Being an administrative assistant can be an exciting and well-paying position. While some administrative assistant jobs require industry specific training, a high school diploma opens the door to this career. Salary depends on the type of work you do and the geographical location where you do it.
What Is an Administrative Assistant?
An office has administrative procedures that are necessary to keep it running. Overall, an administrative assistant handles the procedures. It may involve clerical work, scheduling appointments, sending emails or organizing the workload. Depending on the type of office, the job may vary.
Types of Administrative Assistant Jobs
There are as many types of administrative assistants as there are industries. There are entry-level jobs and executive ones. Government administrative assistants work on Capitol Hill as assistants to Senators and Congressmen, and others work for governmental agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security and the Postal Service.
Some administrative assistants work in medical or dental offices and hospitals. Medical administrative assistants might greet and help interview patients, utilize computer programs to make sure each clinician has what is needed when patients arrive and oversee office compilation of medical records. Legal administrative assistants often learn to write up legal documents such as subpoenas and motions for attorneys in the law firm aside from general office duties.
Administrative assistants are required to have a high school education for an entry-level position. Administrative assistants who work in the medical or legal field may need extra training over several months, often provided by the employer. The more specialized the office, the greater the need for training. In fact, some legal and medical assistants take courses designed to help them understand the complexities of medical or legal work.
Executive administrative assistants often need years of experience before being hired and may be expected to have a college degree. Overall, computer skills are an important part of the job. Advancement is common as an administrative assistant becomes more adept at handling job tasks.
Certification in this field is available. It is possible to earn a Certified Administrative Professional award after two to four years of administrative assistant experience. Accredited Legal Professional certification is also awarded depending on years of experience.
Availability of Administrative Assistant Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Administrative Assistants of all types is expected to grow 12 percent by 2020. The number of jobs in various industries will differ according to need.
Administrative Assistant Salary
The salary an administrative assistant draws varies according to the geographical area of the country and the industry within which he or she works. Legal administrative assistants earn an average of $48,000 per year with a low of $27,000 to a high of $65,000. Medical administrative assistants make $43,000 to $70,000 annually. The median salary for general office administrative assistants is an average of $30,000.
Geographic location plays a big role in salary. Administrative assistants in Trenton, New Jersey and Boston, Massachusetts make about $45,000 and $44,000 respectively. District of Columbia workers earn around $42,000 while those in San Francisco make an average of $43,000.
Finding an Administrative Assistant Job
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