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Career Advancement for Administrative Assistants

Becoming an administrative assistant allows one to get a foot in the door in many different industries. It can also prepare someone to pursue a career in management. We'll discuss several advancement opportunities for administrative assistants.

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Great Ways to Move Your Career as an Administrative Assistant Forward

Administrative assistants are responsible for handling paperwork, filing, and other office duties that support the other staff. This role is ubiquitous throughout the workforce, and is a role that particularly appeals to individuals trying to gain experience and advance in a specific industry. Working as an administrative assistant can also help one begin moving towards a career in organizational management. This list includes just a few of the potential opportunities administrative assistants have for career advancement.

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Certificates or Education
Dental Hygienist $74,070 20% Associate's degree in dental hygiene
Mechanical Engineering Technician $55,360 5% Associate's degree in a related field
Paralegal or Legal Assistant $50,410 15% Associates degree in paralegal studies or bachelor's degree in a related field
Training and Development Managers $108,250 10% Bachelor's or master's degree, prior work experience
Human Resources Managers $110,120 9% Bachelor's degree, prior work experience

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information

Dental Hygienist

Administrative assistants who work in dental offices may be able to advance their career by becoming a dental hygienist. In this role, they will be responsible for cleaning patient's teeth, taking X-rays, and educating patients on caring for their teeth. An associate's degree that trains one to preform these tasks is needed, but the large pay increase and opportunity to work in patient care is well worth heading back to school.

Mechanical Engineering Technician

Becoming a mechanical engineering technician is a way to work in the engineering field without having a gain a bachelor's or master's degree. Individuals in this position help lead engineers on everything involved in the implementation of projects, from designing to manufacturing and trouble-shooting. Administrative assistants who hold positions at engineering firms should talk to their employers about what it would take to advance to this role. Most bosses want to hire technicians with an associate's degree, however some will be satisfied with candidates who have some prior experience and who can demonstrate an aptitude for engineering.

Paralegal or Legal Assistant

Another industry in which there is a lot of room for advancement as an administrative assistant is law, where it is possible to move up into a job as a paralegal or legal assistant. This job entails assisting lawyers on everything involved in the legal process. Common duties include conducting research, writing reports, and communicating with clients and other relevant parties. It is possible to get an associate's degree in paralegal studies, however many employers prefer to hire individuals who have a relevant bachelor's degree. Still others are willing to hire to the right candidate even if they have no credentials or prior experience.

Training and Development Manager

Administrative assistants are perfectly positioned to move into management roles at their companies. As a training and development manager, one is responsible for ensuring that all staff have the skills needed to adequately preform their jobs. They stay up to date on the latest methods and technologies in their industry, run training seminars, and evaluate the effectiveness of this training after it is completed. A bachelor's degree in a field related to business and prior job experience is required. Some employers look for candidates who have a master's degree as well.

Human Resources Managers

Advancing into a position as a human resources manager is a logical goal for administrative assistants, as this is the top administrative role at many companies. In this position, individuals are responsible for interviewing and hiring job candidates, coordinating all staff, and connecting employees to upper-level management. In terms of education, a bachelor's degree is sufficient to get a job as a human resources manager, however a few years of relevant experience is also critical for being hired to fill this role.

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