Administrative Assistant - Training & Careers

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Administrative Assistant Behind the power suit and tie; behind the high sales figures; behind each new innovation; behind every new deal, there is an administrative assistant that makes it all possible.

What is an administrative assistant?

Administrative assistants are the backbone of most organizations. As a secretary or administrative assistant, you might not get a lot of glory and fame, but you will be an invaluable asset to your company. If you do your job effectively, your employer will not be able to function without your help. In essence, you become indispensable.

What skills do I need if I want to become an administrative assistant?

Your exact job duties and skills will vary greatly depending on the industry and organization. However, you'll probably need to brush up on your typing, organization, correspondence, and basic research skills.

As a secretary or administrative assistant , you basically provide support to a person or group of people. Thus, you might find yourself photocopying one day, doing Internet research another day, drafting letters another day, and planning major conferences the next. It tends to be pretty diverse and interesting work.

Training and job outlook for secretaries

Unless you are a speed typist and know all of the major office software packages, you'll probably need to brush up on your skills by going back to school for a bit. True, many administrative assistants have no formal training, but employers increasingly require a broad range of skills and duties. This is especially important given that the Department of Labor's job outlook for the administrative assistant is not terribly encouraging. It predicts that this occupation will grow more slowly than the national average for other occupations. However, it also points out that job prospects will be favorable for those who have extensive knowledge of different software applications.