Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Administrative Assistants in Columbia, Maryland

Administrative assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Columbia, Maryland. Currently, 25,100 people work as administrative assistants in Maryland. This is expected to grow by 17% to 29,290 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for administrative assistants are expected to grow by about 12.8%. 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.

Administrative assistants earn approximately $22 per hour or $46,380 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally they average about $19 hourly or $40,030 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Secretarial, people working as administrative assistants in Maryland earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Secretarial nationally.

There are nine schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an administrative assistant, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Given that the most common education level for administrative assistants is some college courses, you can expect to spend a short time training to become 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 Columbia include:

  • Legal Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
  • 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.
  • Production Proofreader. Read transcript or proof type setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors.
  • 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

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has 2 areas of study related to Administrative Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

TESST College of Technology-Towson - Towson, MD

TESST College of Technology-Towson, 803 Glen Eagles Ct, Towson, MD 21286-2201. TESST College of Technology-Towson is a small college located in Towson, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 419 students. TESST College of Technology-Towson has a less than one year program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated twenty-one and seven students respectively in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated four and nine students respectively in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has a one to two year program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated four and two students respectively in 2008.

Carroll Community College - Westminster, MD

Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Rd, Westminster, MD 21157. Carroll Community College is a small college located in Westminster, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,453 students. Carroll Community College has a one to two year program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated one student in 2008.

Medix School - Towson, MD

Medix School, 700 York Rd, Towson, MD 21204-9840. Medix School is a small school located in Towson, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 640 students and an admission rate of 100%. Medix School has a one to two year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Howard Community College - Columbia, MD

Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044-3197. Howard Community College is a medium sized college located in Columbia, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,905 students. Howard Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated zero and two students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.