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5 Misconceptions about Administrative Assistant Jobs

Administrative assistant, executive assistant, operations manager, administration coordinator–whatever the title may be, working as an assistant can be a fruitful career complete with comfortable pay, benefits, and plenty of room to grow career-wise. Yet there’s a long list of misconceptions that many people have about the role.

Some view the roles as something only a woman can do. Others believe that assistants are not respected by other employees and those in positions of power. We’re here to dispel these rumors and show you that they couldn’t be further from the truth.

We know these misconceptions can be hard to swallow when considering going into the field. It can cause you to second-guess your career decision. That’s why we want to make you feel comfortable and confident in your choice and help you find the administrative assistant position of your dreams with the help of our professional recruiters.

1.   Administrative Assistants Are Inferior to Other Employees

When people think of an administrative assistant, they most likely think of an employee on the bottom of the career ladder–lesser than everyone else in the office. However, this is entirely a misconception. They are just as important as every other team member.

Although they may not have the title behind them, they have easily one of the most influential roles in an office. They have a long list of skills that don’t just revolve around administrative tasks. From communication to bookkeeping to emotional intelligence to leadership, executive assistants need to be personable and ready to tackle any task that is presented to them.

Depending on the company and business, an administrative assistant can take on many tasks, such as writing, marketing, design, sales, etc. It’s time to ditch the idea that they are only there to fetch coffee and take notes during important meetings.

2.   No Chance of Career Advancement & Growth

Think that administrative assistants have little education and very little room to grow in their careers.   Think again. Many assistants have a professional degree, and–again, depending on the field in which they work–many organizations offer further training.

In a survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, 38.28% of surveyed assistants had at least some college under their belt. 28.78% completed college with a four-year degree. And 17.99% had a two-year degree. That’s just over 85% having some kind of college experience and/or a degree! It’s also been ranked as one of the best careers to pursue without a degree. Just think about how much you can further your career when you do have one.

And because assistants are at the heart of a business’s operations, they have experience in various fields, making them an ideal candidate to promote. They know the ins and outs of a company, which allows them to pick and choose where they want to go in terms of advancement.

Sound like something that you may be interested in? TriStarr is connected to great employers in Lancaster, PA, and has a variety of admin jobs to choose from.

3.   Administrative Professionals are Not Treated Well

As mentioned earlier, administrative assistants get a bad rap as being glorified secretaries. Not only is this not true, but there’s also nothing wrong with doing administrative tasks. Someone has to do them, after all. But because of this misconception, there’s also the myth that they are treated as “lesser than” their coworkers and that their opinions do not matter. This is simply untrue.

Assistants work closely with many higher-ups within a company, and when there’s a level of trust between the two, the assistant is treated quite well. They help make critical business decisions, hold difficult discussions, pitch new ideas for the company, add their input where necessary, etc. One can argue that an executive cannot exist without their assistant.

And while an administrative job may sometimes feel thankless, it’s no different from any other job. There may be moments where you don’t receive the praise or attention that you feel you deserve, but there are also going to be plenty of moments where you’re helping make crucial decisions on the company’s behalf.

4.   Only Women Can Be Administrative Assistants

There’s no denying that decades ago, women were the ones who held the majority of administrative assistant positions. And while women still fill many assistant jobs, that stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth in the modern-day career market. According to a study published by Zippia, women hold about 87.3% of administrative jobs, while men hold 12.7%. While there is no denying that it is still a predominantly female-run industry, men are working their way in as the years go by.

5.   Admin Assistants Don’t Get Paid Well

Just like with any other job out there, the pay for an admin assistant is going to vary depending on experience. If you’re just starting in the field, you will make less than if you had a few years under your belt. According to Indeed, the average base salary for an entry-level position as an assistant is $17.61 an hour. If that number seems too low to you, don’t fret. Because it only goes up from there.

According to U.S. News, the average salary for an assistant is $63,110. And in that survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals mentioned earlier, a majority of the surveyed admins made $65-$69K, with almost 18% of them making over $70,000 a year. In that same study, 45% of assistants said they were eligible for a bonus.

In 2020, the average salary was $56,310. That means that assistants are making over the national average. But if that’s not enough of a selling point for those who are considering an admin role but are afraid to make the move, you may also want to consider benefits. In the IAAP study, 76% of admins were offered paid vacation time, 68% were offered dental insurance, and 62% were offered health insurance. If this is something that is a must for you, working for a larger company should be your priority. These companies will also typically offer higher pay.

Interested in an Admin Job? Connect With a Recruiter in Lancaster, PA

Here at TriStarr, we want to help make job searching as easy as possible for you. That’s why we work with some of the top employers here in Lancaster, PA. If an administrative position is something that you are interested in and you are ready to find the perfect job for you, check out our job board to kickstart your career.

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