Administrative Support Job Description

Administrative support workers help executives with the day-to-day running of the business by assisting with clerical and administrative processes. This job involves tasks such as organizing meetings and travel arrangements, responding to inquiries, and implementing office procedures and systems. This role is office-based and can be full or part time, although most administrative support employees work on a full-time basis. Overtime may be required during busy periods. Administrative support employees are strong communicators with excellent time management and organizational skills and the ability to make decisions with minimal supervision.

 

Administrative Support Duties and Responsibilities

The type of organization an administrative support works for will determine the exact roles and responsibilities they take on. Based on job listings we analyzed, an administrative support’s duties typically involve:

Answer Phone Calls and Emails

Administrative support workers are often the point of contact for customers, clients, or external companies, so they deal with phone calls and any correspondence that comes in to the business, from emails and letters to faxes and memos.

Produce Reports

Alongside regular administrative duties, administrative support workers also monitor and record office work flow and prepare reports for management.

Organize Appointments

A key part of this role is organizing meetings and conferences, arranging travel, and managing and coordinating schedules with senior staff members to ensure that there are no clashes with appointments.

Maintain Expenditure Reports

Administrative support employees keep a note of any company expenses and submit or reconcile expense reports on a regular basis. These are then used at the end of the financial year for producing tax assessments.

Order Office Supplies

Administrative support workers monitor office stock, such as stationary and computer equipment, and place orders when quantities are getting low or if new equipment or software is required.

 

Administrative Support Skills and Qualifications

Administrative support workers should be excellent communicators with strong interpersonal and organizational skills and the ability to manage their time efficiently. Typically, employers will require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in administration or a related subject, as well as the following abilities:

  • Word processing skills – administrative support involves typing up letters and correspondence, replying to emails on behalf of senior staff members, and producing documents, all of which require strong typing skills
  • Communication skills – this job involves talking to customers or clients, liaising with team members, and answering phone calls, so excellent communication skills are vital
  • Database management – administrative support employees update spreadsheets and maintain databases, so they need a good understanding of programs like Microsoft Excel
  • Organizational skills – administrative support employees need to be incredibly organized, implementing filing systems that are efficient and ensuring that all important documents can be found easily and quickly
  • Time management – administrative support workers manage their time effectively and easily prioritize tasks, all while managing the time of senior staff through calendar and schedule management

 

Tools of the Trade

Administrative support workers regularly use these tools and should have a good understanding of how to use them efficiently:

  • Bookkeeping software (QuickBooks, Sage)
  • Word processing and spreadsheet programs (Microsoft Office, Excel, PowerPoint)

 

Administrative Support Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become an administrative support employee is typically an associate’s degree, although many employers prefer applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a similar field. Candidates for this role need to have evidence of strong typing, spreadsheet, and database skills, while some industry-specific roles may also require administrative support to learn terminology related to that field. Much of the training for this role is received on the job from more experienced colleagues.

 

Administrative Support Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for administrative support workers is $35,000. Administrative support employees in the 10th percentile earn around $25,000 a year, while the highest paid earn over $49,000 annually. Bonus structures and profit-sharing schemes can amount to $4,000 and $2,000, respectively.

Salary doesn’t change much with experience for this role, but many employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefits package. The Bureau of Labour Statistics expects growth for this sector to decline by 5 percent through 2026.

 

Helpful Resources

We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you develop your career as an administrative support employee:

Essential Skills for Administrative Support Professionals – companies rely on administrative support to ensure smooth business operations, which requires an extraordinary range of skills. This book covers each of those skills, from handling telephone calls and communication methods to software and coordinating meetings

Procedures & Theory for Administrative Professionals – this book equips readers with the skills to handle any workplace challenge. From activities and instructions to building communication skills and human relations, it’s a useful reference for anyone working in the administrative sector

American Society of Administrative Professionals – the ASAP group on LinkedIn has over 20,000 members and provides access to useful articles, columns, and industry news that focuses on business skills and career development

Office Dynamics International Blog – Office Dynamics International fills its blog with useful posts not just on skills for the workplace, such as grammar and certifications, but also on how to balance life and work effectively

 

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