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

Virginia College

Take your life in an exciting new direction with an education from Virginia College! Graduates of Virginia College can be confident in the skills and training that they’ve received because programs are designed for their success. Virginia College focuses on the needs of the job market of each industry, creating programs that meet the needs of students and future employees alike.

Virginia College provides the convenience of flexible class schedules with the benefits of small class sizes. Financial aid is available for those who qualify, helping open doors for everyone who wants to improve his or her education and opportunities!

Virginia College provides a number of choices in order to offer you the education that best fits your needs and goals, from diploma and associate degree programs to bachelor degree programs at some locations. Virginia College’s school of business management even offers graduate degrees at select campuses. Programs are also offered in a number of different fields, providing choices as varied as graphic design degrees or paralegal studies. Whether you’re interested in criminal justice schools or a cosmetology college, Virginia College has a choice that’s right for you!

Classes Start April 6, 2016!

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Keiser University

For over 35 years, 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 dependants. Yellow Ribbon program participant, approved for Veterans training

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.

Keiser University is a private, not-for-profit university.

Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.

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Florida Career College

At Florida Career College, we encourage our students to achieve their highest potential. We understand that each student learns and grows at their own pace. Our goal is to successfully prepare you for new career opportunities. We are the college that cares.

Whether you’re interested in a career in healthcare, computers, cosmetology or trades, FCC is here for you! With real world equipment and training facilities, students have the added advantage of gaining hands-on experience.

Our instructors are knowledgeable in their fields and dedicated to helping you succeed. Our career services department is dedicated to helping you find a job! Many of the programs can be completed in as little as 8-9 months!*

If you don’t have your High School Diploma, ask us about your options! As a student in one of our eligible career pathway programs, you’ll have the opportunity to earn your High School Diploma while you complete your career training! Best of all, the opportunity to complete high school is available to you at no additional cost!**

Our schools are accredited and ready to get you started on your path to success.

Financial Aid is available for those who qualify!

**Not all programs are eligible.

Not all programs available at all locations.

*Timing varies by program. FCC – Boynton Beach, Hialeah, Jacksonville, Lauderdale Lakes, Margate, Miami, Orlando, Pembroke Pines, Tampa, and West Palm Beach are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

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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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ASA College

ASA College specializes in offering a superior value in higher education, with programs that balance traditional academic preparation with professional training and hands-on experience. 80% of Graduating Students get into the career field of their choice and many go on to advanced degrees!

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