Administrative professionals take care of basic office tasks so that managers, engineers, technicians, salespeople and other professionals can do their jobs. Their responsibilities center on organizing and managing the flow of information and resources. Salaries and duties vary by job title.
Over 21 million workers held administrative jobs, excluding administrative managers. They earned a mean salary of $34,120 per year, or $16.40 per hour, as of May 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest paid 10 percent received $18,980 yearly, while the top 10 percent made an average of $53,880. The largest employers, with over a million administrative jobs each, were banks, averaging $31,950 per year, and local government, with a mean salary of $36,450. The highest salaries, at $51,300, were in the Postal Service.
The quintessential administrative jobs belong to secretaries, who are also called administrative assistants. Secretaries maintain digital and paper information, answer and route phone calls, organize schedules and make appointments. Executive secretaries averaged $48,120 per year; legal secretaries made $44,310 yearly; and medical secretaries received an annual salary of $32,430. All other secretaries earned a mean of $33,020 per year. Average annual salaries ranged from below $20,050 to above $47,670.
Clerks perform miscellaneous office tasks and often specialize by function in large organizations. Clerks perform many of the jobs of secretaries but may require more supervision. They file paper and computer records, type letters and reports, and operate office machines, such as copiers. Billing clerks made $33,920 per year; accounting clerks received $36,120 yearly; and file clerks earned an annual salary of $27,460. General office clerks averaged $28,920 per year, with a range of below $17,740 to above $43,390 per year.
Administrative Services Managers
Administrative services managers were the highest paid administrative job professionals, earning a mean of $86,720 per year. Their annual pay range was from $43,120 to $139,170. They coordinate all office support activities by planning budgets for supplies and equipment, monitoring environmental safety and staff security, and overseeing facility and equipment maintenance and repair. They also hire, train and motivate administrative personnel, and assign them tasks and responsibilities. Like most with administrative jobs, managers need at least a high school diploma, and may climb to their current level through positions of increasing responsibility. However, at the top rungs of company ladders, some of these positions may require a bachelor’s degree in business or facility management.