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Working as an administrative support specialist can be very rewarding for an organized person who likes multitasking, finds the idea of working in an office appealing, and has great communication skills. While specific tasks vary by company and position, duties typically often involve office management, clerical tasks and back-office duties. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2016 median income for office and administrative support positions was $34,050.
Your work in an administrative support role handles tasks necessary to keep the office running smoothly. You may be responsible for keeping up with overseeing office supply purchasing and inventory, and scheduling office equipment maintenance. You also establish procedures and routines, such as arranging for coffee delivery every other week or requesting updated employee emergency contact information every six months. In some cases, you could supervise other administrative employees and coordinate the flow of work within a particular department or division.
Administrative support specialists may serve as a communication liaison for the executives they support. In this role, you may be responsible for opening and sorting mail, screening incoming calls and emails, and setting appointments with employees, customers and vendors. You also may be the point of contact between the executives they report to and other employees and departments within the company.
In admin support, you typically perform a variety of data management functions, including paper and electronic records management, setting up and managing spreadsheets and databases, producing reports, compiling information and sometimes analyzing results.
You could perform word processing functions ranging from drafting memos to typing and editing reports, proposals and other business documents. You may create newsletter and brochure layouts, as well as update content on company websites and blogs. Not only do you need to know how to use word processing applications and type quickly and accurately, administrative support specialists need to have business writing, editing and proofreading skills.
Professionals who work as administrative support specialists are often assigned to perform or oversee special projects. Depending on company and department needs, these may include sourcing vendors for a major purchase, auditing customer records, analyzing trends in employee absences and evaluating competitor product offerings.
Your duties could involve coordinating meeting times, scheduling conference room facilities, booking off-site meeting locations, sending out invitations, keeping track of RSVPs, creating and distributing the agenda, and arranging for food and beverage service. You may also take minutes during meetings and distribute them to attendees afterward.
Planning travel on behalf of company executives is an important part of many administrative support jobs. You frequently select airlines, hotels and rental car providers, negotiate rates, book reservations and handle cancellations as needed. You create and file expense reports on behalf of company travelers using trip receipts or reconcile company credit card statements used for business travel.
Mary White is professional trainer and human-resources consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She is also the author of two nonfiction books and has worked as a writer since 2007. White holds Master of Arts in communication and certification as a senior professional in human resources.
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