What are the Different Administrative Assistant Positions?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Medical assistants may perform secretarial tasks.
Medical assistants may perform secretarial tasks.

For people with the right skills and career goals, administrative assistant positions can be a great launching pad into the working world. As an assistant, a goal-oriented worker can gain valuable insider knowledge and insight to help gain his or her career goals. Since many different types of businesses require some sort of office or archival work, it is possible to find administrative assistant positions in nearly every industry.

Administrative assistants commonly work in an office setting.
Administrative assistants commonly work in an office setting.

Hollywood insiders often say that one of the best ways into the industry is through front office work. At talent agencies, production companies and post-production houses, even new workers may be excited by the scope of talent and getting to be a part of the movie business. When applying for administrative assistant jobs within the movie industry, politely ask if the position will include opportunities to advance within the company. One of the best expert tips for this industry is to avoid looking desperate; do not bring copies of a script or plans to take over the studio.

Familiarity with operating standard office equipment such as copiers is an essential administrative skill.
Familiarity with operating standard office equipment such as copiers is an essential administrative skill.

For people planning to attend law school or become legal secretaries, administrative assistant positions in law firms can be extremely beneficial. Not only will working in a law office allow assistants to become acquainted with relevant terms and the daily activity of the job, making useful contacts in the legal world can be extremely important later in a career. Upon graduating from law school, being in good standing at an established firm can result in recommendations or even a job offer.

A legal administrative assistant's exact job description depends on the firm for which she works.
A legal administrative assistant's exact job description depends on the firm for which she works.

Medical administrative assistant positions typically require organizational skills and a lot of patience. Since administrative duties may be combined with front desk work, an administrative job in this industry requires people skills and a high level of tolerance for frustration. Medical assistants may also be required to have some basic medical training, such as emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This may be a good job for people considering pursuing a career in medicine or public health.

Film and television production companies require production assistants for a variety of administrative tasks.
Film and television production companies require production assistants for a variety of administrative tasks.

Office job salaries are often based on experience and skill level, so consider taking at least some basic training. Typing skills, computer literacy, and good phone manners are usually extremely important requirements of any administrative job. Be familiar with all basic office equipment such as copiers, fax machines, and scanners. Fluency in at least one foreign language may also be greatly appreciated in some offices.

Office assistants may type up documents for co-workers.
Office assistants may type up documents for co-workers.

Regardless of the industry, a few basic behavior patterns will help any administrative assistant succeed at both interviews and new jobs. Although expensive clothes are rarely required, a professional appearance is important and clothes should be clean and ironed. A good attitude and conscious gratitude toward employers can also go a long way; though it may not be a dream job, administrative assistant positions can help on the way to a dream job, and are worthy of respect. Impressing employers with a positive attitude may take assistants a long way toward advancement in both the company and the industry.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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    • Medical assistants may perform secretarial tasks.
      Medical assistants may perform secretarial tasks.
    • Administrative assistants commonly work in an office setting.
      Administrative assistants commonly work in an office setting.
    • Familiarity with operating standard office equipment such as copiers is an essential administrative skill.
      Familiarity with operating standard office equipment such as copiers is an essential administrative skill.
    • A legal administrative assistant's exact job description depends on the firm for which she works.
      A legal administrative assistant's exact job description depends on the firm for which she works.
    • Film and television production companies require production assistants for a variety of administrative tasks.
      Film and television production companies require production assistants for a variety of administrative tasks.
    • Office assistants may type up documents for co-workers.
      Office assistants may type up documents for co-workers.