Administrative Assistant Duties and Required Skills

Administrative assistants are primarily responsible for coordinating the operational tasks of any office, ranging from medical and legal firms to schools and . The specific duties and required skills of an administrative assistant change based on their place of employment and level of expertise, but generally include a combination of clerical and managerial tasks.



The advent of technology in the modern office has greatly expanded the role of the administrative assistant, and many employers now expect job applicants to possess strong computer skills along with basic administrative training. In the past, the majority of administrative assistants honed their skills through on-the-job experience. However, with the demand for administrative assistants currently booming, interested candidates should master the basic duties of an administrative assistant prior to looking for employment.

Basic Duties & Skills

The basic duties of an administrative assistant have remained largely unchanged since the professionals were known as “secretaries”. Their main responsibility is to keep their place of employment running smoothly, thus all of their duties relate back to the operational proceedings of an office. These duties may include scheduling meetings, answering phones, managing databases, disseminating information (through email and internal memos), creating spreadsheets, generating reports, ordering equipment, and working with clients or customers.

The basic skills of an administrative assistant are directly related to the tasks they will be expected to perform. The most essential skill for an administrative assistant is communication. Successful administrative assistants are highly-skilled in typing, writing, grammar, punctuation, and oral communication (which means speaking clearly and correctly on the telephone). Interpersonal skills and client relations are also of paramount importance. Administrative assistants should also be highly organized individuals – their entire job is based around organization! Other skills include good judgement, punctuality, initiative, a good work ethic, and managerial skills.

In addition, employers now expect administrative assistants to have extensive knowledge of computer software. Programs may vary based on the employer, but usually cover word processing, desktop publishing, report generation, project management, and other such relevant applications. Individuals interested in a career as an administrative assistant should brush up on their computer skills in order to make a good impression during the application period! The most versatile candidates are the most attractive to employers.

Specific Duties & Skills

Administrative assistants enjoy a large amount of flexibility in their career path. Just as there are many different kinds of offices, there are many types of administrative assistants with expertise in a particular field. The specific duties of certain types administrative assistants are directly related to the professionals they serve. Though their duties are often clerical in nature, the tasks require a more precise skill set to perform. The most major fields that require administrative assistants with specialized training are medicine and law.

Medical administrative assistants must be aware of medical terminology and procedures in order to effectively do their job. They must be knowledgeable of medical ethics, billing, equipment, and other such operational tasks inherent to the medical field. As assistants to physicians and medical scientists, medical administrative assistants are skilled in researching, writing, preparing reports, and creating presentations as well.

Legal administrative assistants, like their medical counterparts, work in a highly specialized field and therefore must have working knowledge of the law and legal procedures in order to gain employment. They assist lawyers and other legal professionals by composing legal papers such as briefs, motions, and subpoenas. These technical documents can only be prepared by an administrative assistant with a solid background in legal terminology and proceedings.
 
 

Top Administrative Assistant Schools

Keiser University

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.

At Keiser University, you will find a warm, friendly community with faculty and staff truly committed to your success. Our small class sizes, individualized attention, and one-class-at-a-time schedules create a positive learning environment where you can excel. Whether your goal is to prepare for a new career or to advance with your current employer, Keiser University is designed around your needs.

Keiser University Advantage

  • Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs
  • Day, Evening, and Online Classes
  • Financial Aid to Those Who Qualify
  • Job Placement Assistance Available
  • Military-friendly, scholarships for qualified active duty personnel, Veterans, and dependents. Yellow Ribbon program participant, approved for Veterans training Keiser University is a private, not-for-profit university.

Keiser University’s programs and curriculum remain in-line with technology and workforce trends, helping you develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in today’s job market. Our career-focused programs make it possible for you to graduate in less time than you may think.
Programs and delivery format vary by campus. Courses are subject to change.

Keiser University’s programs and curriculum remain in-line with technology and workforce trends, helping you develop the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in today’s job market. Our career-focused programs make it possible for you to graduate in less time than you may think.

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Virginia College

The Most Direct Path to Your New Career

Our Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs emphasize a fast and focused method without sacrificing the quality education that students and employers demand. We constantly research the job market to make certain we are offering those career programs in which the greatest job growth is expected. We proudly offer the most direct path to your new career! To find out more, complete the Request More Information form or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

Career Placement Assistance

Once you have the degree, do you know how to begin your new career? Maybe you’re looking for a new profession, or just want to move ahead in the one that you already have. At Virginia College, our Career Development associates stand ready to assist you in obtaining or enhancing your career wherever you are…helping you with job placement services well beyond graduation! To find out more, complete the Request for More Information or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

Financial Aid Available for Those Who Qualify

One of the first questions many of our prospective students ask is, “How will I pay for college?” The answer is the right combination of financial aid programs that can help you manage the costs involved in obtaining your degree. The Financial Aid department at Virginia College is prepared to discuss how a combination of scholarships, Pell grants, and student loans are available to those who require assistance and qualify. It can be a complicated process, but we are here, ready to help you make the best decisions. To find out more, complete the Request More Information form or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

Day and Night Class Schedules

Sometimes it is very difficult to return to school, balancing job, family and other commitments in your busy life. That is why Virginia College offers day and night class scheduling. Many of your classes may be available on line as well, so you can take them anytime, anywhere, so long as you have a reliable Internet connection. To find out more, complete the Request More Information form or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

Small Class Sizes

Virginia College specializes in individual attention for our students. We have found the best learning environment includes smaller classes, taught by instructors with real-world experience. Many of them work in the fields in which they teach so they bring real-life situations to the classroom and lab. We know many of our students have had varying experiences with attending college in the past. We make sure you are not just a number, and take a personal interest in your success! To find out more, complete the Request More Information form or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

No Hidden Fees

You know exactly what your education will cost—up front and in detail! There are no hidden or unexpected add-on fees (some programs may require that you purchase specialized items or pay one-time fees, but you know about those from the start). In most cases, even your textbooks are included in the total price. This alone can make hundreds of dollars of difference per quarter. Keep this in mind when comparing costs at Virginia College to other schools! To find out more, complete the Request More Information form or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

Personalized Service Centered Around the Student

Ever feel like some schools are more concerned with the faculty than the student? At Virginia College, we’re focused on student satisfaction and outcomes. Personalized service and attention from professionals in academics, technology, financial planning and career developement surround the students to help them achieve their specific goals. To find out more, complete the Request More Information form or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

Instructors with Real-World Experience

Instructors from Virginia College are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields. These are the people you want to learn from to be a success in the same career. At Virginia College, our instructors don’t just teach a course, they LIVE it. To find out more, complete the Request More Information form or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

A Variety of Degree Programs

Virginia College has degree offerings in areas that provide our graduates with skills that are highly valued by today’s employers. Business, criminal justice, paralegal, healthcare, technology and even culinary arts are a few of the Associate’s, Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees available. To find out more, complete the Request More Information form or call and talk with an Admissions Representative at the Virginia College campus nearest you.

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Elmira Business Institute

Take the fast track to your future at Elmira Business Institute!

Learn how you can get the training you need to begin a rewarding career in a field of high-demand. Complete and submit the form and one of our Admissions Representatives will be in touch soon to tell you more.

Advantages offered by Elmira Business Institute include:

  • Financial aid available for those who qualify
  • Accelerated, career-centered training in a wide range of industries
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Tuition planning
  • Lifetime career assistance
  • Two convenient campus locations

Complete one of EBI’s Certificate Programs:

  • Business
  • Accounting
  • General Business
  • General Office Assistant
  • Small Business Management
  • Medical
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Coding and Billing
  • Medical Office Assistant

Earn your Associate Degree:

  • Business
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Office Technologies
  • Medical
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Coding and Reimbursement Specialist

EBI holds Accreditation through New York State Board of Regents, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

EBI is proud to support our country’s veterans and has been approved for veterans benefits.

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