How do I Become an Administrative Office Assistant?

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  • Written By: Haven Esme
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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To become an administrative office assistant, an individual must learn the administrative and clerical duties that are needed to assist staff and manage a professional office environment. The administrative office assistant is one of the most important jobs in an office. He or she is needed for a variety of duties that keep the office running smoothly and helps the managers and staff do their jobs efficiently.

When the job of administrative office assistant was first created, the duties included typing and answering the phone. As time progressed, the duties became a lot more detailed and extensive. Although the administrative office assistant is still required to type and handle phone lines, he or she also has to do things like event planning, running errands, ordering office supplies, and much more. A person who wants to become an administrative office assistant will find the work is quite complex.

To become an administrative office assistant, an individual must first develop clerical skills. The assistant should be able to type quickly, take dictation, and operate office equipment such as fax machines, copiers, and scanners. Copying, labeling, and filing are all important and helps the administrative office assistant keep the office organized.


The assistant must also become good at problem solving. Managerial and office issues are often handed over to the assistant. The administrative assistant must learn how to multitask so he or she can handle multiple projects simultaneously.

Getting the right training is also vital to becoming an administrative assistant. A job as an entry level assistant is not difficult to obtain with a high school diploma. However, an individual will fair much better and have a significant increase in their salary if they are able to complete college. There are also technical schools available for administrative office assistants who want to focus their career on administrative duties and get certified as having technical expertise in administrative work.

Technical schools can help an an individual gain the necessary software skills that administrative office assistants need. An administrative assistant needs to be proficient in software such as word processing programs, spreadsheet and presentation software. Sometimes specialized software is used, especially if the assistant works at a law or medical firm.

In many cases, individuals work their way up the corporate ladder to become an administrative office assistant. Some assistants start off as receptionists and find opportunities for promotion within the company. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a firm will promote an individual and a person should be aware of that before deciding to take a lower position at a company. The right career decisions and smart choices will help a person become an administrative office assistant.


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