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Administrative Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Administrative Assistant, sometimes referred to as a Clerical Assistant, is a position dedicated to helping professionals in a given industry. While the duties may change depending on the company, in general, Administrative Assistants perform clerical duties, manage workflow, schedule appointments and serve as the main point of contact for an office.

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Administrative Assistant duties and responsibilities

An Administrative Assistant usually performs tasks for the person they work directly under, such as:

  • Serving as the main point of contact
  • Scheduling meetings and travel
  • Answering calls and correspondences
  • Ensuring deadlines are met
  • Acting as a liaison between other professionals in the office
  • Creating a general workflow

An Administrative Assistant may also be responsible for tasks specific to office management, such as:

  • Maintaining office supplies
  • Enforcing office protocols and policies
  • Answering calls and other receptionist duties
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Administrative Assistant Job Description Examples:

What does an Administrative Assistant do?

In general, an Administrative Assistant deals with any and all tasks needed by the professional they directly work for. For this reason, an Administrative Assistant’s responsibilities will vary depending on the industry and the title of their direct supervisor. In addition, an Administrative Assistant’s duties may change day-to-day depending on the working environment and work ethic of the person they are assisting. In some offices, there may be a team of Administrative Assistants that work together. These responsibilities require potential candidates to have strong collaboration and people skills.

Administrative Assistant skills and qualifications

A good Administrative Assistant should have exceptional professionalism and communication skills to help the person they are assisting succeed in their given industry. Such skills may include:

  • Thorough attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication
  • Ability to work in a group and on their own
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Confidence in decision making
  • Positive attitude for greeting clients
  • Familiarity with scheduling and organisational software

Administrative Assistant experience requirements

An Administrative Assistant’s experience requirements will vary based on the scope of responsibilities needed by the office and director supervisor. A position that is one of many Administrative Assistants for a given professional or office may require a candidate with little experience who will be excited to work and grow with the company if this is a possibility. If however, if the position is for an employee to assist a high-level professional immediately, potential candidates may require more than four years experience and familiarity with the industry.

Administrative Assistant education and training requirements

Training and education requirements change depending on the level of the exact role, but in general, an Administrative Assistant requires the following:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 including English and maths
  • Telephone, typing and general IT skills

However, this position can also be available to a candidate who has completed an apprenticeship in business administration as well as some GCSEs, including English and maths.

Administrative Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Administrative Assistant is £18,691 per year. Deviations may be dependent upon experience, location and company. The typical number of hours expected of an Administrative Assistant during a regular working week might vary as well.

Job description samples for similar positions

If an Administrative Assistant isn’t exactly the role being advertised, here are similar positions and their job descriptions:

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Administrative Assistant job description FAQs

Who does an Administrative Assistant report to?

This will depend on the organisation of a company. Some companies will require each professional to have one Administrative Assistant who handles their scheduling and communication. Alternatively, an office may have more of a shared organisational structure where there are a number of Administrative Assistants who provide assistance to all the professionals in the office.

Do Administrative Assistants have different responsibilities in different industries?

Absolutely. The more general tasks like answering phone calls and scheduling remain the same. However, an Administrative Assistant in a law firm needs to be familiar with different types of protocols and industry language than, say, an assistant working in an energy company.

What is the difference between an Administrative Assistant and an Executive Secretary?

An Executive Secretary works directly with the highest-level employees of a company. The responsibilities are similar to that of an Administrative Assistant but usually require a higher level of autonomy, professionalism and familiarity with the executive corporate communications. There is also a higher level of education needed, usually 1 or 2 A levels, or a business-related foundation degree.

What makes a good Administrative Assistant job description?

A good job description is always clear, concise and makes the company sound like an appealing place to work. Be clear about the requirements an employee needs to succeed and focus on how an Administrative Assistant is crucial to making the office or company run smoothly.

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