Administrative support services include the tasks performed on a day-to-day basis that keep an office running smoothly and efficiently. You can find helpful information on getting started in this career below.
Administrative support services are essential to the operation of any office. Your administrative duties could include scheduling, answering phones, typing, taking dictation, organization and similar activities. Administrative support professionals may also need an understanding of office technology, such as common administrative computer software.
You can find administrative support services positions as an administrative assistant, human resources assistant, office clerk, receptionist, secretary or a similar position. You will generally need good communication skills, as well as competency in keyboarding. You can expect to work 40 hours per week; however, this may vary depending on your work environment. Employment settings might include healthcare facilities, offices, attorney offices or governmental organizations. You could even choose to be self-employed and work on a freelance or contract basis.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of secretaries and administrative assistants was expected to increase 11% from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS noted that employment of office clerks was expected to grow 12% between 2008 and 2018, while employment of receptionists and information clerks was expected to increase 15% from during the same period.
In May 2010, the BLS reported that executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants earned an annual average salary of $45,860. Office clerks earned an average salary of $28,240 in 2010 and receptionists and information clerks averaged at $26,260 in the same year.
If you possess a minimum of a high school education, you may be able to gain employment in an entry-level position. Administrative support programs are available at community colleges, as well as technical and vocational schools. You can find diploma, certificate and degree programs in general or specialized administrative support areas. Some schools allow certificate and diploma credits to be applied to an associate degree program, which typically last 1-2 years.
Several programs that cover administrative support services exist, such as the administrative assistant degree program or associate degree programs for administrative office specialists. Some program topics include math, administration, accounting, communication and computer software applications. Courses in administrative support can also include formatting documents, transcription, professionalism and desktop publishing.
If you want to gain specialty training, you might enroll in a data entry program and study information processing and database management. Office support specialists programs offer topics in software applications as well as office procedures. When you enroll in associate degree programs in administrative support you might have additional studies, such as business, payroll, marketing and graphics.