What are the Different Types of Administrative Assistant Support?

Erin Oxendine

Administrative assistant support staff members have an important role at many companies, providing administrative and clerical support. These professional workers perform in all types of office environments from law firms to medical offices. Trained assistants are knowledgeable in office procedures and have strong business and computer skills.

Administrative assistants may put in orders with vendors for new office supplies.
Administrative assistants may put in orders with vendors for new office supplies.

Law firms employ a large number of administrative assistant support members to handle tasks such as transcription and setting up case files. Legal assistants draft correspondence at the attorney’s request and talk to adjusters about the status of claims. Assistants also schedule appointments for the attorney including mediations and depositions. Large law firms generally have teams who support areas of law and are composed of the attorney, paralegal and legal assistant.

Administrative assistants type up documents for supervisors.
Administrative assistants type up documents for supervisors.

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Doctors have administrative support staff to help the front office and medical staff. Medical assistants greet patients, schedule appointments and put patient information into charts. Some medical assistants perform advanced tasks including summarizing medical records and preparing office budgets.

Administrative assistants in scientific settings are often asked to inventory and order lab supplies.
Administrative assistants in scientific settings are often asked to inventory and order lab supplies.

Scientists have support staff in laboratories who work as research assistants. The administrative assistant in a scientific setting researches grant information and prepares agendas. Administrative support staff takes research notes and keeps track of project deadlines. Other tasks include clerical duties such as opening mail and purchasing lab supplies.

Medical and legal administrative assistants maintain patient and client records.
Medical and legal administrative assistants maintain patient and client records.

Senior executives, such as a company president, usually have administrative assistants who work directly for them. The assistant schedules client meetings as well as travel plans for the executive. Some of the job duties this assistant would have include drafting letters, handling invoices and preparing reports. At some corporations, the administrative assistant will also help the department managers as well as the executives.

Some research assistants work in laboratories.
Some research assistants work in laboratories.

Real estate companies use administrative assistant support to schedule showings for homes and list homes for sale. Real estate assistants typically have a background in preparing real estate documents and marketing experience. Some agencies require support personnel to have a real estate license to work at the agency. Graphic design skills are a plus for this position since real estate administrative support members prepare brochures and flyers for agents.

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

Most administrative assistant support professionals have at least a high school diploma as well as classes in accounting, math and office administration. Some assistants also have a certification in secretarial sciences. Individuals who wish to work as an administrative assistant support specialist should know how to use a variety of computer software programs and be able to multi-task. Personality traits needed in this position are the ability to learn fast and work well under pressure.

Legal assistants work closely with attorneys and paralegals.
Legal assistants work closely with attorneys and paralegals.
Administrative assistants can work in medical offices.
Administrative assistants can work in medical offices.
Making copies of documents is one of the duties of an administrative assistant.
Making copies of documents is one of the duties of an administrative assistant.

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