Administrative Assistant skills & qualifications

an Administrative Assistant typing on her computer

What skills does an Administrative Assistant need to have?

Technical and soft skills an Administrative Assistant need to have include:
  • Possessing the ability to multitask
  • Having excellent typing skills – speed and accuracy
  • Being proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, including Outlook and other organisational tools
  • Being organised and detail-oriented
  • Possessing strong communication skills, both verbal and written to communicate with business managers and employees and in some cases, stakeholders and clients
  • Having the ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Being flexible and able to adapt to changes in the workplace
  • Possessing a positive attitude
  • Having a willingness to learn
Administrative Assistant skills can be learned through various professional experiences or formally studied with post-secondary education.

What qualifications does an Administrative Assistant need to have?

Qualifications an Administrative Assistant may need include:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • One to two years experience in an administrative role
  • Certificate in office administration or related field is preferred
Some employers may also prefer formal qualifications and certifications from post-secondary education, such as an Associate's or Bachelor’s degree.
The qualifications an Administrative Assistant needs may also be dependent on the responsibilities they will be undertaking in their specific role. Qualifications required are highly reliant on the industry of a business. For example, an Administrative Assistant at a medical clinic may need more qualifications than an Administrative Assistant at an accounting firm.

What kind of Bachelor's degree is best suited for an Administrative Assistant?

When it comes to degrees for an Administrative Assistant role, studies in business administration or management are preferred.

Do you need to study or go to university to become an Administrative Assistant?

No, there are several paths available to become an Administrative Assistant and not all require formal education at a university. Professional experience is always valuable when starting a job as an Administrative Assistant.

How can you become an Administrative Assistant without formal education?

Rather than studying or going to university, some individuals may gain experience by working as an Office Assistant first before transitioning into an Administrative Assistant role. Professional experiences in customer service are also advantageous to an Administrative Assistant's role.
Most employers require that candidates have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some may also prefer post-secondary education such as an Associate's or a Bachelor's degree; however, these are not required for employment.
Other ways to become an Administrative Assistant are completing a certificate program in office administration, which takes one year or less or attaining two years’ experience in an administrative role. Completing relevant online courses such as those offered at Hays Learning may also increase an individual’s chances of becoming an Administrative Assistant. Sign up for free here.

What do employers expect from an Administrative Assistant?

When it comes to expectations, employers of Administrative Assistants expect individuals who are organised and detail-oriented.
Possessing the ability to multitask is another expectation that some employers may have. Since the role requires communicating with both internal and external contacts, it’s also essential for Administrative Assistants to have proficient communication skills.
If you are looking to discover more about an Administrative Assistant role in Australia, visit our salary expectations page and job description page. For general information on the position, visit our page on Administrative Assistant jobs in Australia here.

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