How to Become an Administrative Assistant

This article talks about how to become an Administrative Assistant. Before deciding to become an administrative assistant, it is important to be sure that the job fits the criteria expected and to establish the skills that will be required to meet the expectations of the employer.

Featured Degrees for Administrative Assistants

1. American InterContinental University – AABA – Business Administration
2. Everest University – Associate’s – Business
3. Liberty University Online – Associate of Arts – Business Administration

Details on How to Become an Administrative Assistant

how to become an administrative assistant

The title administrative assistant refers to what used to be known as a secretary. Administrative assistants increasingly assume responsibilities once reserved for managerial and professional staff, however, the main duties of the position are to perform clerical tasks and oversee the daily operations of offices. Schools, companies, government agencies, legal firms, and healthcare facilities all employ administrative assistants. Education requirements vary based on the setting and the specific position.

It is possible to obtain entry-level employment with a high school diploma or GED, however, some type of postsecondary education, such as a vocational program or associates degree is a plus. To move up the ladder does require advanced training. Medical and legal secretaries need specialized training and executive administrative assistants often have an undergraduate degree.

How to Become an Administrative Assistant through Skills Development

Basic skills that all administrative assistants need include:

Typing

  • Must be able to type with accuracy a minimum of 40 WPM (words per minute).

Communication Skills

  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills are a must.
  • Must be tactful and exercise discretion and good judgment in their dealings with people.

Writing Skills

  • Spelling, grammar, punctuation, and a basic understanding of the English language are vital.

Software Skills

  • Must have strong computer knowledge – especially regarding word, spreadsheets, databases, and email.

Time Management Skills

  • Must be efficient and effective with assigned tasks.
  • Must be adaptable and versatile within the office environment and willing to go the extra mile.

If this seems like an interesting field, the first step is to enhance the skills listed above. One option is to attend a 1 or 2 year vocational program either at a community college or online that focuses on the criteria necessary to become an administrative assistant. If returning to school is not an option, it is important to practice typing and aim for 70wpm, brush up on your computer skills, compose an error-free resume with no spelling or grammar issues, and know how to use a fax machine, photocopier, franking machine, etc. Without additional education, it will be even more important to demonstrate the skills necessary for the job to demonstrate value for the organization.

While the pay for a starting administrative assistant is not usually high, the experience can be very beneficial. Many companies offer opportunities for promotions to those who excel. Once one has landed their first job, it is important to continue seeking additional educational opportunities (there are many online options if traditional school will not work with your schedule), present a professional image through dress and communications, and go above and beyond to meet the employer’s expectations.

Currently, there are numerous positions available for administrative assistants making this a career choice with a high rate of employment and a desirable field for those just entering the workforce or looking to change careers.

Resources

How to Become a Medical Coder or Medical Biller.
Best Online Small Business Management Degree Programs

Featured Degrees for Administrative Assistants

1. American InterContinental University – AABA – Business Administration
2. Everest University – Associate’s – Business
3. Liberty University Online – Associate of Arts – Business Administration

Now that you have this information on how to become an Administrative Assistant, you should be well on your way to achieving your goals.

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