Duties of an Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants perform clerical duties in nearly every industry. Some administrative assistants, like those in the legal industry, may be more specialized than others. Read on to learn more about administrative assistant duties.

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Work Environment for Administrative Assistants

Administrative assistants provide office support to executives, managers and other professionals. Assistants may work in a variety of settings from distribution centers to law firms. Assistants often work from a desk and use a computer and the Internet throughout the course of their day.

Administrative Assistant Duties

Most administrative assistant duties revolve around managing and distributing information within an office. This generally includes answering phones, taking memos and maintaining files. Administrative assistants may also be in charge of sending and receiving correspondence, as well as greeting clients and customers.


Administrative assistants in some offices may be charged with monitoring and recording expenditures. Duties may range from creating spreadsheets to reporting expenses to an office manager. As such, some administrative assistants may be required to be knowledgeable in office bookkeeping software, such as Microsoft Excel.

Planning and Scheduling

Planning events like board meetings and luncheons may also be the responsibility of administrative assistants. This may require researching vendor prices or inquiring about participants' availability. Other duties may include scheduling appointments and preparing presentation materials.


Administrative assistants may also help office members with documentation. Aside from storing, organizing and managing files, assistants may need to type, edit and proofread documents. Some assistants may need to take dictation or record the minutes of meetings.

Specialized Administrative Assistant Duties

Administrative assistants in some fields may be required to have extensive professional knowledge. Accordingly, duties for these assistants may be more specialized. For example, legal administrative assistants may need to have a thorough understanding of legal terminology and procedures, while medical assistants may need to be well versed in dealing with insurance companies and reading medical reports.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Average employment growth of 12% was expected for secretaries and administrative assistants, from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). General secretaries and administrative assistants, not serving as legal, medical or executive secretaries, earned an annual median wage in 2012 of $32,410, states the BLS.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics