Administrative Assistant Job Description

Also known as an administrative support specialist or administrative aide.
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What is an Administrative Assistant?

The primary role of an administrative assistant is to provide office and administrative support to either an individual or a team. They organise meetings, answer telephone calls, update computer records, maintain filing, receive and send correspondence and greet clients and customers. 

An administrative assistant’s tasks may vary depending on the organisation and who they are assisting, but across pretty much all industries, their duties revolve around managing and distributing information within an office. 

Although a demanding workload at times, an administrative assistant position can be extremely rewarding for those who have a genuine desire to meet the needs of others.

What is an Administrative Assistant?

Responsibilities

Skills

Personality Traits

Qualifications and Education

Salary

Responsibilities

An administrative assistant’s main responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Performing administrative and clerical tasks (such as scanning or filing) 
  • Answering and directing phone calls
  • Writing email and direct mail correspondence 
  • Maintaining paper and electronic files 
  • Preparing and editing reports, letters, memos and emails 
  • Arranging meetings and appointments 
  • Scheduling travel arrangements
  • Covering reception and greeting visitors

Skills

To be a successful administrative assistant, you’ll need:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • Organisational skills 
  • IT literacy 
  • Strong time-management 
  • Ability to problem solve
  • High attention to detail
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Adaptability 
  • Customer or client service orientation 
  • To work well both collaboratively and independently
  • Ability to prioritise a heavy workload

Beyond this, some desirable (but not essential) skills are:

  • Efficient typing skills 
  • Detailed IT knowledge

Personality Traits

Aside from your experience and skills, you will shine as an administrative assistant if you have the following personality traits: 

  • Professional 
  • Enterprising
  • Reliable
  • Methodical thinker

Education and Qualifications 

There are no specific qualifications required to become an administrative assistant, although you are usually expected to have a Maths and English GCSE above a grade C. Aside from this, the requirements are mainly skill-based. However, having some relevant experience in handling telephone calls and IT can give you an edge on other applicants. 

Although not essential, you can consider taking a course in Business Administration at your local college to help you prepare for administrative work.

It’s also possible to start this job through an apprenticeship scheme. If this interests you, Centre for Apprenticeships is a company which offers administrative apprenticeships, from an intermediate level right up to Master’s degree. 

Salary 

According to Payscale, the average salary for an administrative assistant across the UK is £18,027, with the average hourly rate being £8.53. However, administrative assistant salaries vary significantly based on your relevant experience and the location of the job. 

Now you’ve got the lowdown, you can start applying to exciting administrative assistant positions!

We can also help you brush up your CV with these expert tips for CV writing, and while you’re at it, why not check out our ultimate job interview tips to help you get the job you want.

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