What Does an Administrative Assistant Do?
Administrative assistants work in office environments and provide administrative support to ensure operational efficiency. Typically, administrative assistants handle phones and emails, set up meetings, distribute company correspondence, maintain files, track office inventory, order supplies when needed, and support managers in a variety of administrative duties. Administrative assistants must have strong office skills, such as typing, filing, copying, and more. They must be competent in relevant computer software applications and tools.
Administrative assistants are required to communicate effectively via phone, email, or in person. They deliver reports and letters in a timely manner and ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information. Strong knowledge of office management systems and procedures, exceptional time management skills, and good multitasking skills are also required. Some administrative assistants work with customers or multiple department managers. They may also be involved in assisting customers or consumers as well as providing reports for various department managers and staff.
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National Average Salary
Administrative assistant salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Administrative Assistant is:
Administrative Assistant Job Descriptions
The first step in the search for an exceptional administrative assistant is a well-crafted job description. Below we have multiple real-world examples to get you started and set the foundation for attracting the exact talent your team needs.
Entry-level Administrative Assistant
Position summary details
The Administrative Assistant will have the ability to work diligently to help maintain smooth office operations. You will undertake a variety of activities in the office ranging from filing and answering the phone to basic bookkeeping. You must be reliable and hardworking with great communication skills. The ideal candidate will be familiar with office equipment and procedures.
- Maintain files and records so they remain updated and easily accessible
- Sort and distribute incoming mail and prepare outgoing mail (envelopes, packages, etc.)
- Answer the phone to take messages or redirect calls to appropriate colleagues
- Utilize office appliances such as photocopiers, printers, etc., and computers for word processing, spreadsheet creation, etc.
- Update reports as needed on Excel spreadsheets
- Monitor stocks of office supplies (paper clips, stationery, etc.) and report when there are shortages
- Perform other office duties as assigned
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- Proven experience as an office clerk or other clerical position
- Familiarity with office procedures
- Working knowledge of office devices and processes
- Knowledge of MS Office
- Knowledge of Excel
- Excellent communication skills
- Must be Bilingual-English/Spanish
- Very good organizational and multitasking abilities
- High school diploma
Junior Administrative Assistant
We’re searching for an administrative assistant with a minimum of one year of experience to help manage our office. The administrative assistant supports the local operation and initiatives of [Your Company Name] with various duties and responsibilities. You may be tasked with new hire onboarding, physical and electronic filing of employee-specific documentation, planning travel for executives, answering inbound calls and routing calls appropriately, and scheduling and attending meetings while keeping notes. Admin assistants need proven experience in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Strong analytical, problem-solving, basic research, and time management skills are imperative for a successful assistant at [Your Company Name].
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Plan and coordinate meeting arrangements, including travel and lodging
- Organize work and proofread documents
- Maintain and update company website(s)
- Manage calendars for meetings and detail these meetings to staff and directors
- Order and maintain supplies needed for meetings, office staff, and directors
- Answer phone calls; route callers, respond to inquiries, greet visitors, request and provide routine information to walk-ins
- Exposure to confidential information and handle confidential matters
Education and experience
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Minimum of one year experience in the field
Required skills and qualifications
- Exceptional communication skills
- Impeccable attention to detail
- Proficiency using Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Flexibility to cover other departments during fluctuations, vacation coverage, or leave of absence
- Excellent multitasking and organization skills
- Experience in the field for more than a year
- Experience working in a team setting
- Experience maintaining and updating websites
- Proofreading, editing, and document organization experience
- Customer service experience
- Experience creating infographics, such as diagrams, screenshots, workflows, graphs, etc.
Senior Administrative Assistant
[Employer] is looking for a Senior Administrative Assitant to support a large, dynamic office in City, State.
- Maintain calendars for program directors
- Serve as backup for directors and/or division administrative assistants in their absence
- Coordinate with other administrative personnel to deconflict senior-level meetings
- Answer phones, route calls to specific people, and take and relay messages
- Respond to inquiries about the program office
- Procure office supplies and take photos at program office going away gatherings and other events
- Facilitate arrival of office newcomers and work with other admins and points of contact to ensure office space, phone and email accounts are ready
- Facilitate input of trouble tickets for IT and phone issues
- Input visit requests and greet visitors
- Coordinate and schedule meetings, conference rooms, and teleconferences
- Coordinate mail flow in and out of the office; collect and distribute parcels and other mail
- Coordinate offsite meetings and take minutes for the senior leadership team
- Attend and act as recording staff member at all management meetings, take formal minutes, prepare action items, transcribe and distribute to team members.
- Coordinate office activities
- Perform filing and clerical duties
- Disseminate information via telephone, e-mail, and websites
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience.
- Note Professional experience may be substituted in lieu of a degree
- Minimum of 10 years of total work experience with 7 years administrative assistance experience.
- Strong written and communication skills.
- Ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced, high volume environment.
- Ability to multi-task.
- Ability to work with all levels ranging from new hires to senior leadership.
- Strong organizational skills.
- Ability to work with confidential and sensitive management data.
- Able to work independently with little or no supervision.
- Strong customer relations skills.
Administrative Assistant (Remote)
About The Position
The Virtual Administrative Assistant position at [employer] offers a great opportunity for candidates to gain valuable experience and contribute to the efficient operation of our office. In this role, you will be responsible for a wide range of administrative and clerical tasks, including providing support to managers and employees, managing administrative activities, and ensuring the smooth day-to-day operation of our office. With excellent communication and organizational skills, as well as relevant previous experience in a similar role, you will play a critical role on our team!
- Arrange events, appointments, and travel
- Manage phone calls and correspondence
- Attend virtual meetings and take minutes
- Prepare reports and maintain filing systems
- Assist in updating office policies and procedures
- 3+ years of experience as an administrative assistant or virtual assistant
- Familiarity with office management systems and procedures
- Proficiency in MS Office, particularly MS Excel and MS PowerPoint
- Strong time management and problem-solving skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Strong organizational skills
- [employer] reserves the right to modify or amend this job description at any time
- The job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with the job
- The employer is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants from all backgrounds.
Administrative Assistant (Retail)
Responsible for administrative and operational support for the retail store including creating the sales schedule, processing HR paperwork, and miscellaneous duties that support the store and store management. Respond to internal and external customer needs in a timely, accurate, and professional manner.
Essential duties and responsibilities
- Create and maintain the monthly sales schedule
- Complete and submit necessary Human Resources forms for new hires and terminations
- Submit time sheets to payroll (including any necessary absentee forms) and distribute paychecks
- Order breakfasts and/or lunches for employee meetings, events, and holidays based on corporate approval
- Assist the Marketing Department with local events, charities, photoshoots, etc.
- Reconcile petty cash fund & check requests
- Assists the sales team in setting out merchandise in display cases
- Provides backup phone support and transfers calls and assists clients as needed
- Ability to plan, organize, and carry out assignments.
- Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
- Ability to analyze information accesses situations and arrive at decisions
- Ability to exercise attention to detail
- High school diploma and some office skills training
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Two years of experience in a secretarial or administrative position
- Two re more years working in a retail environment
Administrative Assistant (Sales)
ABC Company is seeking an Administrative Assistant to join our Administrative team.
- Provide administrative support for ABC Company’s sales office
- Manage the sales team’s emails and phone calls
- Generate and distribute schedules, presentations, reports, and scorecards
- Schedule and coordinate meetings, training, and travel arrangements
- Maintain and update various documentation, meeting minutes, contact lists, training materials, and internal communications platform
- Coordinate departmental human resource activities and the maintenance of relevant documentation
- Plan department lunches and events
- Submit and reconcile expense reports as necessary
- High School diploma or equivalent. Bachelor’s degree preferred
- 2+ years of administrative experience
- Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access
- Ability to write, speak, and interact clearly and professionally
- Extremely organized. Strong multitasking and time-management skills
- Can handle sensitive information with the highest degree of integrity and confidentiality
Administrative Assistant Qualifications to Look For
- Managed and coordinated calendars for executives or departments, ensuring efficient scheduling of meetings and events
- Organized and maintained both digital and physical files, ensuring data confidentiality
- Handled basic office duties, such as answering phones, greeting visitors, and managing office supplies inventory
- Assisted in preparing presentations, documents, and reports using software like Microsoft Office or Google Suite
- Coordinated travel arrangements and itineraries for staff
- Processed expense reports and managed petty cash
- Facilitated internal and external communication, including drafting emails and memos
- Supported team projects and assisted with event planning
- Entered data accurately into company-specific software or databases
- Liaised between departments or teams, ensuring effective communication and workflow
- Effective communication
- Team collaboration
- Time management
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Attention to detail
- Customer service orientation
- Initiative and proactivity
- Emotional intelligence
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Some college education or an associate’s degree (preferred by many employers)
- Courses or certifications in business, office administration, or related fields
- Specialized training or knowledge in specific areas (e.g., legal or medical terminology) for certain positions
- Continuous professional development through workshops, online courses, or on-the-job training to keep skills current and aligned with workplace needs
- Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE). With PACE, skills such as interpersonal communications, task and project management, computer and internet technology, and management skills are highlighted. PACE can be acquired through an online course through the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP).
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). If candidates desire to work as an administrative assistant in the medical field, obtaining a CMAA will aid in this process. Being CMAA certified allows them to be responsible for assisting medical staff and patients in a hospital or clinic setting by scheduling appointments, patient intake, answering phones, and maintaining databases. A CMAA can be acquired through an online course and exam through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Certified Informational Technology Professional (CITP). If candidates want to further their career in the ever-growing technology field, being CITP certified will help. CITP is for public accountants and will showcase their ability to provide business insight, knowledge in the technology field, and set them apart from other admin assistants in the field. This is a great certification if candidates hope to move up in the workplace.
How to Hire an Administrative Assistant
When hiring an administrative assistant, first consider the following:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Hire an experienced freelancer
The freelance, or gig, economy continues to grow, with more talent available daily. Freelancers provide high-quality work without a long-term commitment. They can offer you a fresh perspective, more flexibility, and increase efficiency. While the freelance market isn’t ideal for every position, administrative assistants are often a great fit.
We recommend this option when:
- Your need is project-based
- The work can be performed remotely
- You do not intend to direct the daily work activity
- You are hiring for expertise your internal team does not possess
- You do not require an employee to work onsite or follow a specific schedule
When hiring an administrative assistant, we recommend using Upwork.
Upwork is a freelance talent network that helps individuals connect with experts in a variety of fields to accomplish project-based needs. When you have a specific, well-defined goal in mind, this can be a great path to hiring an experienced administrative assistant. If you are satisfied with the outcome you can continue to book the same freelancer through Upwork’s easy-to-use project interface.
3. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
There are many career sites out there, but we recommend CareerBuilder for an administrative assistant opening:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
4. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Describe the methods have you employed in past roles to effectively manage a busy executive’s schedule?
- Can you describe your expertise level with office automation tools and software relevant to the administrative assistant role?
- What strategies have you found most effective in managing multiple responsibilities in prioritizing tasks? Could you share a specific instance?
- Can you recount an occasion where you managed to maintain a positive relationship in the face of a challenging interaction with a colleague or client?
- Could you elaborate on your experiences creating professional reports or presentations? What applications did you find most useful for this?
- How have you ensured the confidentiality and security of sensitive information in your past roles?
- Could you walk me through your process of coordinating travel and maintaining clear itineraries in a previous position?
- Can you share an experience where your detail-oriented nature played a key role in your success as an administrative assistant?
- What does your typical workday planning look like in ensuring the effective handling of administrative duties?
- Please tell me about your experience managing office expenses and keeping within budget.
- What are your go-to strategies for efficient document and file management, both digital and physical?
- Describe a situation where you had to quickly master a new software or procedure to improve your performance.
- How have you managed instances where instructions provided to you were ambiguous or incomplete? If so, how did you respond?
- Can you discuss a situation where your initiative made a positive difference in your previous work environment?
- From your perspective, which attributes and skills are most important for an administrative assistant to succeed and why?