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Career and Education Opportunities for Administrative Assistants in Seattle, Washington

If you want to be an administrative assistant, the Seattle, Washington area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 20,030 people are currently employed as administrative assistants in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow 18% to 23,690 people employed. 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.

The income of an administrative assistant is about $21 per hour or $45,240 annually on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $19 hourly or $40,030 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Secretarial, people working as administrative assistants in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Secretarial nationally.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as an administrative assistant. Administrative assistants usually hold some college courses, so 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 Seattle 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.
  • Municipal Clerk. Draft agendas and bylaws for town or city council; record minutes of council meetings; answer official correspondence; keep fiscal records and accounts; and prepare reports on civic needs.
  • Office Machine Operator. Operate one or more of a variety of office machines, such as photocopying, photographic, and duplicating machines, or other office machines.
  • Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
  • Production Planner. Coordinate and expedite the flow of work and materials within or between departments of an establishment according to production schedule. Duties include reviewing and distributing production, work, and shipment schedules; conferring with department supervisors to determine progress of work and completion dates; and compiling reports on progress of work, inventory levels, and production problems.
  • 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

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom - Lakewood, WA

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom, 9401 Farwest Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98498-1999. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,632 students. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom 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 thirteen and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Highline Community College - Des Moines, WA

Highline Community College, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800. Highline Community College is a medium sized college located in Des Moines, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,267 students. Highline Community College has a less than one year program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Pierce College at Puyallup - Puyallup, WA

Pierce College at Puyallup, 1601 39th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98374-2222. Pierce College at Puyallup is a small college located in Puyallup, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,101 students. Pierce College at Puyallup has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated fourteen and eight students respectively in 2008.

Everett Community College - Everett, WA

Everett Community College, 2000 Tower Street, Everett, WA 98201. Everett Community College is a medium sized college located in Everett, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,765 students. Everett Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated one and seventeen students respectively in 2008.

Green River Community College - Auburn, WA

Green River Community College, 12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092-3622. Green River Community College is a medium sized college located in Auburn, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,544 students. Green River Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated six students in 2008.

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated six, one, and three students respectively in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Renton, WA

Pima Medical Institute, 555 South Renton Village Pl-Ste 110, Renton, WA 98055. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Renton, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 272 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated seven, five, and nine students respectively in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Seattle, WA

Pima Medical Institute, 9709 Third Ave NE Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98115. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 432 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary which graduated six students in 2008.

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Administrative Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

Olympic College - Bremerton, WA

Olympic College, 1600 Chester Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337-1699. Olympic College is a medium sized college located in Bremerton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,596 students. Olympic College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated five, ten, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Renton Technical College - Renton, WA

Renton Technical College, 3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, WA 98056-4195. Renton Technical College is a small college located in Renton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,708 students. Renton Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Administrative Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, one to two year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Edmonds Community College - Lynnwood, WA

Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5912. Edmonds Community College is a medium sized college located in Lynnwood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,823 students. Edmonds Community College has 2 areas of study related to Administrative Assistant. They are:

  • Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant & Medical Secretary, less than one year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, less than one year which graduated 4 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.