Administrative Office Technology (AOT)

Occupation Description

Informational Video Administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical tasks and assume minor executive responsibilities in order to keep an office running smoothly. Administrative assistants may work alone or in a large, busy, and often noisy office under the supervision of a professional or office manager. Some assistants may supervise clerks, typists, or stenographers.

Administrative assistants generally work in a clean, well-lit, and comfortable office with modern, well-maintained equipment. Their jobs often involve sitting for long periods, and the typing often requires working from materials that are difficult to read. Office work lends itself to alternative or flexible working arrangements; many administrative assistants hold part-time or temporary jobs. Some participate in job-sharing arrangements where two people divide the responsibilities of a single job.

Duties and Responsibilities

Employment Opportunities

Summer and part-time employment in a business office or participation in an internship program may be available through vocational centers, high schools or colleges. All branches of the military service offer opportunities for experience.

Methods of entering this occupation include direct application to employers and taking civil service exams. Positions may also be located by consulting newspaper want ads, school placement offices, or state employment offices.

Earnings and Advancement

Earnings of administrative assistants depend on the type of work, geographic location of the employer, the level of responsibility, and the individual's experience. Earnings generally are lowest in southern cities and highest in northern and western cities. Salaries tend to be highest in transportation, legal services, and public utilities. They are lowest in retail trade, finance, insurance, and real estate.

The average annual salary for administrative assistants with limited experience was $23,067 in 2000. Those with several years of experience could earn up to $47,407 per year. Starting salaries for inexperienced assistants employed by the federal government were $19,014 in 2000. All administrative assistants employed by the government averaged about $30,487.

Administrative assistants may receive paid vacations, holidays, sick days, life and health insurance, and retirement benefits. These are usually paid for by the employer.

The Programs in the Department 

The Administrative Office Technology Department has three programs from which students may choose. There is a certificate, diploma, and degree program.

The Office Support Specialist Certificate is an entry-level program for general business work in the office.

The Administrative Support diploma program provides students with the opportunity to develop entry-level office procedures and professional interpersonal skills. Basic computer skills include keyboarding, data entry, and word processing which are necessary to enter the job market as clerical support staff.

The Administrative Office Technology degree program provides training in administrative office procedures customer service, keyboarding machine transcription, and word processing. It covers all aspects of the office professional and incorporates hands-on, in-depth training on various software packages that will prepare students for office careers such as administrative assistants, administrative support personnel, and executive secretaries.

Administrative Office Technology graduates are employed by facilities of various sizes from and offices with one assistant to Fortune 500 corporations. Larger corporations usually have higher salaries.

Instructor Sites

Louise Balotti

Sylvia Dorsey

Please see our Department Website for all the details.