What Does an Administrative Specialist Do?

An administrative specialist provides communication, business, hospitality, and clerical support to an organization. What education and certification is required to become an administrative specialist? Keep reading to find out. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Defined

An administrative specialist is a job title commonly associated with a secretary or an administrative assistant, but specialists often have additional responsibilities, such as managing events and administrative projects. As an administrative specialist, your job duties will depend on the type of company or business you work for. You'll use computers, answer phones, organize records, and manage other office-related tasks; your may also handle substantive administrative projects as they arise. In addition to computer skills, you'll need good communication and customer service skills, along with knowledge of office equipment and basic accounting. Making travel arrangements and drafting office correspondence may also be part of your job.

Important Facts About Administrative Specialists

Similar Occupations Administrative assistant, office clerks, receptionists
Work Environment Most admin specialists work in an office setting; virtual admins may work from a home office
Key Skills Integrity, interpersonal skills, organizational ability, writing skills
On-the-job Training Administrative specialists usually require some on-the-job training to learn the more detailed aspects of their jobs

Education and Training

Certificate and two-year degree programs that provide the education needed to be an administrative specialist can be found at community and technical colleges. These programs often target office professionals who want to expand their knowledge in computer applications, general office procedures, business math, communication, and customer service. Such programs are designed to prepare you for employment as an administrative specialist in any type of business. You can expect to take courses in keyboarding, communications, and accounting. There may also be courses in Microsoft program applications, such as Access, Word, and Excel.

Certification

The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) credential, which is designed to demonstrate your proficiency in computer systems and technology, office procedures, communications, and office management. You'll need to pass an exam to become certified, and recertification is required every five years.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for administrative assistants and secretaries was expected to increase by 12% between 2012 and 2022. While technology continues to increase and change the way businesses operate, the BLS indicates that because many of the tasks performed in this job field are of a more personal nature (interacting with clients, supporting other departments, etc.), the demand for administrative roles in the workplace will continue. According to the BLS in May 2014, the mean annual wage for administrative positions was $53,590 (www.bls.gov).

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