School Administrative Assistant Job Description
School administrative assistants, also referred to as secretaries or receptionists, are primarily responsible for handling all clerical tasks in a school’s office. As with administrative assistants in other settings, school administrative assistants answer phones, file records, and greet visitors. They also read and respond to mail and email from parents, students, school board members, teachers, and others. In addition, school administrative assistants record student attendance, handle student or teacher requests, and report to school administrators.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the overall projected employment rate for administrative assistants is expected to decline by 5 percent through 2026, this is more applicable to corporate rather than school administrative assistants. Public and private elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, will continue to require professionals in this role to maintain student records, provide assistance to parents and school officials, and satisfy all clerical responsibilities in a school office.
School Administrative Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
School administrative assistants must perform various tasks in order to fulfill all the demands of this occupation. We have examined several job listings and found the following to be among those responsibilities most commonly indicated for school administrative assistants:
Respond to All Written Correspondence
School administrative assistants typically handle all phone calls coming into a school. They converse with school officials, parents, and teachers, handle complaints, and address issues pertaining to students and school policies. They also answer emails from administrators, parents, and vendors.
Support Teachers and School Administrators
From generating letters to making copies, school administrative assistants provide daily support to school personnel. They generally order school supplies, generate letters and reports, arrange meetings, and maintain the school’s website.
Maintain Students Files
School administrative assistants often record student absences and maintain records of tardiness and early dismissals. They generate reports regarding school attendance policies and individual student attendance records.
Greet and Assist School Visitors
Quite often, school administrative assistants are the first school personnel seen by visitors. They typically provide assistance by answering questions, contacting requested personnel, and explaining school procedures regarding signing out students or making deliveries.
School Administrative Assistant Skills
Written and verbal communication skills top the list for those seeking to work as school administrative assistants. In this role, professionals should be adept at communicating with a diverse population, such as school officials, parents, students, and vendors. Strong organizational and interpersonal skills are also vital. School administrative assistants should be detail-oriented multitaskers who possess strong time-management and problem-solving skills. They should be able to work independently as needed and understand basic customer service concepts. In addition to these abilities, it is important for school administrative assistants to demonstrate the following:
- Maintain student attendance and other records
- Answer phone calls and emails from parents and school administrators
- Assist visitors on school campuses
- Prepare school reports, letters, and other documents
School Administrative Assistant Tools of the Trade
In order to successfully complete all daily tasks, school administrative assistants typically rely on various tools throughout the day. If you have the desire to become a school administrative assistant, you should have an understanding of the following:
- Basic office equipment – from copiers to fax machines, school administrative assistants should be highly knowledgeable about various office equipment
- Microsoft Office applications – many tasks assigned to school administrative assistants pertain to generating reports or sending emails, so these professionals should be proficient in using Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel
- School policies – school administrative assistants should be fully aware of all school attendance policies as well as policies regarding school visitors, picking up students, early dismissals, and other pertinent rules.
School Administrative Assistant Salary
The most recent information supplied by the BLS shows that the annual median salary for school administrative assistants is $34,820. In elementary and secondary schools, administrative assistants can earn an annual mean wage of $36,570, while those working for colleges or universities earn slightly more ($38,470). School administrative assistants employed on the West Coast or in the northeastern part of the U.S. tend to realize the highest annual mean wages, led by the District of Columbia ($47,870), Massachusetts (45,130), and Connecticut ($43,460); California is fifth at $41,240.
School Administrative Assistant Resources
Get more information about this career by reviewing the links provided below. Access books, professional associations, and other resources to learn more about what is involved in becoming and working as a school administrative assistant:
American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) – Live and on-demand webinars, video training, conferences, and networking are among the many benefits provided to all types of administrative assistants, including school administrative assistants, when they become members of this association. Membership is free.
The Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals (AEAP) – From networking to training seminars and education programs, AEAP provides a great support system for corporate as well as school administrative assistants.
Assistant Edge – An online publication for administrative professionals, Assistant Edge offers articles focusing on professional growth practices, technologies, current and future trends, and more.
Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook – From telephone etiquette to keeping accurate records, this book explores best practices for administrative assistants in all fields, including those working in school settings.
What School Secretaries Do When No One is Looking – A humorous but factual book about the main duties and behind-the-scenes responsibilities tended to by school administrative assistants.
School Administrative Assistant Resume Help
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