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What are the Main Administrative Assistant Duties?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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An administrative assistant may have many various duties in an office setting, depending on a number of factors including the size of the office and the number of other employees. However, many administrative assistant duties are the same in all settings. These will include, on the most basic level, assisting your employer with daily office tasks.

Typically, administrative assistant duties include such tasks as answering phones and transferring calls, setting up appointments, answering questions, greeting customers or clients when they arrive at the office, and keeping the appearance of the office clean and tidy. Other duties might include filling out or preparing documents, filing documents, sorting mail, and maintaining records. Administrative assistants are generally always required to be proficient with various word processing and budgeting software, so good computer skills are generally required, along with the ability to type at least 50 words per minute.

The administrative assistant is generally the first person most people will see when they enter the office, so it is important to be friendly, courteous, and professional. Discretion and respect are other important personality traits. An administrative assistant interacts with many people throughout the day when accepting calls, mailing important documents or packages, or assisting clients, so the ability to multi-task is essential. In a larger office setting, a greater number of administrative assistant duties may be required.

Some of these extra tasks might include the supervising of other employees, coordinating and running staff meetings, maintaining an office budget, taking inventory of and ordering office supplies, and making sure any necessary tasks are completed on time. An administrative assistant may also be responsible for hiring and training new office staff, and maintaining a schedule for others in the office. Administrative assistants may also be asked to learn to handle industry specific tasks for employers such as law firms, medical offices, or banking.

A good administrative assistant will be one who can juggle the multiple administrative assistant duties while making sure that all work is completed on time. Some administrative assistants are general assistants for the entire office, while others specialize in specific fields, such as finance or marketing. A career as an administrative assistant can be a lucrative and rewarding one, and generally offers many perks such as health benefits and relatively steady hours. An administrative assistant may work full time or part time hours, depending on the needs of the office.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon314309 — On Jan 17, 2013

What type of personality do you need to become an administrative assistant?

By surfNturf — On Jul 23, 2010

Comfyshoes- I agree regarding the salary that is right about what they earn. I just wanted to say that a school administrative assistant not only answers phones, but must maintain billing records.

In addition, they also have to audit student’s files to make sure that they have all of the medical requirements for the upcoming year.

The school administrative assistant also calls parents to let them know their child is sick and needs to go home. These assistants also support the school principal and the associate director of the school.

By comfyshoes — On Jul 23, 2010

I just want to add that most administrative assistants answer phones and type important memos so expert knowledge of MS Office, Excel, and PowerPoint are required.

An administrative assistant also orders office supplies and maintains all of the office equipment. They typically earn salaries from $25,000 to $37,000 a year.

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