(ad-min-uh-strey-tiv and kler-i-kuhl sur-vis-ez) (n.)
The industry of providing essential office-related support and services for businesses.
Administrative professionals have responsibilities that include filing, answering and routing phone calls and emails, distributing mail, making travel plans, doing research, compiling reports, managing executive calendars, scheduling meetings and appointments, and taking minutes during meetings.
Administrative professionals should have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Vocational schools may offer specialized classes to prepare students for administrative work. An associate's or bachelor's degree may be required for positions that require technical or bookkeeping skills as well as executive assistant positions. Administrative professionals may need additional coursework or certification for medical or legal positions.
Administrative professionals work in a number of industries and environments. In small companies, they may work independently and manage a wide range of duties. In larger companies, their work may be more specialized, and senior administrative professionals may manage junior administrative professionals. Some administrative professionals interact frequently with the public, such as those who work in doctors' offices or school offices. Administrative professionals typically work Monday through Friday during the day, but hours vary depending on the type of office and industry.
Administrative work requires organization, the ability to work independently and the ability to prioritize a number of tasks. Administrative professionals must also be able to communicate clearly verbally and in writing. They must be able to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds and have excellent customer service skills, as they are often the first point of contact a visitor or client has with their employer. Administrative professionals must be computer literate and comfortable with word processing software, spreadsheet programs, database software and the Web, and they must have good typing and writing skills.