What to Expect in Entry-Level Administrative Jobs

entry level administrative jobs

Whether you’re about to begin your first job, or you’re debating whether to make a career move, this article will explain the variety of administrative work available, what it entails and how to be your organization’s superstar.

Don’t underestimate the importance of administrative work, even entry-level tasks. More than nine in 10 respondents surveyed by OfficeTeam rated administrative support as important to the company’s overall success.

OfficeTeam's Salary Guide contains more than 60 job descriptions, and many of those are entry-level administrative jobs. In fact, four of the most in-demand positions in the U.S. and Canada are suitable to those just beginning their careers:


Often the first point of contact for anybody outside of the company, a receptionist greets visitors and handles incoming calls, sometimes operating the switchboard. Receptionists are given their own general administrative responsibilities such as word processing, data entry and Internet research, and are also expected to help busy colleagues with similar tasks.

Administrative assistant

At the entry level, administrative assistant work involves handling telephone calls, filing, data entry, and using office software for word processing, spreadsheets and creating or updating presentations. An administrative assistant is often called upon to assist other admins, which may involve acting as the receptionist or covering a range of other office duties.

Customer service representative

Staff members in these positions are responsible for maintaining strong relationships with customers by placing and receiving calls. The best customer service representatives answer questions and concerns quickly and with confidence. Excellent communication skills are required for this role, which may also involve data entry and research to troubleshoot queries.

Human resources assistant

The role that’s expected to see the most significant salary growth this year is human resources (HR) assistant. This professional helps with a variety of functions, including hiring staff, organizing health and welfare benefit programs, resolving employee disputes and handling employee departures. Not surprisingly, HR assistants must have strong interpersonal skills. They should also be able to conduct Internet research, screen telephone calls, maintain databases and keep sensitive material confidential.

How to stand out

The two most crucial skills in administrative work are communication and technology skills. Employees look for candidates with the ability to articulate ideas to colleagues, superiors, clients and vendors in writing, over the phone and face-to-face. Candidates also need to be confident working with Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, savvy using social media sites and, in many cases, have a good understanding of databases.

Certain qualifications are so valuable to employers that they are willing to pay more to secure a candidate who possesses them. A professional administrative certification, for example, can boost salaries by as much as six percent, and a Microsoft Office Specialist certification can bump pay by 10 percent.

Proficiency in one or more foreign languages is a big advantage in today’s global economy, and can increase a salary by between 12 to 15 percent.

Entry-level administrative jobs revolve around helping others. Once hired, managers expect admins to gladly volunteer their time, even offering to help before being asked. Many times this involves tasks that aren’t in the job description, and sometimes requests before or after business hours. Flexibility is definitely desirable in this level of employee.

If you don’t have all of the skills you need to succeed in your first job, don’t be afraid to ask your manager for help finding or even funding relevant training, even if you’re new to the company. You’ll be showing initiative and a willingness to improve.

Entry-level administrative jobs encompass a variety of duties in a range of industries. The common thread is that these professionals provide key support to their colleagues and managers. The more you willingly and sometimes proactively offer to help others, the more valuable you become to your team.

Have you aced an entry-level administrative job? Share your tips below.

Related Article: