Obtaining Administrative Assistant Jobs

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Administrative assistant jobs are one of the most prevalent in the United States, at least for now. The jobs are growing more slowly which makes finding available positions more challenging. However, these are commonly bilingual jobs so knowing a second language is likely to give you an advantage. While the pay may not be stellar, especially at the low end, you can break into the field with just a high school diploma and some basic computer skills. To give yourself an advantage, however, consider completing some vocational or college training. Make sure to demonstrate good communication and interpersonal skills as well.

Behind any good manager or executive you’re likely to find a highly competent and effective administrative assistant. In reality, most of the executives today could not do much without the help of their administrative assistants and that’s why administrative assistant jobs are so valuable. They are also a good example of a field in which bilingual jobs are common, especially in certain parts of the country. To learn more about how to secure administrative assistant jobs keep reading.

An Overview of Administrative Assistant Jobs

Administrative assistant jobs will almost always put you in the middle of a very professional environment. Whether you are working for someone in corporate management or you are assisting doctors and lawyers, you will find yourself in the midst of a formal office environment. Regardless of your specific position and exact environment, you will probably be doing many of the same responsibilities. For example, you will probably need to handle multiple channels of correspondence for your boss. Some administrative assistants must even check their boss’s emails and respond to them. You may also be asked to write the correspondence on your boss’s behalf and may have to make his/her travel arrangements as well.

An important part of administrative assistant jobs is being able to work comfortably with office technology. Clearly, you’ll need to be able to use a computer. Knowing how to use software programs for spreadsheets, word processing, and database management can be essential to your job. You will also need to understand how to use copiers, fax machines, and multi-line telephones. Thankfully, you won’t need to know dictation for most administrative assistant jobs but if you are trying for bilingual jobs you will have to know more than one language fluently.

In many cases, the administrative assistant will also be responsible for managing other office personnel so leadership and communication skills will also be needed. Having patience to deal with sometimes demanding and difficult bosses will also be an asset.

Basic Facts about Administrative Assistant Jobs

Whether or not you are pursuing bilingual jobs in this area, you can be sure that knowing a second language is going to be an asset. Spanish is obviously one of the better choices, especially in certain areas of the country. However, a knowledge of Japanese or Chinese can be useful as well.

Although most people would not consider administrative assistant jobs to be physically demanding, they can take a serious toll on your body. Since you will have to sit for long periods of time, you may develop back problems. The constant staring at the computer screen and the frequent typing can lead to eye strain and repetitive motion injuries, respectively. Because of the work environment, you may also feel under stress a great deal and this can cause health problems as well.

On the upside, administrative assistant jobs sometimes lend themselves well to flexible scheduling. For example, many people in these bilingual jobs only work part-time. Some are also able to telecommute. In some offices, the duties of the administrative assistant jobs are divided up between two people who have work in shifts.

Interestingly, administrative assistant jobs account for one of the largest employment sectors in the United States. Nearly 4 million people worked in these jobs in 2000.

Training Requirements

As mentioned above, these are often bilingual jobs which do require you to know more than one language. However, there are also other qualifications you will need to have in order to secure one of these positions.

In most cases, a high school diploma is the only education requirement needed for entry-level administrative assistant jobs. However, having at least some college under your belt will give you a tremendous advantage. Additionally, you will probably need to demonstrate accurate typing ability, as well as solid knowledge of many key software programs. You may also be required to take tests on these different software programs in order to get the jobs.

Having good attention to detail is also important. Since you will be handling correspondence and other duties for your boss, you will need to be accurate and to have strong written and oral communication skills. You must also have excellent interpersonal skills because you will be dealing with a wide variety of people on a daily basis. Being organized and discrete will also be tremendous advantages.

While having experience working with non-computer office equipment may come in handy, most of this training is done on-the-job.

Outlook for Administrative Assistant Jobs

Overall, the demand for these positions is expected to grow more slowly than the rest of the jobs in the United States. The reason is partially because of the rise of so many other technologies that allow bosses to manage their own affairs more easily. Also, downsizing and restricting in companies has reduced the size of management and the need for administrative assistants in many areas.

However, there are still jobs available. Getting them will usually require having experience or, at least, a way of demonstrating many of the skills essential to doing the job well. Again, knowing more than one language so you can take on bilingual jobs is also an asset.

Anticipated Pay

Administrative assistant jobs in 2000 paid an average of $31,000. However, low end earners only earned around $20,000. At the high end, these jobs paid up to $46,000. Many of the positions do provide benefits as well.
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