Administrative assistants are the people responsible for most of the office work in a place of employment. These professionals improve the way that other jobs in their work places run by performing various different office duties. Administrative assistants may also be referred to as secretaries, and they have encountered an increasingly high demand in recent years. If you are looking for a new position for your future, this could be a good career for you. Here is a look at what an administrative assistant does so you can determine if this career fits your goals in life.
What Does an Administrative Assistant Do?
An administrative assistant coordinates most of the administrative duties in an office. He or she is responsible for communicating information between clients and staff members, working as a liaison of sorts so business professionals can continue with their work throughout the day. Administrative assistants often organize paperwork in an office, and they answer phones and emails that come into the place of employment. Some administrative assistants manage the travel and accommodations for business trips, and others conduct small projects given to them by their office managers.
Beyond all of this, secretaries may also be asked to buy office supplies for their places of work. They may be responsible for speaking with vendors about products for the business, and they may also schedule meetings for their employers. Many secretaries must create spreadsheets and professional reports in their work, and those reports are used to keep track of the business throughout the year. If you wanted to become an administrative assistant, you would need to be adaptable to any project your employer may need you to do throughout the day.
Equipment Administrative Assistants Use for Work
Administrative assistants use an array of office tools in their day to day work, depending on where they work and what their job duties are. Secretaries must be trained to work with fax machines, copy machines, printers, scanners, telephone systems, and computers as a whole. Some administrative assistants also use video conferencing equipment, presentation software, projectors, and other equipment in their work. If you have an understanding of most general office tools, you should not have many issues in this regard.
Types of Administrative Assistants
There are many different kinds of administrative assistants, so it is hard to pinpoint which category you may fall into in the future. Here are a few options to keep in mind as you begin to research this career in more detail:
Secretaries make up the broadest sector of administrative assistance. These professionals are hired to assist specific employees or work places in whatever way possible. They usually earn less than other administrative assistants, but they usually do not have to go through as much training to go to work. Many of them do not have any college education before applying for a job. A degree merely acts as an application enhancer, giving one a possible better chance of getting called back on an application.
Executive assistants are administrative assistants that work in the upper-levels of their work places. For example, the secretary to the president of a company would be considered an executive assistant. He or she will most likely perform fewer clerical duties when compared to a secretary at the same place of work. Executive assistants work with the high end managers of a business, and they are usually responsible for overseeing the work of other administrative assistants. If you would like to do work like this, you will at least need a bachelor’s degree.
Legal and Medical Assistants
Legal and medical assistants work in specific sectors of the job force. They are responsible for tasks that are specific to their line of work. For instance, a legal secretary will perform work similar to that of a paralegal, preparing case papers and law reports. A medical secretary will work in a hospital or clinic, much like nurse without as much medical training. If there is a specialization that you have always wanted to work with, you may be able to work as an administrative assistant within it.
Virtual assistants are administrative assistants that work from home. They perform the same basic tasks as traditional assistants, but they do so through the internet. Many businesses are beginning to hire virtual assistants nowadays to save money. If you know how to use the computer, you might be able to find work like that over time. Then you could have a chance to work with clients all over the world, depending on what they needed. With the right education, you can work almost anywhere.
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