Careers in Administrative


Looking for an entry level job or internship in administrative? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

If you’ve seen Mad Men you know Christina Hendricks as the beautiful, feisty, and professional Joan Holloway. While she functions as an office manager and administrative assistant, Joan brings a sharp awareness of office politics, and the changing role of women in the workplace, to AMC’s marquee period drama. The office can’t operate without her, as no one else knows how the office is organized. An Administrative Assistant provides support to people within a business, but beyond that this role provides an amazing opportunity to get deeply involved with a company and key executives, leading to future advancement.

Administrative Assistant Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user ESwift

Administrative Assistant Career Guide Overview

  1. What an Administrative Assistant Does
  2. A Typical Day for an Administrative Assistant
  3. Salary and Career Progression for an Administrative Assistant
  4. Best Locations for Administrative Assistants
  5. Pros and Cons of Being an Administrative Assistant
  6. What You Need to Know to be an Administrative Assistant
  7. Administrative Assistant Resources
  8. Careers Related to being an Administrative Assistant
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships as an Administrative Assistant

What an Administrative Assistant Does

An administrative assistant provides support to people within a business by being the information and communication manager for an office. Furthermore administrative assistants are increasingly assuming responsibilities once reserved for managerial staff. Top executives need support to do their jobs effectively, and that’s where executive assistants come in: combining the organizational talents of an office manager, the record-keeping savvy of a financial whiz, and the professional foundation of a committed secretary into one flexible role. The great thing about being an Administrative Assistant is that it gives you the opportunity to get your foot in the door and then transition into something else within the company; it’s an opportunity for an entry level person to get in front of important people.

A Typical Day for an Administrative Assistant

While a typical day for an administrative assistant varies, it generally includes some of these tasks:

  • Managing inventory of assets and supplies, sourcing for suppliers and submitting invoices
  • Preparing presentations
  • Coordinating between departments
  • Scheduling and coordinating meetings, interviews, events and other similar activities
  • Sending out and receiving mail and packages
  • Sending faxes
  • Managing files
  • Research
  • Ordering and receiving food deliveries
  • Handling travel and guest arrangements
  • Providing training and orientation for new staff

Salary and Career Progression for an Administrative Assistant

On average in 2011 Administrative Assistants made $36,092 per year, while Executive Assistants earned $50,688. Qualified administrative assistants who broaden their knowledge of a company’s operations and enhance their skills may be promoted to senior or executive secretary or administrative assistant, clerical supervisor, or office manager ($23,347-$54,882/year). Administrative support experience also can lead to jobs such as instructor or sales representative. With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals.

Best Locations for Administrative Assistants

Here are some hot spots for administrative assistants:

  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • San Francisco, California
  • Oakland, California
  • Pasadena, California
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Plano, Texas
  • San Jose, California
  • Irvine, California
  • New York, New York
  • Seattle, Washington

Pros and Cons of Being an Administrative Assistant

  • This occupation ranks among those with the largest number of job openings
  • There can be a lot of variety in the work involved
  • It can get you into a great company
  • You’ll be handling some tedious tasks
  • You might have to get the coffee

What You Need to Know to be an Administrative Assistant

Employers of Executive Assistants increasingly are looking for candidates with a college degree. A degree related to the business or industry will provide you with an advantage in the application process. Although typically not required, testing and certification for proficiency in office skills are available through organizations such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals; National Association of Legal Secretaries, Inc.; Legal Secretaries International, Inc; and International Virtual Assistants Association.

Furthermore, to be an Administrative Assistant you’ll need to have great writing, project management, customer service, and communication skills. Beyond that, discretion, good judgment, organizational or management ability, initiative, and the ability to work independently are especially important for higher-level administrative positions.

Administrative Assistant Resources

If being an administrative assistant still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Blogs and Websites

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Administrative

The Business Backer Logo

The Business Backer - The Business Backer is based in Cincinnati based and “is helping small business owners flourish and grow by re-inventing relationship-based lending for the 21st century.”

See the complete The Business Backer profile

Future of Fish Logo

Future of Fish - Future of Fish is a Seattle, WA based non-profit that “envision a global seafood supply chain that produces legal, traceable, trustworthy fish."

See the complete Future of Fish profile

Environmental Traveling Companions Logo

Environmental Traveling Companions - Environmental Traveling Companions is a San Fran non-profit that “opens the beauty and challenge of the great outdoors to people with disabilities and disadvantaged youth.”

See the complete Environmental Traveling Companions profile

ArtStream Logo

ArtStream - ArtStream is a DC based non-profit “whose mission is to create artistic opportunities for individuals in communities traditionally under-served by the arts.”

See the complete ArtStream profile

Cradles to Crayons Logo

Cradles to Crayons - Cradles to Crayons is a Brighton, MA based non-profit that is focused on “providing to children ages 0 to 12 some of the most important basics of life—free of charge.”

See the complete Cradles to Crayons profile

Lifesize Logo

Lifesize - Lifesize is an Austin, TX based company that has “set out to make video conferencing truly universal.”

See the complete Lifesize profile

International OCD Foundation Logo

International OCD Foundation - The IOCDF is a Boston based non-profit that aims “to help individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder and related disorders to live full and productive lives.”

See the complete International OCD Foundation profile

ZenPayroll Logo

ZenPayroll - ZenPayroll is a San Francisco, CA based company that has created “the easiest way to pay your employees.”

See the complete ZenPayroll profile

Balboa Capital

Balboa Capital - Balboa Capital is an Irvine, CA based company that “has been providing equipment leasing and working capital loans to US businesses for over two decades.”

See the complete Balboa Capital profile

Innerspin Logo

Innerspin - Innerspin is a Los Angeles, CA based agency that “is focused on growing global brands through effective brand building and digital capabilities.”

See the complete Innerspin profile

DaveRamsey Logo

DaveRamsey - The Lampo Group is Dave Ramsey's Brentwood, TN based company that provides "biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment" with a focus on finance.

See the complete DaveRamsey profile

Local Initiatives Support Corporation Logo

Local Initiatives Support Corporation - LISC is an NYC based non-profit that connects "local organizations and community leaders with resources to revitalize neighborhoods and improve quality of life.”

See the complete Local Initiatives Support Corporation profile

Things Remembered Logo

Things Remembered - Things Remembered, based in Highland Heights, OH, is “the nation’s largest and most prominent retailer of personalized gifts.”

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WONGDOODY - WONGDOODY is based in Seattle, WA and “is the most awarded independent advertising agency on the West Coast.”

See the complete WONGDOODY profile

Filson Logo

Filson - Filson is a Seattle, WA based company that is “renowned for making products in the USA" for activities like hunting, fly fishing, travel, and even work.

See the complete Filson profile

Futures and Options Logo

Futures and Options - Futures and Options is an NYC non-profit that “empowers underserved youth to explore careers and guides them to further their education and become productive citizens.”

See the complete Futures and Options profile

Eataly Logo

Eataly - Eataly is a New York, NY and Chicago, IL based gourmet Italian marketplace inspired by the famous chef Mario Batali.

See the complete Eataly profile

Forensicon Logo

Forensicon - Forensicon is a Chicago, IL based “firm specializing in computer forensics analysis and consulting."

See the complete Forensicon profile

City Blossoms Logo

City Blossoms - City Blossoms is a Washington, DC based non-profit that is “dedicated to kid-driven, community engaging, creative green spaces.”

See the complete City Blossoms profile

Triggit Logo

Triggit - Triggit is a San Fran based company that “enables advertisers and agencies to build, run, measure, and optimize retargeting-driven display campaigns from a single platform.”

See the complete Triggit profile

Sojern Logo

Sojern - Sojern is based in San Francisco and has developed a travel-focused “robust audience engagement platform [that] is powered by machine-learning technology."

See the complete Sojern profile

StoveTeam International Logo

StoveTeam International - StoveTeam International is a Eugene, OR non-profit that's making cooking safer in the developing world by helping people produce safe, affordable, fuel-efficient cookstoves.

See the complete StoveTeam International profile

Whalerock Industries Logo

Whalerock Industries - Whalerock Industries, based in Santa Monica, CA, brings together the "best and brightest minds to create world-class content, spanning all mediums and screens.”

See the complete Whalerock Industries profile

Chashama Logo

Chashama - Chashama is a New York, NY based non-profit that “nurtures artists by transforming unused property into work and presentation space.”

See the complete Chashama profile

Clever Logo

Clever - Clever is a San Francisco, CA whose software syncs "with your school’s student information system to provide an amazing experience for teachers and students.”

See the complete Clever profile

Quicken Loans Logo

Quicken Loans - Quicken Loans is based in Detroit, MI and has made a name for itself in the mortgage business as the “#1 online retail lender.”

See the complete Quicken Loans profile

Taza Chocolate Logo

Taza Chocolate - Taza Chocolate is a Somerville, MA based company that makes “stone ground, organic chocolate” that is “perfectly unrefined and minimally processed."

See the complete Taza Chocolate profile

Kellen Company Logo

Kellen Company - Kellen Company is a "professional services company serving associations, companies and foundations” with offices in Atlanta, New York, Denver, Chicago, and D.C.

See the complete Kellen Company profile


REVOLVE - REVOLVE is based in Cerritos, CA and is the “virtual home for an unrivaled collection of the world’s most coveted brands.”

See the complete REVOLVE profile

FranConnect Logo

FranConnect - FranConnect is a Reston, VA based company that offers Franchise Management Systems to big name clients like Dairy Queen and The UPS Store.

See the complete FranConnect profile

Hanley Wood Logo

Hanley Wood - Washington, DC based Hanley Wood is “the premier media, event, information and strategic marketing services company serving the residential and commercial design and construction industries.”

See the complete Hanley Wood profile


MINDBODY - MINDBODY is a San Luis Obispo, CA based company that believes that “small business owners deserve the time to do what they love.”

See the complete MINDBODY profile

Reformation Logo

Reformation - Reformation is an LA based “environmentally sustainable fashion brand that repurposes vintage and surplus materials to create a chic, limited edition collection.”

See the complete Reformation profile

kCura Logo

kCura - kCura is a Chicago based company that offers "web-based e-discovery applications for managing large volumes of electronic evidence during litigation or investigations.”

See the complete kCura profile


DOROT - DOROT is a New York, NY based non-profit works to enable “seniors to live with dignity, independence and improved health in the community.”

See the complete DOROT profile

Benefit Cosmetics Logo

Benefit Cosmetics - Benefit Cosmetics is a cosmetics company that got its start when twin sisters moved to San Francisco, CA and opened a beauty boutique.

See the complete Benefit Cosmetics profile

RealScout Logo

RealScout - RealScout is a Sunnyvale, CA based company that “leverages over 500 datapoints to make home search more personal for clients and more efficient for Realtors.”

See the complete RealScout profile

Haworth Logo

Haworth - Haworth is a Holland, MI based furniture company that “can make your environments work harder for you.”

See the complete Haworth profile

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Logo

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities - The APLU is a DC based non-profit "representing 219 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and related organizations.”

See the complete Association of Public and Land-grant Universities profile

American Skin Association Logo

American Skin Association - The American Skin Association is an NYC based non-profit that brings people together to “to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and disease.”

See the complete American Skin Association profile

The Metropolitan Opera Logo

The Metropolitan Opera - The Metropolitan Opera in New York, NY is the largest classical music organization in North America, and it’s been around for just over 128 years.

See the complete The Metropolitan Opera profile

TextLinkBrokers Logo

TextLinkBrokers - TextLinkBrokers is a Mesa, AZ based company that services the “needs of professional SEM agencies and individuals looking for high quality link development.”

See the complete TextLinkBrokers profile

Bay Area Discovery Museum Logo

Bay Area Discovery Museum - The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a Sausalito, CA based museum that “is designed to ignite creative thinking in children.”

See the complete Bay Area Discovery Museum profile

Leadership Greater Washington Logo

Leadership Greater Washington - Leadership Greater Washington is a Washington, DC based non-profit that aims “foster communication and cooperation among the area’s established leaders.”

See the complete Leadership Greater Washington profile

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Logo

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance - National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance is an Amherst, MA based non-profit that supports “technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education."

See the complete National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance profile

ArtSkills Logo

ArtSkills - ArtSkills is an Easton, PA based company “with a commitment to bringing quality and innovative poster making and art materials to customers.”

See the complete ArtSkills profile

Salon Success Strategies Logo

Salon Success Strategies - Salon Success Strategies is a Roseville, CA based “full service marketing agency specializing in salons, day spas, and medical spas.”

See the complete Salon Success Strategies profile

Boston Debate League Logo

Boston Debate League - Boston Debate League is a Boston, MA based non-profit organization that is “transforming school culture through debate.”

See the complete Boston Debate League profile

HealthiNation Logo

HealthiNation - HealthiNation is a New York, NY based company that produces and distributes “videos to inspire a healthy and active lifestyle for audiences everywhere."

See the complete HealthiNation profile


iFixit - iFixit is a San Luis Obispo, CA based company that wants “to show the world how to fix every thing.”

See the complete iFixit profile

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