Being an Administrative Assistant: Pros and Cons

No matter the size or purpose of a business, one job remains universal: the administrative assistant role. Administrative assistants are essential to companies, as they provide administrative support and help keep the organization running smoothly. In many ways, administrative assistants are the backbone of businesses.

If you’re considering a career in administrative assistance, now is a great time to explore the opportunities available. This job allows you to work closely with people in an office setting while providing valuable support services. Though this type of job has many positive aspects, it’s important to understand the pros and cons to decide if it’s still right for you.

In this blog post, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being an administrative assistant – from pay rates to job duties – so that you can make an informed decision about your career path.

What does an administrative assistant do?

Administrative assistants are the key to ensuring that any clerical and office administrative work is carried out efficiently. Typical duties include filing, organizing, scheduling appointments, taking phone calls, ordering supplies, handling correspondence, and often dealing with customers or clients. Administrative assistants may also maintain social media accounts like Twitter or Facebook and manage databases.

This role can vary depending on the size of the company but typically involves general administrative duties that help keep the office running smoothly. Many administrative assistants will also have specialized skills, such as familiarity with certain software programs or knowledge of a particular industry.

Administrative assistant

How hard is it to be an administrative assistant?

Working as an administrative assistant can be very rewarding, but it has challenges. You will be asked to handle multiple tasks at once and must stay organized to meet deadlines. You’ll also need strong communication skills to communicate effectively with people from all different backgrounds.

Finally, you’ll need a good knowledge of office equipment and software to execute tasks quickly and efficiently.

Is administrative assistant a stressful job?

Being an administrative assistant can be both rewarding and stressful. The job requires you to multitask, manage tight deadlines, and handle a high volume of work. You may also have to support other departments or teams, so you must stay organized and prioritize tasks accordingly.

The key to avoiding stress in this role is staying organized, planning, and being proactive. If you understand the job requirements, take the initiative to stay on top of tasks, and communicate openly with colleagues, being an administrative assistant can be an enjoyable experience.

Is administrative assistant a good position? Pros

There are plenty of advancement opportunities for administrative assistants.

With experience, you can move up in your career and take on more responsibility or transition into a related position. The administrative assistant role can be found in most government agencies, large corporations, or small businesses.

You will have the chance to use and learn new skills while working as an administrative assistant. You’ll gain business knowledge, develop organizational and communication skills, and become familiar with computer software programs specific to the industry.

You get to interact with lots of different people

Administration assistants often have the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life. They may be responsible for greeting guests, answering phone calls, and responding to emails. This allows them to develop their communication skills as they learn how to handle different personalities and situations effectively.

The training is quick and affordable

Training for administrative assistants is an excellent opportunity to learn the ropes of the profession. Many programs offer quick and affordable classes that provide administrative assistant certification or degree options. Plus, many employers will pay for continuing education courses so you can stay up-to-date on industry trends and skills.

Admin assistants are employable in many industries

One good thing about administrative assistant roles is that they can be found in almost any industry. Whether you have a knack for technology, finance, or hospitality and tourism, there is likely an administrative assistant job available in your chosen field. This makes finding a job that meets your interests and passions easier.

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What is the most difficult part of being an administrative assistant? Cons

High-Pressure Environment

You will often be working in a high-pressure environment where deadlines have to be met and tasks have to be completed accurately. This can lead to stress and burnout if you need help managing your workload effectively.

Administrative boredom

It can become monotonous doing the same administrative tasks over and over. To avoid administrative boredom, it’s important to stay organized, develop new skills, and look for ways to make the job more enjoyable.


As an administrative assistant, you must communicate effectively with internal colleagues and external clients. This can be challenging at times as you may need to manage different personalities or difficult situations.

The job description varies a bit with each workplace

The most difficult part of being an administrative assistant is often staying up to date and adhering to changing job requirements. As the workplace evolves, you may be required to learn new skills or take on new tasks that weren’t previously a part of your job. Additionally, it can sometimes be difficult to juggle multiple projects at once without getting overwhelmed.

You’ll need to know a little about a lot of things.

Another challenging aspect of the job is that you may be required to have a basic understanding of many different topics. This can be difficult as you may not be an expert in every field but still need to know enough to provide sound advice and assistance when necessary.

Job Analysis in HRM

What qualifications are required to be an administrative assistant?

If your career path takes you to Administrative Assistant positions, you must concentrate on these skills. Most companies will only require a high school education diploma for the role. Some companies list two to three years of experience as a requirement to narrow the pool of applicants. Almost any office work can help you qualify for an admin assistant job.


Almost every administrative assistant job requires a high school diploma. Many companies are now hiring administrative assistants with Associate’s degrees, GCED, or equivalent. This can open up more opportunities in the job market and make you more competitive when seeking Administrative Assistant positions.

Administrative assistants can boost themselves by taking on additional training, earning certificates, and learning new administrative skills. This demonstrates a commitment to the profession and can make you stand out from other candidates.


Aside from the basics of administrative work, a few skills will help you excel in an Administrative Assistant position.

  • Organization: Organizing files, documents, and systems is key to being an effective administrative assistant.
  • Communication: You’ll need excellent written and verbal communication skills to interact with clients and colleagues.
  • Technical proficiency: A knowledge of computer skills and basic office equipment is essential for administrative assistants. Familiarity with social media accounts, data entry, and other software is also beneficial.
  • Attention to detail: As an administrative assistant, you’ll need to pay close attention to detail to complete tasks accurately and efficiently.
  • Flexibility: Being able to adapt quickly to changing situations is necessary for administrative assistants.
  • Team player: Administrative assistants often have to collaborate with other team members, so it’s important to work well with others.

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Job description of administrative assistant

A typical day for an administrative assistant might include the following:

  • Answering and routing incoming phone calls
  • Scheduling appointments and travel arrangements
  • Coordinating with other departments and external clients
  • Creating documents such as reports, presentations, or correspondence
  • Managing databases and filing systems
  • Ordering supplies and office equipment
  • Handling social media accounts for the company
  • Assisting with administrative activities related to the department.

The roles and responsibilities of an Administrative Assistant can vary depending on the organization, but typical job duties include:

  • Providing administrative support to various departments or executives
  • Supporting office staff by handling information requests and performing clerical functions
  • Updating and maintaining office policies and procedures
  • Scheduling meetings, appointments, and travel arrangements for executives
  • Maintaining filing systems and managing documents
  • Greeting visitors and handling inquiries
  • Preparing reports and presentations using MS Office tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Creating, maintaining, and entering information into databases.

Administrative assistant salary expectations

The typical pay for an Administrative Assistant in the United States is $43,842 as of December 27th, 2022. Generally, salaries range from $39,176 to a maximum of $49,477. Salaries can differ depending on industries and locations.

Find a list of salaries for Administrative assistants in your job area.

Six things to do to break out of being an administrative assistant

A career in administrative assistance provides abundant opportunities for growth and advancement. As you gain experience, you could be promoted to more senior administrative professional with growing responsibilities – opening up a world of possibilities.

For example, an entry-level administrative assistant may have the chance to move up to an executive secretary role or even a director of operations. Additionally, many administrative assistants pursue careers such as office managers or business analysts.

If you’re looking for a way to break out of being an administrative assistant, here are six things you can do:

Get additional training and education

A bachelor’s or associate’s degree in business administration will give you the knowledge and skills needed to move up in your career.

Analyze your background and interests

Take an inventory of your current skills and experience and what you’re truly passionate about to identify potential career paths that might be a better fit.

Develop your network

Seek advice from mentors and colleagues in the industry, join networking events or professional organizations, and connect with hiring managers. This can open up more possibilities for you in your career.

Research the job market

Do your research to understand the landscape of administrative assistant roles, and look into other positions that might be a better fit for you. Compare job postings to get an idea of what employers are looking for in terms of skills or qualifications.

Update your resume and apply for jobs

Make sure to highlight your qualifications and experiences relevant to the positions you’re interested in. After updating your resume, start applying for administrative assistant roles or other positions that may fit better with your desired career path.

A word from SublimePeople

Though there are some downsides to the job, such as long hours and little room for advancement, being an administrative assistant can be a great way to get your start in a company. If you have good organizational skills and enjoy helping others, then this might be the perfect career path for you.

Have you ever worked as an administrative assistant? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.