STEP 2: Decide If Becoming an Administrative Assistant Is Right for You
Currin Berdine / AdminSecret and the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Administrative work takes a great deal of dedication, motivation and tact. It also calls for a comfort with technology and openness to training. When figuring out if becoming an administrative assistant is the best fit for you, ask and answer the following questions:
Do you like the environment of a business office? Big or small ?
Do you like greeting and helping people? In person and over the phone?
Do you like organizing and filing?
Can you keep close track of confidential information?
Are you comfortable with English grammar, punctuation and usage?
Are you willing to learn technical and office terminology?
Can you multitask with great accuracy and attention to detail?
Does working with a team and supporting many people excite you?
If you answered “Yes” to most of these questions, then becoming an administrative assistant might be right up your alley.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Legal Secretary job description:
Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of administrative and clerical duties necessary to run an organization efficiently. They serve as information and communication managers for an office; plan and schedule meetings and appointments; organize and maintain paper and electronic files; manage projects; conduct research; and disseminate information by using the telephone, mail services, Web sites, and e-mail. They also may handle travel and guest arrangements.
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Secretaries and administrative assistants use a variety of office equipment, such as fax machines, photocopiers, scanners, and videoconferencing and telephone systems. In addition, secretaries and administrative assistants often use computers to do tasks previously handled by managers and professionals, such as: create spreadsheets; compose correspondence; manage databases; and create presentations, reports, and documents using desktop publishing software and digital graphics. They also may negotiate with vendors, maintain and examine leased equipment, purchase supplies, manage areas such as stockrooms or corporate libraries, and retrieve data from various sources. At the same time, managers and professionals have assumed many tasks traditionally assigned to secretaries and administrative assistants, such as keyboarding and answering the telephone. Because secretaries and administrative assistants do less dictation and word processing, they now have time to support more members of the executive staff. In a number of organizations, secretaries and administrative assistants work in teams to work flexibly and share their expertise.
Is There a Place for You?
In 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that there were 1,618,000 administrative assistants and executive assistants in the U.S. By 2016, this number is projected to grow by 15% to 1,857,000 administrative assistants. This is faster than the average for all jobs in the U.S., which means the opportunities in this area are plentiful.
Let’s Talk Money
Legal secretaries earned a median annual salary of $37,240 in May 2006, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $56,740!