General Administrative Assistant: Duties, Requirements and Outlook
General administrative assistants require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.
Administrative assistants provide support for all types of organizations and businesses and their staff members. Their duties can include general clerical tasks, such as drafting documents and answering telephones, as well as administrative jobs, including scheduling and project management. They generally serve a 40-hour workweek, although some work in a temporary or part-time capacity. There are no specific education requirements, but a 1- or 2-year administrative assistant program at a vocational school or community college provides solid training to begin this career.
|Required Education||No specific requirements, but many administrative assistants complete 1- or 2-year programs|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||13% (for secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical and executive secretaries)|
|Median Salary (2013)*||$32,840 (for secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical and executive secretaries)|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Duties of General Administrative Assistants
General administrative assistants are responsible for managing projects, opening and distributing mail, organizing files and conducting general research. They may also be in charge of ordering office supplies and communicating with vendors. Other tasks include the following:
- Drafting documents and correspondence
- Preparing reports
- Providing telephone support
General administrative assistants must possess excellent typing skills, strong oral and written skills and the ability to communicate well with others. They must be able to work independently or on a team with other administrative professionals.
Knowledge of computers, databases, software and word processing programs is necessary. Assistants must also be able to operate general office equipment, such as a copy machine, fax machine, multi-line telephone system and scanner.
Though no formal college degree is required, completing a 1- or 2-year administrative assistant program provides the skills necessary to enter this career. Business schools, community colleges, technical schools and universities offer courses, certificates and associate degrees in this area.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 13% increase in employment for secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical and executive secretaries, between 2012 and 2022. New jobs were expected to be created as those currently holding positions transfer to new ones or retire (www.bls.gov).
Some administrative assistants choose to become self-employed, offering freelance virtual services. They communicate with their clients via e-mail, fax, telephone and the Internet. They perform many of the same duties as on-site administrative assistants, but from their home offices, using their own office equipment.
General administrative assistants may advance their careers by obtaining specialized certifications through various organizations, such as the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) or the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Others advance through in-house promotion to positions such as executive assistant, senior secretary or office manager.
Related to General Administrative Assistant: Duties, Requirements and Outlook
- Recently Updated
Learn about administrative assistant diploma programs. Read about program length, courses, employment prospects, salary info...
Explore the curriculum and requirements of a medical administrative assistant certificate program. Learn about the employment...
Legal administrative assistant programs are available at the certificate and associate's degree levels and offer training in...
Read about programs for medical administrative assistants and secretaries, who typically perform clerical and other related...
- Online Administrative Assistant Degree Program Information
- How to Become a Human Resources Administrative Assistant
- Be a Healthcare Administrative Assistant: Education and Career Roadmap
- Clinical Epidemiologist: Job Description, Duties, Outlook and Salary
- Retail Business Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Career Info for a Degree in Healthcare Administration
- Animal Welfare and Protection Degree and Career Information
- Bilingual Administrative Assistant: Career Options & Requirements
- Administrative Assistant Education Requirements
- Jobs Working on Radio Towers: Options, Duties and Requirements
- Physician Assistant: Overview of Education for Physician Assistants
- E-Business Consultant: Job Description, Duties and Requirements