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Job description for administrative staff

Administrative staff work to provide administrative and clerical support to a specific department or person. General duties include clerical, reception and project-based work. Administrative staff work in most employment industries and the specific duties can vary based on the industry where the positions are held.


Administrative staff, or individually, administrative assistants, perform a variety of administrative and clerical duties necessary to run an organisation or assist an individual. An administrative assistant plans and schedules meetings and appointments. She organises and maintains paper and electronic files, deals with paperwork and office organisation. She answers phone calls, fields questions in areas in which she has the expertise to speak, and forwards others to the correct personnel. An administrative assistant writes and sends letters to persons working both in-house and out of the company. She may also handle travel and guest arrangements and may handle bills and paying vendors.

Work Environment

Administrative staff primarily work in schools, hospitals, corporate settings, government agencies or legal and medical offices. However all employment fields have need for administrative staff, so the job opportunities in different fields are endless. Regardless of the field, the one consistent feature is the environment, which is almost always an office setting. He spends the majority of his work shift sitting at a desk, in front of a computer.

An administrative assistant and other administrative staff generally work a 40-hour week, typically a Monday through Friday during normal business hours. It is unusual for administrative staff to work overtime, evenings or weekends.


Administrative assistants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Post-high school education is not required for most positions, though many community colleges and vocational schools offer one- to two-year programs in office administration. Administrative assistants should have one to two years' work experience performing clerical work in an office setting.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2008 median annual wage of administrative assistants was £26,019. The 2008 median annual wage for administrative staff in the management of private industries was £29,373; in the industry of local government was £27,222; in the management structure of colleges, universities and professional schools was £25,493; in the industry of state government was £23,101; and in the industry of employment services was £21,983.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of administrative staff positions is expected to increase by up to 11 per cent between 2008 and 2018. This is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The industries expected to grow the most for administrative assistants through that decade are construction, educational services, health care and social assistance.