Posted in Career Insights

how to become an administrative assistantThanks to years of films and theatre demeaning the job, the ‘administrative assistant’ or ‘secretary’ position is often looked down upon. However, the truth is that without a person filling that role in the office, many businesses would likely fall apart.

Furthermore, the job pays well, especially given the low barrier to entry in many cases. Secretaries make, on average, around $37,000 a year. They can make much more than that if they are working for a large company or for a top executive.

If you want to become an administrative assistant, there are a few things that you should know about the job beforehand.


One of the most important things that a secretary does is communicate. They stand between the public, the workers in the office, executives, and others.

It is their job to make sure that the executive gets all questions, complaints, and concerns (when appropriate).

Because of this, a good secretary will understand how to work even the more complex phone systems that many offices utilize. Administrative assistants also know how to use computers, multiple email systems, and the office’s instant messaging system. A secretary should also act politely when using them.


Another task that many secretaries run into is the production and handling of documents. These documents could be anything from emails requesting time off that are for someone in scheduling, to sensitive documents that are only meant for the CEO.

Being an administrative assistant means understanding the way to care for and store the more sensitive documents. It also means understanding which documents to destroy after the appropriate persons view them.

A secretary who understands the proper handling of documents, or who has taken a course on it from somewhere like Stratford Career Institute, will be much more likely to get a job.

Travel Arrangements

One of the most important tasks that a secretary will have is to make travel arrangements. Executives and administrators may need to travel to conferences, meetings, to see clients, and more.

For many people, planning a flight is a hassle, to say the least, and making sure that the itinerary contains enough time to make it through the airport is, simply put, annoying.

Many executives leave that work up to their administrative assistants.

A good secretary will know where their boss likes to sit on the plane (bulkhead or emergency exit row? Window or aisle seat?) and will know when they like to travel as well.

Basic Office Computer Programs

Someone who understands how to use the common programs used by offices will be much better equipped to get a job as a secretary than the average person.

Generally, this means understanding Microsoft Office Suite. This includes a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, and perhaps a handful of other programs, depending on the office in question.

One could get such knowledge almost anywhere, including via classes offered online by Stratford Career Institute.

It’s worthwhile to understand how these programs work even outside of an office space environment, of course, but it is much more important for those who are going to work in an office.

If you’re looking to start a new, profitable career as an administrative assistant, this knowledge will help you do so. Invest in a bit of education for yourself, and you might be standing head and shoulders above other candidates.

Become an Administrative Assistant By Taking a Course

Jump-start your career! Through the Stratford Career Institute, you can take a class on how to become an administrative assistant. Learn more here.



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