Career Profile: Administrative Assistant

By Brenda on January 27th, 2012


They are the gatekeepers of power. The ones who have access to the big boss. They often have a say in making decisions that affect the entire company. Who are these people? They are administrative assistants.

As you can see, administrative assistants are an important part of any organization. The career has been around for years and will always be in demand. For many students it is a great career and major choice because it allows them to start their career without attending post secondary training for years and years.

Post secondary training for administrative assistants is readily available on campus or online. On campus programs are typically available at community college, career schools, and technical training centers. Most programs confer two-year associate degrees or short term diplomas or certificates.

Students enrolling in these programs engage in a lot of hands-on learning based on curricula that are designed to focus on the job skills needed to be successful on the job. Unlike many baccalaureate programs, these job focused programs’ main goal is job readiness and competence.

The classes you may engage in as an administrative assistant major include:

  • Word processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Database management
  • Presentation software
  • Business correspondence
  • Office machines
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Office management
  • Note-taking

In addition to taking classes, most programs have an internship component where students can practice skills in a real world business environment. This component typically happens near the end of the program.

Some programs may include job placement assistance. The program staff will assist you with learning interviewing skills, resume writing skills, and job search skills. They do not guarantee job placement in the field, but students generally have much better odds in securing employment when they participate.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the administrative assistant career field is expected to grow at a rate of 11% through 2018. This rate is about as fast as the average career. Administrative assistant positions can be found in every industry and sector of the economy. Graduates can expect job completion to be high. Those with postsecondary training and some experience will find it easier to get hired. The average pay for an administrative assistant in 2008 was $40,000 per year. Salaries and wages vary greatly depending on location, industry, education, and experience.

According to labor economists, a new career path is becoming increasingly viable – the virtual administrative assistant. The advent of the internet and other technology has allowed companies to hire assistants to work from home. These organizations may include large corporations or small one-person sole proprietorships. This allows the individual to work from home. These positions may not have set hours or benefits.




Category: Associates Degrees,Business and Management,Careers and Employment,Certificates,Degrees,Diplomas,Online Degrees