What is an office assistant?

An office assistant performs administrative and routine clerical tasks. They are responsible for keeping the office supplied and organized. They also assist with director duties and correspond with clients, customers, and vendors.

How to become an office assistant?

College course – You can get into this job through a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Business and Administration. 

Volunteering – You could volunteer with a charity in an office based role to get some experience and skills that are useful for administration work.

Office assistant duties

Office assistant duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Overseeing clerical tasks, such as sorting and sending mail
  • Signs for delivered packages and distributes them to the appropriate recipient
  • Interacts with directors when necessary
  • Assists in setting up new client accounts
  • Aiding with client reception as needed
  • Keeping an inventory of office supplies and ordering new materials as needed
  • Maintaining files
  • Handling incoming calls and other communications

Office assistant skills

To be an effective office assistant, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Warm personality with strong communication skills
  • Ability to write clearly and help with word processing when necessary
  • Ability to work well under limited supervision
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Analytical problem solver

How to find an office assistant job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the office assistant jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for office assistant jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service

Office Assistant Job Titles

When you search for office assistant jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for office assistant jobs include;

  • Office secretary
  • Admin assistant
  • Administrator
  • Executive Assistant
  • Legal Secretary
  • Secretary

What does an office assistant do?

The job of an office assistant varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of office assistant job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of an office assistant include;

  • Greet visitors at reception
  • Set up meetings and take notes during them
  • Type letters, reports and other business documents
  • Researching and booking travel arrangements for staff members
  • Processing and directing mail and incoming packages or deliveries
  • Using computers to generate reports, transcribe minutes from meetings, create presentations, and conduct research
  • Ordering and taking stock of office supplies