Today’s typical administrative assistant position has evolved since the “Mad Men” days. These days, it is no longer enough to be able to answer the phone and take messages. The modern administrative assistant can often be expected to do a wide range of different tasks that can include everything from responding to emails to making international travel plans and so much more. On top of all the clerical duties, many administrative assistants serve as the “gatekeeper” for the office, as they are the first person a visitor will see on entering. Because of the increased level of expectations, it’s becoming more and more difficult to secure a job in this growing field without some sort of training or education. At Stellar Career College in Modesto, California, we offer 10, 18, and 36 week administration courses to teach you the skills employers are looking for.
Standard administrative assistant tasks include:
- Secretarial duties like data entry, record-keeping, office correspondence (including phone, email, fax, and in-person), and inventory/ordering
- Customer service tasks such as providing directions and answering questions that range from simple to complex
- Accounting tasks from billing to payroll and more
However, please note that this is a very broad overview. Generally speaking, most administrative assistants will be expected to have strong interpersonal skills and a sturdy base knowledge of computer systems. Beyond that, office administration tasks will vary depending on the industry, so you will want to look into specific skills needed if you want to work in a certain area.
SALARY & BENEFITS
According to Glassdoor.com, the national average salary for an administrative assistant starts around $33,000 a year—but even better, the average salary here in Modesto is even higher, at about $40,000 a year. You can use the link above to filter by location and get a more specific idea of administrative assistant salaries in your area.
Benefits will vary by company, but you can generally expect the standard benefits package to apply:
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance coverage or employer assistance for the cost
- Life insurance coverage or matching
- Retirement savings, possibly with employer matching
A wide variety of different industries need administrative assistance, so there is plenty of room for growth, as long as you have the necessary skills. From a starting administrative assistant position, you can feasibly transition into careers like office manager, executive assistant, office administrator, or executive assistant to the CEO. With additional training, it is also possible to transition to Human Resources positions.
The hours will vary fairly widely based on the company, which is great because of the flexibility this provides for your schedule. A salaried position working in office administration for a law firm can generally expect the typical 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with potential for overtime on occasion. Or, for a business open 24-hours a day, an administrative assistant may be needed to work evenings or overnight shifts.
The general qualifications needed for an administrative position include communications skills and a solid foundation in computer use and standard software. Digital data entry, record keeping, and correspondence are some of the standard skills needed, so a successful administrative assistant will need to know how to use the Microsoft suite of products, including Office, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. In addition, successful candidates will be able to display customer service skills and a basic office administration knowledge.
To learn the skills you need to start your career as an administrative assistant, Stellar Career College can help! In terms of administrative assistant training, we offer a Administrative Assistant I course and Administrative Assistant II training. Contact our advisers today to learn more about the courses and sign up for administration courses so you can get into this growing career field!