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A Brief Guide to Administrator Duties

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Administrator duties revolve around providing secretarial or administrative support for the executives of a business. Administrator jobs often take the form of executive assistant and secretary positions for large corporations. Administrators are responsible for performing much secretarial work and acting as liaisons among the various branches of a company. Usually, a certain department of a company has its own administrator to provide secretarial support for its functions.

However, even the more specialized administrator jobs commonly perform routine administrative tasks, such as answering phones, sending faxes, preparing schedules, writing correspondence, overseeing the company website, coordinating travel arrangements, and typing up spreadsheets. Moreover, they often sit in on meetings with their superiors and take minutes. It also falls to these administrators to communicate among the separate branches of a company. Many administrators also participate in company projects headed by the branch for which they work. For instance, an administrator who works for the chief financial officer (CFO) of a company may be asked to perform research for new financial strategies or compile documentation relating to those strategies.

Human resources (HR) administrators are another common type of administrator. An HR administrator provides clerical support to the senior human resources staff in their routine activities. For example, these administrators often help process payroll and regulate employee benefits. In addition, they use their regulatory knowledge to ensure that HR activities comply with company regulations. They also look after employee files and guard their confidentiality, and work with HR software and troubleshoot it if necessary. Naturally, they are also called on to support special HR activities, such as employee conflict resolution and recruiting.



Executive administrators, or executive administrative assistants, work directly for the senior managers of a company. They perform the usual repertoire of administrative support tasks, such as processing spreadsheets, screening calls, drafting reports, writing press releases, taking minutes, acting as liaisons to other company divisions, and scheduling appointments. They also ensure compliance with the company handbook and determine that regulatory goals are being met. Their superiors may ask them to perform specialized tasks such as research or appoint them as representatives at certain events, such as job fairs and individual meetings. Moreover, they train other administrative employees and act as administrative managers. They may also perform minor bookkeeping work, such as budget analysis, and help strategize efficiency-related improvements in executive activities.

Regardless of their respective industries, all administrators perform a broad range of clerical activities and must exhibit personal qualities like reliability, discreetness, and trustworthiness. Above all, they show masterful organizational skills, including the ability to multitask and concentrate amid distraction. They have great memories that enable them to act as references for company regulations, and they are able to instantly detect faults in those regulations and repair them. They demonstrate great discreetness as they constantly handle large amounts of confidential information, especially as concerns executives and employees.

Qualified administrators also interact comfortably with computers and show fluency in several software programs, especially Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and integrated-platform applications such as Microsoft Office SharePoint. They have excellent communication skills and are often appointed as the ''face'' of their company. Since they often manage their division's administrative staff, they capably shoulder great responsibility and are able to address concerns related to company administration, such as computer malfunctions, customer complaints, budget issues, and regulatory procedures.

The most qualified administrators have a bachelor's degree or other certification related to their field, such as human resources certification. There is no recommended type of degree, as administrator skills are fairly transferable and do not vary greatly from company to company. Nevertheless, recruiters want administrators to have thorough experience in administrative/clerical work before they invite them to interview. Senior-level administrator jobs in corporations may demand a bachelor's degree with a minimum of five years or more of experience in the corresponding field. For instance, an administrator job at a pharmaceutical corporation will demand a high level of clerical experience in the pharmaceutical industry in order to be familiar with medical terminology and pharmaceutical regulations. Smaller companies may ask for either a bachelor's degree or the equivalent amount of administrative experience, but all candidates must be able to demonstrate capability in administrative work.

Salaries for administrators hinge on experience level. Administrators with less than one year of experience can expect to make about $35,000 per year, while those with more than two years of experience make about $39,000 per year. Senior-level administrators make from $44,000 to $50,000 annually.

The job outlook for administrator positions is fairly positive, especially for systems and database administrators who supervise company computer systems. In addition, the number of HR administrator jobs is projected to grow faster than average, at a rate of 17% between 2006 and 2016. On the other hand, executive assistant jobs will grow as fast as the average for all occupations at a rate of 9%, though the particular rate may be larger or smaller depending on the specific industry. Nascent industries such as administrative services firms, health and social services agencies, and scientific firms will create the most administrator jobs in the near future.
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