They say that an administrative assistant is the most important person in a workplace. The person in that role is the first one that visitors meet and the one with access to the decision makers at a company. But, you need the right training to be successful as an administrative assistant in today’s job market. One option is to take administrative assistant courses online. By taking administrative assistant training online or at a campus you can learn the latest office equipment technology, word-processing programs, accounting skills and how-to tips for office administration.

Before you explore online schools for administrative assistant courses, let’s look at the common traits of people in this role:

• Organizational Skills: Do you love to have everything in its place? Administrative Assistants tend to have to multi-task and keep track of important documents. Sometimes it’s as simple as knowing where to find needed information, like being able to act on the instructions that came with new office equipment.
• Managerial Skills: Administrative Assistants tend to be self-starters. While you may not be managing people, overseeing tasks and projects require a similar set of abilities. You may be asked to handle work in a variety of skill sets, from accounting to proofreading. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert in all of those areas, that’s one thing you can learn in online administrative assistant courses.
Communication Skills: Administrative Assistants deal with people all day long. A personable attitude can go a long way in this career. Often, the Administrative Assistant knows a little bit about everything that goes on in their office, which enables them to help out wherever, and whenever, needed.

Good news: the administrative assistant field is growing! This is one job that you can find in almost any market that interests you. Whether you want to work at a hospital, school or law firm, it’s an industry full of opportunity. In 2011, a survey found that administrative assistants are some of the happiest employees. The survey results showed that it’s not a high paycheck that makes an employee enjoy their job – it is the tasks the job required, how much control an employee had over those tasks and relationships with coworkers and customers. When you add those three together, it’s not surprising that administrative assistant ranked in the top 10 happiest professions.

According to the latest data from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010), here are the five states with the most people employed as executive secretaries and administrative assistants:

1. California: 139,790 employees
2. New York: 82,970 employees
3. Texas: 82,400 employees
4. Florida: 59,200 employees
5. Illinois: 47,120 employees

The annual mean wage for administrative assistants in the five highest-paying states is:

1. New York: $63,180
2. California: $62,080
3. Connecticut: $61,260
4. Massachusetts: $58,990
5. New Jersey: $58,530

Looks like California and New York are both great places to find a job and make a high salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also highlights the average wage of an administrative assistant, depending on level of experience or field of expertise:

• Administrative Assistant 1: $30,830
• Legal Secretary: $41,500
• Executive Administrative Assistant: $43,520

No matter what level you start at, a career as an administrative assistant provides room for growth. After you complete administrative assistant online training, you could work toward certifications offered by the International Association of Administration Professionals (IAAP). Adding initials like CPS (Certified Professional Secretary) or CAP (Certified Administrative Professional) could help you move up the ladder and earn a higher wage.

Author's Bio: 

Crystal Thomas is a public relations specialist in Denver, CO.