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What Are the Different Types of Office Administration?

An office assistant at her desk.
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  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 27 June 2014
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Someone on an office administration staff is often the first to greet both employees of that corporation and visitors entering through the front doors. This is a high-profile job belonging to an individual who usually does more behind the scenes than in the spotlight, but without this person, the office likely would notice his or her absence. Under the umbrella of this group are several possible titles in addition to the office administrator himself or herself. There might be an administrative assistant, administrative professional, and executive assistant, and in some types of offices, there could be a medical office specialist, medical office assistant, or dental assistant. Of course, there are additional roles as well as variations on each.

The office administrative staff often introduces efficiency and organization into the workplace. Depending on the type of office, executives and employees are often caught in a mire of deadlines, meetings, and paperwork. The administration professional frequently streamlines the flow of those processes, scheduling meetings and conference calls that otherwise would have gone overlooked, booking conference rooms, and even keeping the kitchen or eating area in an office space manageable.

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Sometimes, the office administrator also inherits the role of executive assistant. The executive assistant is assigned to one or more of the key leaders at a company and is responsible for doing virtually whatever that person needs throughout the workday. The tasks this person does can range from the mundane to extremely detailed events that require intense focus. For instance, the head of a company might rely on her office administrator to order lunch each day and might expect that person to book flights and hotel stays. As a result, the executive assistant is often entrusted with sensitive information, such as credit card and personal family details about the boss.

Office administration in a medical or dental office can be quite different from that in another type of environment. A medical or dental office specialist has to deal with patients just as often as he or she will with the internal medical staff — and in some cases more so. This individual likely is involved with answering phones, enrolling new patients, scheduling appointments, and communicating with healthcare professionals. This, as with any administration job, requires familiarity with the medical office's computer system and software.

An office administrative professional usually can mold his or her role, at least somewhat. For instance, there often is close relationships between an administrative assistant and the human resources department because of the nature of their roles. The same often holds true for the accounting department. As a result, the administrative assistant might need to become familiar with some of the tasks tied to those departments, which will only increase his or her knowledge and value to the firm.

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Discuss this Article

anon320131
Post 6

I've worked as an administrative assistant for a school and it is hectic and demanding! People often belittle and underestimate the work involved with administration and sometimes sideline you as some support staff person, instead of crediting you with the worth and value.

The tasks an administrative assistant perform usually get undermined by the superiors and we are generally always out of the spotlight!

So, administration is tough and competitive but unrealized!

sunnySkys
Post 5

@Monika - Some office administrators do get paid pretty well. It depends on what kind of business you work for. I had a friend who was an office administrator at a small business that didn't make much. But I have another friend who is a medical office administrator at a large medical practice and she gets paid a lot more.

Monika
Post 4

I think a lot of office administrators are really underpaid. If you look at an office administrator job description, it's pretty demanding! A lot of times you're expected to greet customers as they come in, help them figure out where they're going, and answer the phone. And of course you perform duties for people at the company too!

I think office administrators should definitely be paid more for doing all that stuff.

chivebasil
Post 3

How rewarding would an office administration career be? I know that I have the skills and the temperament to do it, but I worry that over the course of a long career I would feel bored and unfulfilled. Has anyone had this feeling or know where I am coming from?

summing
Post 2

There is a huge demand for medical office administration professionals right now. Whenever you hear those ads talking about how they are going to need tons of new nurses, the same applies to office administrators as well.

Health care is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and also one that relies on careful record keeping and office management. Anyone looking to break into this field could definitely do well by angling towards the healthcare industry.

ZsaZsa56
Post 1

I work for a large law firm and we have an entire department in our office that is dedicated just to printing and preparing documents. They bind and collate things, put together presentation packets and handle large, specialized displays.

There are about 15 people working there because our firm produces so much documentation. It is an aspect of office administration that a lot of people don't think about because they can handle all of their own printing needs pretty easily.

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