How to Become an Administrative Assistant

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Have you ever wondered how to become an Administrative Assistant? Administrative assistants are skilled professionals responsible for the clerical aspects of business or organization by perform a variety of tasks including the collecting, storing, integrating, and retrieving information. Administrative assistants help manage the daily operations of an organization by organizing and maintaining paper and/or electronic files, conducting research through the Internet, planning and scheduling meetings, and overseeing a variety of organization specific projects.

Administrative assistants utilize a number of electronics and office equipment (like computers, telephone systems, fax machines, and photocopiers) and provide support for executives by creating spreadsheets, developing presentations, creating documents, and composing mail, email, and/or reports. Many administrative assistants provide training and orientation for new staff, maintain leased office equipment, manage stockrooms and corporate libraries, and guest and travel arrangements for clients and staff. All administrative assistants are required to possess the combination of skill, training, and experience to establish a successful career within a number of public, private, and governmental organizations.

Administrative assistants maintain and improve the efficiency of the daily operations of an organization while planning, directing, and coordinating clerical support and services. Individuals interested in establishing careers as administrative assistants often must complete a minimum of a high school diploma or G.E.D. to qualify for employment though most employers prefer candidates with a minimum of an associate degree and/or certification. High school students may prepare for careers as administrative assistants by completing vocational training programs focused upon increasing business, office, and keyboarding knowledge. Courses like English, accounting, communications, psychology, and mathematics prepare high school students for future administrative assistant certificate and educational training programs.

High school graduates may advance to one to two year formal training administrative assistant certificate programs offered by business, technical, and vocational schools or community colleges. Most programs feature courses based upon transcription, bookkeeping, website design, project management, spreadsheets, keyboarding, business communications, information systems, human relations, desktop publishing, general accounting, interpersonal skills, introduction to interpersonal relations, and computer technology as well as the means to specialize knowledge within medical, legal, or virtual assistant concentrations. The International Association of Administrative Professions, Certified Professional Secretary, and Certified Administrative Professional offer high school graduates accredited programs based upon the ability to expand skills and gain certification. Graduates who complete certificate programs may advance to employment or continue studies within associates degree programs.

Associate degree programs feature courses designed to expand knowledge and skills necessary to gain employment as administrative assistant. Courses include: business editing, information management, Microsoft word, principles of accounting, bookkeeping, portfolio building, transcription, office team procedures, website design, English composition, human relations, integrated office systems, interpersonal skills, business law, principles of finance, business mathematics, business communications, information systems management, and computer applications. Graduates who complete associates degree programs generally advance to employment upon meeting certification or licensing requirements. Graduates may advance to employment or continue studies within an related field as most colleges and universities have eliminated most bachelor level administrative assistant programs.

Administrative assistants often must continue education to maintain licensure, remain current of technological changes, and advance their careers. Most complete on the job training, expand knowledge through educational programs, and attend seminars to augment existing skills, understand new office equipment and software, and gain promotions. Many administrative assistants gain promotions to upper level executive secretarial, executive administrative assistant, or officer manager positions upon demonstrating their abilities skills. Armed with this information on how to become an Administrative Assistant, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your career goals.

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