A business support worker takes care of office duties and odd jobs for her company. Support workers are often referred to as office clerks, administrative assistants or secretaries. They perform a wide variety of functions to keep their businesses operating smoothly, including greeting clients, forwarding phone calls, taking messages and typing memos and reports.
Business Support Basics
Business support workers are important employees in practically every industry. They save their supervisors valuable time, keeping track of appointments and invoices, taking minutes at meetings and entering relevant data into computers. Rarely do support workers perform the same tasks every day. Many perform different roles for different types of businesses. Some handle billing or bookkeeping duties along with everyday tasks; others update the company website or respond to email.
Business support workers must have a firm understanding of a wide variety of office duties. Those include typing, filing, handling mail, running a fax machine and sometimes a cash register. Most also need basic computer, math and grammar skills. Business support workers also should be dedicated to their jobs, approaching them with a strong work ethic and positive attitude. They must be organized, motivated, capable of working well -- whether alone or as part of a team -- and able to follow a supervisor's guidance and to multitask.
Education and Training
Business support workers need varying levels of education for different industries. The majority start working with little more than a high school diploma or the equivalent because they often hold entry-level positions that allow them to learn on the job. Others may need some college, such as an associate's degree, with coursework in keyboarding, word processing, computers, project management and bookkeeping.
The BLS predicts that overall employment of secretaries and administrative assistants of all types will increase 12 percent between 2012 and 2022, compared to an 11 percent increase for all occupations. However, the BLS projects only a 6 percent increase in jobs for general office clerks during the same decade as technology increases their productivity. However, additional positions will open up for both roles to replace workers who leave.
A business support worker's precise salary depends upon his industry and his title. For instance, according to the BLS, 80 percent of general office clerks earned between $18,040 and $45,340 annually as of May 2013. Eighty percent of secretaries and administrative assistants earned between $20,370 and $49,370 annually in 2013, excluding medical, legal and executive secretaries.