what is an administrative assistant?

An administrative assistant is a professional who supports executives and managers in various industries. The role requires a range of administrative, secretarial, and clerical duties essential to an organisation's efficient operation.

You are typically responsible for managing correspondence, scheduling appointments, organising meetings, creating and maintaining databases, and preparing reports, among other tasks. You act as the gatekeeper for your supervisor's schedule and communication, which involves screening calls, responding to emails, and directing inquiries to the appropriate person or department.

In addition to these basic responsibilities, you may also manage budgets, handle travel arrangements, prepare presentations, and coordinate events. You are often called upon to problem-solve and make decisions on behalf of your supervisor, which requires an ability to think on your feet and handle unexpected situations with professionalism and tact.

One of the key attributes of a successful administrative assistant is your ability to maintain confidentiality. You may find yourself working with sensitive and confidential information and must be trustworthy and able to handle confidential matters with discretion.

Does this role sound like a good fit for your organisational skills and desire for responsibility? If so, read on to find out more about the role, including what skills and competencies can help you succeed.

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average salary of an administrative assistant

According to Payscale, the average annual salary of an administrative assistant is ₹312,241, though your specific salary may be affected by things like bonuses and profit-sharing agreements. Entry-level administrative assistant roles tend to earn less, with an average closer to ₹246,000 per year. On the other hand, Experienced administrative assistants earn around ₹458,000 per year, and earnings can reach as high as ₹10,00,000 per year.

factors that affect administrative assistant pay

Several factors can impact an administrative assistant's salary, including location, experience, industry, and company size. Location is one of the most significant factors affecting your potential pay. Salaries vary widely depending on the region, with cities and metropolitan areas tending to offer higher salaries than rural areas. This is partially due to the higher cost of living and demand for administrative assistants in urban areas.

Experience is another key factor that affects your potential salary. As you gain more experience throughout your career, you can typically command higher salaries than when just starting. Employers are often willing to pay more for candidates with a proven track record of success and a wealth of knowledge and skills.

The industry in which you work also influences your earning potential. Some industries offer higher wages than others, depending on the demand for administrative support services in that industry. For example, working in the legal or medical fields may earn you a higher salary than in other industries due to the specialised nature of your work.

Smiling woman and man talking at the office
Smiling woman and man talking at the office

types of administrative assistant

There are many different administrative assistant roles, each with its own responsibilities. The most common types include:

  • executive assistant: as this type of administrative assistant, you support high-level executives and managers, such as CEOs, CFOs, and COOs. Executive administrative assistants manage the executives' schedules, organise meetings and events, and manage correspondence.
  • legal administrative assistant: in this role, you provide support to lawyers and legal professionals. You are responsible for managing legal documents, scheduling client appointments, and preparing legal documents such as contracts and agreements.
  • medical administrative assistant: as a medical administrative assistant, you support medical professionals such as doctors and nurses. Medical administrative assistants are responsible for scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and coordinating patient care.

working as an administrative assistant

Working as an administrative assistant is a role that involves helping the organisation you work for run smoothly. You achieve this through a range of administrative tasks. Below are some of your duties and responsibilities in this profession.


education and skills

Most administrative assistant positions require a Class 12th Certificate or equivalent. However, some positions may require an associate's or bachelor's degree in a related field, such as business administration or office management. Additionally, some employers may require certification or training in specific software applications, such as Microsoft Office or QuickBooks.

administrative assistant skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of an administrative assistant include:

  • organisation: you are highly organised, able to manage multiple tasks and prioritise your workload. This skill is essential for your day-to-day responsibilities.
  • communication: administrative assistants must have excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to share information clearly and effectively with clients, colleagues, and external stakeholders.
  • time management: you manage your time effectively, prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines. You often have to balance multiple tasks at the same time, so effective time management is important.
  • attention to detail: administrative assistants must have a keen eye for detail, with the ability to maintain accurate records and reports.
  • technical skills: you are proficient in using computers and relevant software applications, including Microsoft Office, email, and database management. You are also savvy enough to learn any proprietary applications your organisation uses.

FAQs about working as an administrative assistant

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of administrative assistant.

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