Administrative Assistants keep offices running smoothly by performing a variety of administrative duties, such as filing, planning, report writing, and office management and coordination. In some cases, especially in smaller companies, Administrative Assistants may also take care of Human Resources tasks, in areas such as accounting, recruiting, and logistics.
The main difference between Administrative Assistants and Executive Assistants is the person or group of people to whom they report. Executive Assistants provide personalized assistance to one specific individual, while Administrative Assistants work for a whole team, department, or office. Of course, their workload and responsibilities will vary accordingly. Administrative Assistants’ tasks are usually more clerical-oriented and less self-driven than the ones carried out by Executive Assistants. The Administrative Assistant’s work also benefits all business operations, rather than solely contributing to the executives’ efforts.
On another note, the term “Assistant” has been slowly replacing the term “Secretary”, which is, in most cases, considered an outdated and inadequate term.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Administrative Assistants are required to complete.
- Greeting and directing visitors.
- Handling all incoming and outgoing mail, calls, emails, and faxes:
- Continuously monitoring, responding to and forwarding incoming emails;
- coordinating messenger and courier service with preferred vendors;
- receiving, sorting, and distributing daily incoming mail to staff; and
- tracking and returning client submittals (e.g. drawings and reports).
- Creating, maintaining, and reviewing office documents, such as invoices, reports, memos, data sheets, and other administrative records:
- Conducting research and generating reports by collecting data from various tools and/or consolidating it into reports;
- typing, proofreading, and distributing general correspondence; and
- updating and maintaining existing procedures and guides, as well as phone lists, mailing lists, and other contact lists.
- Filing and organizing paper and electronic documents, such as emails, invoices, reports, and other administrative records:
- Converting paper documents to digital using a scanner; and
- assisting with data entry and database maintenance.
- Scheduling and coordinating professional meetings, interviews, appointments, and other similar activities and events:
- Maintaining a calendar and coordinating the workflow and meetings;
- preparing meeting agendas as to maximize time efficiency;
- booking conference rooms and other meeting locations;
- securing venues and coordinating catering and other logistics when planning bigger events;
- taking notes during meetings and writing and distributing summaries; and
- handling travel arrangements for company executives.
- Interacting with customers and third parties, keeping track of their files, and addressing their complaints and requests in a timely manner:
- Performing follow-up and regular maintenance of client relationships;
- preparing and delivering documents to clients requesting project information and follow-up; and
- ensuring current projects are completed within deadlines.
- Maintaining office coordination and resolving administrative problems and inquiries:
- Arranging for repair and maintenance of office equipment;
- ordering missing supplies and maintaining inventory, replacing materials and equipment as needed or instructed; and
- completing expense reports.
- Ensuring work area is maintained in a clean and orderly manner.
- Ensuring the office runs smoothly.
- Filing and organizing paper and electronic documents, such as emails, invoices, reports, and other administrative records.
- Handling all incoming and outgoing mail, calls, emails, and faxes.
- Creating and distributing documents.
- Managing customer inquiries.
- Performing searches and providing information.
- Scheduling meetings.
The average Administrative Assistant salary is $39,031 per year or $20 per hour. This is around 1.2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $27,000 while most experienced workers make up to $55,000. These results are based on 3,412 salaries extracted from job descriptions.