What today’s administrative professional does

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AdministrativeAdministrative Professionals’ Day is Wednesday, April 24, and recognizes the significant support and expertise administrative professionals provide in the workplace. While this holiday originated as “National Secretaries Day” in 1952, it has now grown to encompass the many diverse roles administrative professionals have taken on.

So what does today’s administrative professional do? Depending on what industry or organization you’re in, the answer may vary. Here’s a look at the many different roles and responsibilities of being an administrative professional.

Bill and account collectors* try to recover payment on overdue bills. They negotiate repayment plans with debtors and help them find solutions to make paying their overdue bills easier.
Median annual pay: $31,310
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements and check financial records for accuracy.
Median annual pay: $34,030
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Cargo and freight agents coordinate and facilitate incoming and outgoing shipments for transportation companies and other businesses.
Median annual pay: $37,150
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Couriers and messengers transport documents and packages for individuals, businesses, institutions and government agencies.
Median annual pay: $24,080
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Customer service representatives interact with customers on behalf of an organization. They provide information about products and services and respond to customer complaints. Some also take orders and process returns.
Median annual pay: $30,460
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures and other items that will be printed or put online. They collect the text, graphics and other materials they will need and then format them into a finished product.
Median annual pay: $36,610
Education requirement: Associate’s degree

Financial clerks do administrative work for banking, insurance and other companies. They keep records, help customers and carry out financial transactions.
Median annual pay: $33,710
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

General office clerks do a broad range of administrative tasks, including answering telephones, typing or word processing and filing. However, tasks vary widely in different jobs.
Median annual pay: $26,610
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Information clerks provide administrative and clerical support in a variety of settings. They help maintain records, collect data and information and respond to customers’ questions or concerns.
Median annual pay: $29,990
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent; however, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have some college education or an associate’s degree or higher.

Material recording clerks keep track of information to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule. They ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping and inventory control.
Median annual pay: $24,100
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent. Production, planning and expediting clerks need to have some basic computer skills and candidates who have taken some business classes may be given preference over those who haven’t.

Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers answer emergency and non-emergency calls. They take information from the caller and send the appropriate type and number of units.
Median annual pay: $35,370
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Postal service workers sell postal products and collect, sort and deliver mail.
Median annual pay: $53,090
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Receptionists perform various administrative tasks, including answering telephones and giving information to the public and customers.
Median annual pay: $25,240
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and organizational tasks. They organize files, draft messages, schedule appointments and support other staff.
Median annual pay: $34,660
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank. These transactions include cashing checks, depositing money and collecting loan payments.
Median annual pay: $24,100
Education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent

*Job descriptions, education requirements and median annual pay from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

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