“No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.”
Do you have a passion for helping people get things done better and faster? Does it bore you to think about doing the same task day-in and day-out–taking orders and flipping burgers; or answering and making the same calls again and again?
Picture this–a morning where you show up at your own desk in the morning with a full agenda to check on and a big cup of coffee–both of which you made yourself. It’s early. You like to sneak in before anyone else so you can have a few minutes in silence–to enjoy your first few sips and settle in before the excited sounds of the office activities echo through the office–shuffling papers, footsteps, laughter, and the ringing of phones. The door swings open and it’s the CEO–the most important person in the whole company. She fiddles with her phone and adjusts her briefcase and looks up. Her impressive title, broad shoulders and confident, quick way she speaks to employees often intimidates them, and if you are going to be honest, you used to be nervous around her when you first began your job there as an administrative assistant. But not anymore. Not when you realized that it is YOU that she sees before anyone else every morning, and today is no different. She smiles and greets you by name to say,
“Good morning! So what’s on the calendar today?”
What Does an Administrative Assistant Do?
Administrative assistants go by a lot of names–executive assistant, office administrator, receptionists, secretaries, or just admin for short. No matter what you call them, they are the backbone of any organization and the most successful ones are trained and can execute on any number of tasks. They keep the office running smoothly and efficiently, and make sure important items do not fall through the cracks. Here is a list of the kinds of tasks that you might be able to expect on a daily basis as an admin:
- Creating and tracking invoices, documents, or shipments
- Researching and booking travel arrangements
- Scheduling calendar appointments
- Planning an office holiday party
- Ordering office and kitchen supplies
- Organizing paperwork and files
- Greeting, checking in, and providing refreshments for visitors
Depending on the kind of business you are working on, the tasks will vary. And that’s what makes it a line of work that never gets boring.
Types of Administrative Assistant Jobs
You could be executive assisting — helping the upper-level management employees screen calls, managing their schedules and arrangements, and reporting directly to them. You could be a personal assistant, which may be a role in which you could work from home or travel wherever your boss goes, and could include a variety of tasks that could change frequently, depending on the day or according to your employer’s industry.
Industry-specific admin roles include medical office specialist which require additional training and knowledge pertinent to health-related responsibilities.
You could be the office admin assistant which is almost always in an office environment, and is usually the first desk one sees as they walk through a company’s front door. Needless to say, friendliness and a good attitude is a must for any administrative role, as you will most likely be communicating with customers, executives, service providers, and fellow employees.
How much does an Administrative Assistant Make?
The median salary for an administrative assistant in 2017 is $39,051 per year. However, an entry-level administrative assistant salary will range between $36,200 – $38,600 annually or about $13-19 / hour (Salary.com).
So, to become an administrative assistant with no experience, what do you do?
Well, the first step might be to google “administrative assistant jobs in San Antonio” or whatever city you are in. Don’t focus so much on the number of years experience they mention. What is more important is the skills and responsibilities. If you can do what is required of the job, the number of years of experience does not matter. Look at the “Skills” part of the description.
Here are a few job postings that came up in the search:
Before you get overwhelmed with what you don’t have in a job description, instead think of what you DO have–perhaps a great ability and willingness to learn, a good attitude, and an interest in business. Those are things can’t be taught in a classroom and are very important to success.
The other skills listed give you an opportunity to open more doors by gaining the skills you need in business.
What you may have noticed in the job description above, is mention of “detail-oriented”, “fast-paced”, and be able to be software-literate. As we move faster into the digital age, there will be more of a need for employees at every-level to have proficient training in software programs such as those in the Microsoft Office suite–including Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Being certified in one or more of those programs will undoubtedly propel your resume to the top of the of the list.
You might be thinking, “Great, so how do I learn the skills to be an admin?”
There are a lot of trade schools and programs you can take to learn the skills you need, but not all of them are accredited or get you to a point where you are prepared to get your license or certifications. Southern Careers Institute, however, is accredited by the Council of Occupational Education (COE) and approved by the Texas Workforce and the Career Colleges & Schools of Texas. You should also look at the school’s track record. Last year, SCI placed over 1,300 graduates were placed in new careers.* Learn more today and don’t miss your chance to say, “I got the job!” as an administrative assistant in as little as 27 weeks.
*Based on graduates from July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 who were placed in their field or a related field in accordance with reporting guidelines for the Council on Occupational Education.