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Career and Education Opportunities for Administrative Assistants in Charleston, South Carolina

If you want to be an administrative assistant, the Charleston, South Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 14,130 working administrative assistants in South Carolina; this should grow 15% to about 16,310 working administrative assistants in the state 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 $17 per hour or $36,880 annually on average in South Carolina. Nationally they average about $19 hourly or $40,030 yearly. Earnings for administrative assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Secretarial in South Carolina and better than general Secretarial category earnings nationally.

There are fourteen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career 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 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 Charleston include:

  • 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

Trident Technical College - Charleston, SC

Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29423-8067. Trident Technical College is a large college located in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,758 students. Trident Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated two and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina photo by AudeVivere

Charleston is situated in Charleston County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 111,978, which has grown by 15.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston cost $157,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, five hundred eight new homes were built in Charleston, down from eight hundred seventy-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 37.5% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 10.5%, which is less than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Plymouth Congregational Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charleston is home to the United State Department of Agriculture and the The Center as well as Harmon Field and Stoney Field. Shopping malls in the area include Church Creek Plaza Shopping Center, Citadel Mall Shopping Center and South Windermere Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from French Quarter Inn, Fulton Lane Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.