If you're someone who pays close attention to detail and has strong computer skills and excellent communication skills, you may like to apply for a job as an office assistant! There are approximately 3,126,300 office assistant jobs in the U.S., and the number is growing.
We've put together the following article to help you decide if this is the right career path.
We'll tell you what an office assistant is and the skills you need for the job. Plus, we'll give you a list of the top five office assistant responsibilities.
We'll also tell you where to find a job and how much you can expect to make. And, we'll give you our office assistant resume tips.
What is an office assistant?
An office assistant, or administrative assistant, is a person who provides organizational and clerical support.
They work in an office setting in a variety of industries. For example, you can find them working in health, education, legal, or government offices.
Office assistants usually work as part of a team, and their day-to-day tasks may vary. They may answer phone calls, order office supplies, and print documents.
The role may be part-time or full-time, and shifts are usually weekdays during daytime hours. Some office assistants may need to work weekends.
They may work with receptionists, office managers, and company directors.
What skills do you need to be an office assistant?
If you want to be an office assistant, you'll need a high school diploma or GED.
Many positions are entry-level with on-the-job training. But if you have an associate degree or previous work experience, this will be an advantage.
To work as an office assistant, you'll need strong computer skills. Part of the job will involve word processing, so your typing should be fast and accurate. And you'll need to be proficient in common software, such as Microsoft Office.
Some of the soft skills you'll need include good communication skills, time management, and teamwork.
You’ll spend most of your time at a desk, so you’ll need to be comfortable sitting for long periods.
What are the top office assistant responsibilities?
What are the top office assistant duties? Let’s take a look at five of them.
1. Answer phones
Office assistants may be responsible for incoming and outgoing phone calls. They may need to transfer calls to other staff members and take memos.
They need to answer the phone professionally and use their communication skills to give the caller accurate information.
If there's a full-time receptionist, the office assistant may only answer phones occasionally.
2. Make travel arrangements
Staff members may need to go away for training or business purposes. And office managers and directors may have conferences and other commitments out of town.
The office assistant may be responsible for making these work-related travel arrangements.
They’ll need to book airfares, rental cars, activities, and accommodation.
3. Use the filing system
Office assistants need to perform a range of clerical duties. One of their responsibilities is to use the filing system.
Each company has its own processes, and the office assistant needs to file documents in a specific way. For example, they may sort invoices and purchases by date.
Some companies use software to sort their documents electronically. The office assistant may need to input customer details and orders into a computer program.
4. Provide office support
The office assistant may be asked to perform different office support tasks. For example, they may need to use MS Office programs such as Excel and Word.
The office assistant job description includes proofreading outgoing mail, ordering office equipment, and printing documents.
The office manager may also have a list of tasks the office assistant needs to do each day.
5. Schedule appointments
Depending on the type of business it is, the office assistant may be responsible for scheduling appointments.
If it's a health or legal business, they may book customer appointments. Or, if it's a wholesale business, the office assistant may organize meetings with clients.
They need to make sure that bookings don't conflict. They may also call the day before to confirm appointment times.
How much does an office assistant make?
The median annual salary for an office assistant is $35,330 per year, or $16.98 per hour.
Once in this position, if you have the necessary management skills and education, you can qualify for a promotion.
For example, you can apply for an office manager position. The median annual salary for an office manager is $98,890 per year.
Office assistant resume tips
If you want to apply for an office assistant job, make sure your resume is ready. Here are our top tips to help you impress any hiring manager:
Include previous office experience
Highlight your interpersonal skills, such as communication and listening skills
Add relevant computer skills, such as word processing
Share an example of when you used excellent communication skills
Include any certificates you may have in administration, finance, or business
Check your resume for spelling and grammatical errors
Address the cover letter to the hiring manager
Make sure your resume fits neatly on one page
You can also check out our article on the most common interview questions to further prepare you for the application and interview process.
Where can you find office assistant jobs?
Want to look for an office assistant position? You can start right here on Jobcase! Browse office assistant jobs in your area
Working as an office assistant
Now that you've read our office assistant guide, you'll know what the job entails.
We told you about the skills you need and the minimum education requirements.
And we discussed some of the top office assistant job responsibilities. The list included answering phones, making travel arrangements, using the filing system, providing administration support, and scheduling appointments.
We gave you a rundown of the average office assistant salary and told you where to start your job search.
Finally, we shared our top office assistant resume tips to help your application stand out.