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Career and Education Opportunities for Administrative Assistants in Des Moines, Iowa

Administrative assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Des Moines, Iowa area. There are currently 14,000 jobs for administrative assistants in Iowa and this is projected to grow 15% to about 16,140 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for administrative assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.8% over the next eight years. Administrative assistants generally provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings.

Income for administrative assistants is about $17 per hour or $35,520 yearly on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $40,030 per year. Earnings for administrative assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Secretarial in Iowa and better than general Secretarial category earnings nationally.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as an administrative assistant. The most common level of education for administrative assistants is some college courses. You can expect to spend a short time studying to be an administrative assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. They also may also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.

Administrative assistants file and retrieve corporate documents and reports. They also ready invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents, using word processing or presentation software. Equally important, administrative assistants have to open and distribute incoming correspondence, including faxes and email. They are often called upon to perform general office duties, such as ordering supplies, maintaining archives management database systems, and performing basic bookkeeping work. They are expected to answer phone calls and direct calls to appropriate parties or take messages. Finally, administrative assistants read and analyze incoming memos and reports to establish their significance and plan their distribution.

Every day, administrative assistants are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for administrative assistants to ready agendas and make arrangements, such as coordinating catering for luncheons and other meetings. They are often called upon to schedule and direct office services, such as archives and housekeeping, to assist executives. They also furnish clerical support to other departments. They are sometimes expected to conduct research and ready papers for consideration and presentation by executives, committees and boards of directors. Somewhat less frequently, administrative assistants are also expected to perform general office duties, such as ordering supplies, maintaining archives management database systems, and performing basic bookkeeping work.

Administrative assistants sometimes are asked to make travel arrangements for executives. and oversee and maintain executives' schedules. And finally, they sometimes have to process payroll data.

Like many other jobs, administrative assistants must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Des Moines include:

  • Medical Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. Duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Administrative Assistant Training

AIB College of Business - Des Moines, IA

AIB College of Business, 2500 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321-1799. AIB College of Business is a small college located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 985 students and an admission rate of 55%. AIB College of Business has an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.