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What is an Administrative Specialist?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Administrative specialists are professionals who are trained to perform all the usual tasks associated with an administrative assistant, but also have skill sets that allow for designing and overseeing special projects. Typically, someone in this position will have some training in computer science, be qualified to write or edit sales copy, and perform a number of functions that go above and beyond the usual clerical functions of most offices.

Administrative specialists are capable of handling most of the traditional tasks involved in the efficient function of any business office. To that end, they may handle incoming and outgoing mail, take care of filing documents, answer inbound telephone calls, or make travel arrangements for executives. At the same time, they may be called upon to troubleshoot a range of common workstation problems, such as dealing with a hard drive that has locked, or assisting office personnel in learning new programs. It is not unusual for an administrative specialist to be heavily involved in the orientation of new employees as well continuing education programs for existing employees.

The typical administrative specialist is likely to have at least some formal training in computer science and technology. In general, the specialist will possess excellent oral and written communication skills, tend to demonstrate leadership qualities that come into play when leading a team project, and have some degree of creativity that can be called upon when designing and evaluating new promotional materials and advertising campaigns.

Sometimes referred to as a super administrative assistant, the administrative specialist can be an asset in both small and large office environments. Within a small office, such a specialist can handle a wide range of tasks that would otherwise be handled by other persons in a large office. With the larger office, he or she will often act as a compliment and support person for Information Systems staff, the accounting department, the sales force and general administration.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including Practical Adult Insights, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By SkyWhisperer — On May 23, 2011

@hamje32 - I think the administrative specialist job description varies depending on the industry he or she works in. In the software field you have one set of duties, but in the healthcare field you have people called medical administrative specialists whose duties are more geared to the nature of that line of work.

They may deal with insurance claims, general scheduling, reporting, bookkeeping, etc. Some vocational schools offer degree programs in these types of administrative specialist careers.

By hamje32 — On May 22, 2011

The administrative specialist in our office handles general administrative tasks, but also knows a lot about how to use the software that we sell. She’s used it before and has also done “demos” at sales presentations, so she is much more than an administrative assistant.

She has handled a few technical calls with clients, so I guess she could be considered administrative support. On top of that, she also handles some payroll and human resources inquiries, although I don’t know if that’s in her formal job description.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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