Administrative assistants are office professionals charged with coordinating and overseeing the daily administrative tasks of a business. Industries of all kinds are hire administrative assistants to keep their offices running efficiently and on-schedule, which makes the profession uniquely flexible for job searchers. Based on their background, education and interest, administrative assistants can find employment in a number of different work places, ranging from hospitals to law firms and schools. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade, especially in the health care field.
The most basic duty of an administrative assistant is to oversee the running of an office. Core tasks are collecting and disseminating information, scheduling meetings, answering phones. Clerical duties such as typing, dictation, and mail supervision are also fulfilled by administrative assistants. The advent of technology in the office has somewhat altered the basic duties of an administrative assistant by making it easier for administrative assistants to perform tasks once reserved for management such as generating spreadsheets, creating reports, working with vendors, ordering and inspecting equipment, and speaking with directly with clients.
The specific duties of an administrative assistant depends greatly on their place of employment and direct supervisor. A medical administrative assistant will perform duties directly related to the needs of a physicians’ office or hospital. Job-specific tasks include updating patient records, filling out insurance forms, and coordinating billing. Legal administrative assistants, like medical administrative assistants, perform duties dirtily related to the legal industry. Duties include drafting memos, writing motions, subpoenas, and other technical documents. Executive administrative assistants report directly to a high-level executive and have greater responsibilities, such as preparing statistical reports. These occupations require special training and a solid background in their respective fields in order to perform.
The training necessary to launch a career as an administrative assistant depends entirely on the capacity in which you wish to work.
In the past it was possible to gain employment as an administrative assistant with only basic office skills. It is still possible to gain an entry-level secretarial position with no prior experience, however, with the widespread use of technology in the office, modern employers prefer to hire administrative assistants who possess solid computer skills along with general administrative knowledge. It is possible to complete a 1 or 2 year program in a vocational school that will prepare you for a career as an administrative assistant. Common courses are typing, bookkeeping, project management, computer technology, and other subjects commonly utilized by administrative assistants.
Medical and legal administrative assistants must undergo specialized training related to their field. Central courses cover medical and legal terminology, ethics, and procedures. Executive administrative assistants usually have a 4-year degree, as they work closely with high level executives and CEOs.
In general, employers look for organized individuals with good communication skills (such as typing and grammar). good judgement, initiative, and strong interpersonal skills. Successful administrative assistants have a versatile skill set that can translate into several work settings.
Employment prospects are universally positive for administrative assistants. Job openings are projected to increase by 11% over the next 10 years, with demand for medical administrative assistants growing the fastest. Developing industries such as construction and educational services will also contribute to job growth. Administrative assistants at the top of their field have earning potential of $50,000 or more.
Top Administrative Assistant Schools
Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused 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.
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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.