A front office assistant is responsible for answering the telephone, filing paperwork, managing computer documents, and greeting customers in an office setting. The specific office in which an individual works may have additional responsibilities that are unique to the type of industry in which the assistant is employed. College level courses are typically not required for individuals seeking this level of work, and on the job training is generally provided.
It is typically not necessary for individuals interested in this type of job to have obtained a post secondary education. The responsibilities of the front office assistant are often unique to the company for which the individual works. Training can occur on the job and may be specific to the computer programs, filing system, and day to day activities that take place inside the office. Some offices may require that employees have obtained an undergraduate degree in office administration, business management, or a related field prior to promotion to a senior front office management position.
The general responsibilities of the front office assistant include working with a computer, filing paperwork, answering telephones, and greeting customers or business associates who arrive in the office. This individual is often the first person a customer sees upon entering the office. Her desk may be situated by the front door to better enable her to greet each new person that walks into the building. She may also be asked to direct individuals to the correct office of another employee when working in a large office suite or building.
Though the front office assistant does not generally need an undergraduate degree, she may be asked to be familiar with current computer operating systems. Weekly duties may include creating written reports for upper management, generating new spreadsheets that display company data, and sending and receiving email with company clients. Any computer programs utilized in the office that are not deemed common knowledge and available to the general public are often taught to new employees during their first weeks in the office.
This type of position is frequently utilized in the medical care industry. Private practice health care offices and hospitals staff dozens of doctors and nurses, and receive between hundreds and thousands of patients on an annual basis. A front office assistant can be vital for connecting patients with the correct health care professional they are seeking, and processing the necessary paperwork that accompanies each visit. In addition to her regular duties, the assistant may be asked to check in new patients to the office or hospital, schedule future appointments, and make sure that all relevant paperwork including medical histories and proof of insurance have been filled out and are on file. Other industries which employ front office assistants include financial management services, staffing agencies, real estate offices, and law firms, among others.