Clerical Job Overview and Description

The need for administrative assistant and office clerks is projected to decline 5% from 2016 to 2026 and most positions will open up due to the need to replace workers leaving the field. Though most administrative fields are on the decline, medical secretaries are projected to grow 22% from 2016 to 2026. Most administrative and clerical work requires only a high school diploma with a few exceptions. This article will give a general overview of the administrative and clerical job description, types of types of administrative assistants, salaries, education requirements, and accounting job responsibilities.

What is an Administrative Assistant?

An administrative assistant is someone who performs clerical and administrative duties. Their duties can vary widely depending on the type of industry that are employed. General task an administrative can perform include writing and preparing documents, organizing files and records, scheduling appointments, and act as support for the staff.

What are the different types of Administrative Assistants?

  • Secretary, administrative assistant, office clerk. This area of administration includes the largest area of administrative assistants/clerks. Administrative assistants can be found in every industry. Responsibilities include handling and processing of company and client documents, scheduling appointments, answering phones and emails, and receiving clients.
  • Executive assistant. Executive assistants provide high-level administrative support for top executives. They responsibilities often include reviewing documents, conducting research, preparing reports and supervising clerical staff.
  • Legal Assistant. The types of work a legal assistant must do will vary depending in what area of law they are working in. General duties a legal assistant may perform include assisting paralegals and lawyers with preparing legal documents, gathering information for certain cases, requesting/reviewing records and preparing findings in a summary for the lawyers to look through and corresponding with clients on the case.
  • Medical Secretary. Medical secretaries must be familiar with medical terminology, procedures and medical records. They assist physicians in transcribing dictation and preparing reports and articles. They also assist with taking patient histories, processing insurance payments, and arranging for patients to be hospitalized.

What type of education do you need?

High school students with experience using software applications such as Microsoft Office can qualify for entry-level positions. Classes are available candidates interested in learning word processing and spreadsheet applications which would put them at an advantage when applying for jobs. These classes are also provided by many work agencies. Further certification for admin work in the legal and medical fields is usually (but not always) required based on the type of tasks that they would need to perform. Medical and legal assistance will need to learn about industry specific terminology and be familiar with the processing industry-specific documents. Training for medical and legal admins may take up to several months.

What is a typical Admin and Clerical salary?

The type of salaries an Administrative assistant will get is dependent on the types of work they do and industry. Executive secretaries and Administrative assistants made the most annually at $57,410 back in 2017. The median annual wage for administrative assistants is around $37,000, with lowest percent earning $23,650 and the highest 10% earning more than $62,870.

What are Admin and Clerical job requirements?

The job requirements can vary widely for an administrative assistant, depending on the field. Administrative Assistants require proven written and oral communication skills and must possess a high standard of spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Along with this, having high organizational skills and ability to set priorities for administrative tasks are essential. There are certain technological requirements that the average administrative assistant must meet; Applicants looking for employment in this field should possess basic computer skills and now how to operate standard office equipment (Phones, copy and fax machines). Administrative assistants should also have knowledge of being able to use industry standard software, such as Microsoft Office, and the ability to type. Though there is no set standard for typing speed, it is generally believed that possessing a typing speed of around 50 words per minute (wpm) with near 100% is desired. For medical, legal and executing assistants, good research skills are an essential skill to have.

Where can you find an Admin and Clerical job listing?

You can search for an administrative and clerical job listing through websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, SimplyHired, and You can also check your local papers or do a general web search for your area for Administrative and clerical jobs. Recruitment agencies are a great way to find administrative work. Some agencies will even provide classes in learning certain software, such as word processing and spreadsheets, and can also provide testing in your skills that they can show potential employers.

Though the outlook for administrative jobs is in a decline, with the exception for the need for medical secretaries, administrative assistant work is a great way for new applicants looking to enter the job market and gain experience.

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