CAREER GUIDE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

SOC Code: 43-6011

Pay Band(s): 3         (Salary Structure)

Standard Occupational Description: Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.

Administrative Assistant positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Administrative and Office Support Career Group:

Administrative and Office Specialist III

While Administrative Assistant within the Commonwealth are all located within Administrative and Office Support Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.   

Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:

General Administration

Program Administration

Training and Instruction

SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS

(Technical and Functional Expertise)

Skills

Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Administrative Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

  1. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  2. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  3. Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  4. Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  5. Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  6. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  7. Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  8. Using mathematics to solve problems.
  9. Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  10. Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Knowledge

Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Administrative Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Knowledge of:

  1. Administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  2. Business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  3. Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Abilities

Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Administrative Assistant commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Ability to:

  1. Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  2. See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  3. Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  4. Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  5. Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  6. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  7. Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  8. Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  9.  Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  10. Make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.

Tasks

Note:  The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Administrative Assistant.  Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. 

Tasks

  1. Attend meetings in order to record minutes.
  2. Compile, transcribe, and distribute minutes of meetings.
  3. Coordinate and direct office services, such as records and budget preparation, personnel, and housekeeping, in order to aid executives.
  4. Greet visitors and determine whether they should be given access to specific individuals.
  5. Make travel arrangements for executives.
  6. Manage and maintain executives' schedules.
  7. Open, sort, and distribute incoming correspondence, including faxes and email.
  8. Prepare agendas and make arrangements for committee, board, and other meetings.
  9. Prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, database, and/or presentation software.
  10. Prepare responses to correspondence containing routine inquiries.

INTERESTED?

Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.

The occupation of Administrative Assistant has Conventional and Enterprising characteristics as described below:

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Generally this is not required for Administrative Assistant positions in state government.

However certification may enhance professional development and career progression.

For information on the Certified Professional Secretary or Certified Administrative Professional designations, contact: http://www.iaap-hq.org

EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

The Department of Labor provides the following information:

Administrative assistants are responsible for a variety of administrative and clerical duties necessary to run an organization efficiently. They serve as an information manager for an office, plan and schedule meetings and appointments, organize and maintain paper and electronic files, manage projects, conduct research, and provide information by using the telephone, postal mail, and e-mail. They also may handle travel arrangements.

Administrative assistants are aided in these tasks by a variety of office equipment, such as facsimile machines, photocopiers, and telephone systems. In addition, administrative assistants use personal computers to create spreadsheets, compose correspondence, manage databases, and create presentations, reports, and documents by using desktop publishing software and digital graphics—all tasks previously handled by managers and professionals.

High school graduates who have basic office skills may qualify for entry-level positions. However, employers increasingly require extensive knowledge of software applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and database management. Administrative assistants should be proficient in keyboarding and good at spelling, punctuation, grammar, and oral communication. Because administrative assistants must be tactful in their dealings with people, employers also look for good customer service and interpersonal skills.

Training ranges from high school vocational education programs that teach office skills and keyboarding to 1- and 2-year programs in office administration offered by business schools, vocational-technical institutes, and community colleges.  Bachelor's degrees and professional certifications are becoming increasingly important.

The State Council of Higher Education lists many Virginia educational institutions offering programs in administrative assistant on their web site: http://research.schev.edu/degreeinventory/inventory_

COMMONWEALTH COMPETENCIES

Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.

The Commonwealth Competencies are:

  1. Technical and Functional Expertise
  2. Understanding the Business     
  3. Achieving Results
  4. Serving the Customer
  5. Teamwork
  6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness

The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences. 

Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!

For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.state.va.us/cc_planningctr.htm.  For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each.  Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like. 

COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH

Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)

For example: Administrative Assistant

PAY BAND

PRACTITIONER ROLES

     

3

Administrative and Office Specialist III

     
         

Sample Career Path

Administrative and Office Specialist III

The Administrative and Office Specialist III role provides a career track for administrative assistants. Duties range from journey-level to supervisory level and may include report writing, scheduling, data collection and analysis and research.

ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: 

O*NET (Occupational Information Network) 

http://online.onetcenter.org/gen_search_page

Virginia Employment Commission 

http://www.alex.vec.state.va.us/

Career One Stop

http://www.careeronestop.org/

Virginia Career Resource Network 

http://www.vacrn.net/