A career in administration

If you enjoy creating and maintaining order and working as part of a team, an administrative assistant job could be perfect for you. Administrative assistants are responsible for keeping business operations running smoothly by performing tasks including sorting mail, answering phones and filing. It’s the perfect role for someone with exceptional organisational skills.

About administrative assistant jobs

Administrative assistant jobs are available across various organisations and usually work regular 9 to 5 hours in an office, Monday to Friday. Flexible hours, part-time work and temporary work is also available.

On a day-to-day basis, an administrative assistant job involves:

  • Dealing with mail
  • Stocking stationery
  • Answering calls
  • Typing up documents including letters and reports
  • Updating computer records and databases
  • Filing
  • Managing staff appointments and travel arrangements
  • Setting up meetings and taking minutes
  • Maintains workflow by studying methods; implementing cost reductions; and developing reporting procedures

Personal skills

An administrative assistant job requires a high level of organisational skills and the ability to work as part of a team. Other important skills include:

  • High levels of professionalism
  • Professional phone manner
  • Analysing and reporting skills
  • High levels of written and verbal communication
  • Ability to multi-task and problem solve
  • Excellent time management skills
  • The ability to work well as part of a team
  • Computer literacy and good typing skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work both supervised and unsupervised

How to get an administrative assistant job

Administrative assistant job requirements can vary between employers, but generally a mix of experience alongside a nationally accredited education can help you get an administrative assistant job. Although not essential, it may be helpful to take a college course in business or management to help you find a job as an administrative assistant.

Martin offers various courses at certificate or diploma level in Business and Management that can help kick-start a career as an administrative assistant. These include:

You may also be able to get an administrative assistant job through an apprenticeship and temporary work (temping), which can be a good way of getting experience that could lead to a permanent administrative assistant job.

It is also common for companies to test your skills in typing, filing and phone manner.

Administrative assistant job pathways

Almost every kind of company and organisation employs administrative assistants in the private, public and not-for-profit sector. With relevant experience and skill, an administrative assistant job also allows for promotion to roles including administrative officer, secretary, supervisor or office manager. In some companies you could move to other departments such as payroll roles in accounting.