A company's bottom line is determined by the success of its salespeople and the performance of its engineers, technical specialists and laborers. But without the organizational assistance of administrative workers, many organizations would struggle to survive. Administrative jobs range from assistants who greet visitors at the front desk to managers in charge of office operations.
An administrative job can prove to be an easy way to enter a company because it typically requires only a high school diploma at the lowest levels. New administrative workers then receive on-the-job training from more experienced employees or managers. As they gain expertise, they receive promotions to areas with more responsibility until some reach management. At this level, many administrators need at least a bachelor’s degree in business or a technical subject related to the employer’s industry.
The primarily responsibility in an administrative job is to store, organize and process data, such as customer addresses, sales figures and product descriptions. Information on paper goes into filing cabinets and storage rooms. Digital records end up in databases and computer files. Administrative assistants and secretaries are examples of lower-level administrative professionals. Aside from dealing with data, they also receive and respond to phone calls and emails, operate office equipment such as faxes, and perform miscellaneous tasks assigned by other employees. They may specialize in particular fields, such as medicine or law, and typically work in front of computers from offices.
At management levels, administrative jobs involve planning and implementing services for single departments, groups of employees such as executives, or entire companies. Administrative services managers recommend operational policies and procedures, oversee environmental standards so that facilities comply with government regulations, and negotiate contracts for equipment and supplies. In large establishments, they hire and train subordinate administrators, assign them schedules and tasks, and evaluate their work progress. They meet frequently with other top executives, such as the CEO, sales managers and computer administrators, to ensure coverage for all administrative needs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for secretaries and administrative assistants will increase by 12 percent through 2020. Employment for administrative services managers will grow by 15 percent. Demand will be highest for those in medical facilities as an aging population demands more health-care services that administrators can manage. In addition, many administrative workers at all levels are expected to retire during the decade and will require replacements.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become an Administrative Services Manager
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Administrative Services Managers Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Job Outlook for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Job Outlook for Administrative Services Managers
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images