Office and administrative support workers are in nearly every industry and are responsible for a variety of tasks that help keep a business running smoothly. Most jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent and can serve as a gateway to a career in a desired field. You may be considering an office or administrative support job for the first time or looking for another option that's better suited to your strengths. Take this quiz to discover which role is right for you.
A. Math and science; I'm good with numbers and equations.
B. Physical education; I'm happiest outside or moving around.
C. Literature and history; I have a talent for communication and dates.
2. Which skills can you bring to the job?
A. I'm exceptional at spreadsheets, balancing budgets and preparing reports.
B. I'm great at multitasking and have excellent organizational skills.
C. I have good listening, interpersonal and written communication skills.
3. In an interview, what would you name as one of your strengths?
A. I have a flair for finance and can keep track of budgets, bills and costs.
B. I perform well under stress, can regularly meet deadlines and enjoy interacting with others.
C. I have strong critical analysis skills and can quickly sort through and apply data and information.
4. What career path most interests you?
A. Banking, business and the financial industry -- I'm business-savvy and motivated.
B. Health care, government work, not-for-profits -- anything that helps people.
C. Media and communications -- I enjoy language, design and organizing content for readers.
5. What are some of your favorite games?
A. Sudoku, Monopoly, blackjack.
B. Racing video games, chess, sports.
C. Crossword puzzles, word searches, Scrabble.
Mostly A's: Administrative roles in finance, banking and bookkeeping.
- Bill and account collectors try to recover payment on overdue bills. They negotiate repayment plans with debtors and help them find solutions to make paying their overdue bills easier. Median annual pay: $31,310.*
- Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements and check financial records for accuracy. Median annual pay: $34,030.
- Financial clerks do administrative work for banking, insurance and other companies. They keep records, help customers and carry out financial transactions. Median annual pay: $33,710.
- Tellers are responsible for accurately processing routine transactions at a bank. These transactions include cashing checks, depositing money and collecting loan payments. Median annual pay: $24,100.
Mostly B's: Administrative roles in fast-paced, unconventional environments.
- Couriers and messengers transport documents and packages for individuals, businesses, institutions and government agencies. Median annual pay: $24,080.
- Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers answer emergency and nonemergency calls. They take information from the caller and send the appropriate type and number of units. Median annual pay: $35,370.
- Postal service workers sell postal products and collect, sort and deliver mail. Median annual pay: $53,090.
Mostly C's: Administrative roles in communication and customer service
- Customer service representatives interact with customers on behalf of an organization. They provide information about products and services and respond to customer complaints. Some also take orders and process returns. Median annual pay: $30,460.
- Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures and other items that will be printed or put online. They collect the text, graphics and other materials they will need and then format them into a finished product. Median annual pay: $36,610.
- Information clerks provide administrative and clerical support in a variety of settings. They help maintain records, collect data and information and respond to customers' questions or concerns. Median annual pay: $29,990.
A combination of A's, B's and C's: Administrative roles that provide general business support
- General office clerks do a broad range of administrative tasks, including answering telephones, typing or word processing and filing; however, tasks vary widely by field. Median annual pay: $26,610.
- Material recording clerks keep track of information to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule. They ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping and inventory control. Median annual pay: $24,100.
- Receptionists perform various administrative tasks, including answering telephones and giving information to the public and customers. Median annual pay: $25,240.
- Administrative assistants perform routine clerical and organizational tasks. They organize files, draft messages, schedule appointments and support other staff. Median annual pay: $34,660.
*Job descriptions and median annual pay from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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