How To Become An Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants love interacting with people, have amazing organizational and writing skills and are trustworthy. In this position, you will be answering and taking messages on the phone, drafting memos and reports, arranging schedules for meetings and other events and keeping files in order. You will be using computer software to make your reports and presentations.

Administrative assistants are essential for offices to run smoothly. Executives and managers rely on them a great deal not only to schedule their appointments and compile documents but also to keep sensitive company matters confidential. They need to possess technical knowledge and organizational skills.

Why Become An Administrative Assistant

There is a sense of accomplishment in becoming an administrative assistant especially if you take pride in keeping things in order and can be relied upon as a member of a team. It is also a career that you can qualify for right after high school. Virtually every industry needs the services of administrative assistants so it’s a profession which gives you the flexibility to choose where you want to work. You can either be an office secretary, a medical secretary, legal secretary or an executive secretary. Administrative assistants can work in schools, hospitals, government, private companies and courts.

Administrative Assistant Work Environment

Administrative assistants usually work full time in offices. A computer, phones, fax machines, photocopying machines and filing cabinets are often part of the work environment of the administrative assistants. There are virtual assistants who work from their home offices and follow a more flexible work schedule. Although they rarely work long hours, administrative assistants may sometimes be required to travel with their bosses.

Administrative Assistant Salary

According to the May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor, the median hourly wage of administrative assistants and secretaries is $17.15 for a mean annual wage of $38,250. Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants earn higher hourly wages at $23.70 or annual wages of $51,870.

Average Administrative Assistant Annual Salary


The average annual salary for administrative assistants is $36,920 a year. Salaries start at $22,110 a year and go up to $54,370 a year.

Average Administrative Assistant Hourly Wage


The average hourly wage for a administrative assistant is $17.75. Hourly wages are between $10.63 and $26.14 an hour.

Stats were based out of 2,254,820 employed administrative assistants in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Administrative Assistants

Top Paying Cities For Administrative Assistants

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Administrative Assistant Career Outlook

The employment outlook of administrative assistants is forecasted to rise 12 percent in the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022. This is about as fast as the average growth rate for all occupations. However, medical secretaries are expected to be in high demand in that same period as it is predicted to rise 36 percent which is faster than the average for all kinds of work. On the other hand, the employment of legal secretaries is expected to take a 3 percent dip from 2012 to 2022.

Administrative Assistant Degree

A high school diploma is all that is needed for entry-level administrative assistant positions provided that applicants have basic office and computer skills. However, specialized training lasting a few months is usually required for those who want to become medical secretaries or legal secretaries. To demonstrate competency and increase their chances of getting hired, those who have 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience and pass a test can obtain the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification from the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

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