What is an Administrative Assistant?

An administrative assistant, sometimes referred to as an office clerk, secretary, or receptionist, is someone who performs routine clerical and organizational tasks. They organize files, draft messages, schedule appointments and support other staff. Although administrative assistants work in nearly every industry, many are concentrated in schools, hospitals, government agencies, and legal and medical offices.

What does an Administrative Assistant do?

An administrative assistant performs routine clerical and organizational tasks, such as organizing files, drafting messages, scheduling appointments and supporting other staff.

Administrative assistants use computer software to create spreadsheets, compose messages, manage databases, and produce presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, manage stockrooms or corporate libraries, and get data from various sources. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

The work of an administrative assistant typically involves the following:

  • Maintain paper and electronic filing systems for records and messages
  • Route and distribute incoming mail and email
  • Answer routine letters and email
  • Reply and attach files to incoming messages
  • Correct spelling and grammar to ensure accuracy
  • Operate fax machines, videoconferencing and phone systems, and other office equipment
  • Use computers for spreadsheet, word processing, database management, and other applications
  • Complete forms in accordance with company procedures

Are you suited to be an administrative assistant?

Administrative assistants have distinct personalities. They tend to be conventional individuals, which means they’re conscientious and conservative. They are logical, efficient, orderly, and organized. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.

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What is the workplace of an Administrative Assistant like?

Although administrative assistants work in nearly every industry, many are concentrated in schools, hospitals, government agencies, and legal and medical offices. Most work full time in comfortable office settings. Virtual assistants typically work from a home office.

Administrative Assistants are also known as:
Secretary