when hiring a candidate for this role. The best way to gain experience in administration is to hold office jobs or internships in combination with attending high school or university.


To get an entry level administrative assistant position, you must first achieve a high school diploma or its equivalency. Many positions will only require completion of secondary school coupled with experience.

Other admin assistant positions require post-secondary education. There are both associate’s and bachelor’s programs catering to the field of administration. Some companies will only hire those who have earned a bachelor’s degree.

Some roles as an admin assistant will require further training, even beyond a bachelor’s degree. Fields such as law and medicine will probably require certification or further education because they work with very specific terminology. Receiving supplemental training in medical and legal technical terms will help an applicant function within the administrative role.


In 2017 there were nearly four million administrative assistant positions in the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that in the same year, the median pay for an admin assistant was $37,870, or about $18 per hour.

This is the median salary. Depending on the company, geographic location, skill set, responsibilities, and expectations, the salary for admin assistant roles can vary considerably.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports from a similar time period that a low admin assistant salary was around $21,470. The highest earners brought home around $53,000 annually.

Job Growth

The Department of Labor also reported that jobs in this field are expected to decrease by around 5% in the ten years between 2016 and 2026. The decline in positions for administrative assistants is not due to a lack of administration in businesses. Technology is rapidly developing to assist in many administrative tasks electronically. This technological trend is predicted to continue in the coming years.


If you aspire to work as an administrative assistant, it is important that you earn and gain as many of the necessary skills as possible. With such a wide variety of skills needed to perform the functions of an admin assistant effectively, it may take some time to master them all.

Although a high school diploma or its equivalency is often sufficient education for the role, employers may prefer higher education. Because it is predicted that jobs in administration will decrease in the coming years, it will likely be beneficial for you to seek additional training for your chosen career.

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