Taking a look at Office Administration Jobs

Office administration and administrative assistant jobs are the glue that holds the office together. With a critical role in managing all facets of office life as well as a range of key responsibilities, they ensure the smooth and efficient handling of all business admin. Today, the Job Mail team takes a closer look at both administrative assistants and office administration jobs.


What is an Administrative Assistant and what do they do?

If you have an eye for detail, are a meticulous worker and take pride in being organised and on-the-ball, then a career as an office administrator or administrative assistant, may be the one for you.

The exciting prospect of working in the admin field is that it is so broad and the opportunities are almost endless. This means you can choose the direction and field you would best like to work in.

Office administration and administrative assistant jobs entail overseeing the running of the office, inducting new employees, when relevant, as well as the daily tasks of implementing procedure and handling employees.

Both office administrators and administrative assistants not only deal with budgets, logistics, record keeping, inventory, personnel as well as reports but also ensure that all admin responsibilities are up-to-date and relevant.


Accuracy and efficiency are major responsibilities for office administers and administrative assistants. The ability to take large amounts of information and data and sort through it to compile reports and presentations is of high importance. While handling office communication, admin and paperwork are no less important.

Computer and IT skills as well as knowledge of budgets, data entry and filing are vital for a job as an office administrator or administrative assistant. The ability to work independently and with different types of employees are also key.

As office administrators and administrative assistants are important to any and every business, you can find yourself in a range of fields. These include, and aren’t limited to technology, retail, advertising, education, as well as the medical and legal fields.

While office administrators and administrative assistants are the most well known when it comes to office administration jobs, there are a host of other titles and job opportunities available, which means growth is almost a certainty.


Just as the fields aren’t limited, neither are the choices of what you can do within the office administration space. There are hundreds of different jobs and roles within the space of office administration.

These include human resource administrators, who manage employees and recruit new employees, and look to understand and improve overall work processes, as well as Payroll administrators who are in charge of budgets, salaries and financial efficiencies. Other roles include secretaries and personal assistants who assist those in high level positions at a company, through streamlining and handling their correspondence, managing systems and helping with daily tasks.

While there are specialised fields, companies will always need administrators, secretaries, receptionists, record officers, payroll administrators and personal assistants. Many of these roles can be full-time, part-time or temporary, allowing for flexibility in fields, industries and roles.

All of these trajectories for growth and development, within the space, allow for high levels of movement in roles, career paths and workplaces, all across South Africa.


It is key that both the office administrator and administrative assistant can adapt and work within a fast paced office environment. It is something that they would need to take in their stride on a daily basis.

Skills and Characteristics required for Office Administration jobs

The most vital skill when it comes to administrative assistant jobs is the ability to communicate effectively and supervise and manage others. Being able to understand, adapt and work in different environments as well as work with new office technology and systems are also vital. All this allows insight into all aspects of office life and helps with overall productivity.

The ability to be highly organized, work under pressure and manage continuous on-going tasks is a highly important characteristic when it comes to office administration jobs. Paying strong attention to detail, having quick note taking and typing abilities are also key.


Proficiency in Microsoft products is also important, from Word and Outlook to Excel and PowerPoint. As data is a major factor of administration, knowing the way around databases is an important skill.

Sought after skills and experience include human resources, typing, payroll, data, accounts and management. The experience allows for an overall boost in administrative output and effectiveness.

All these characteristics and skillsets make for a well-rounded office administrator or administrative assistant.

Administrative Assistant Duties and Roles

The duties and roles of office administrators and administrative assistants vary in scope depending on the company or business and the experience level.

The most basic roles include handling and assisting with telephonic queries, data collection and data management, pertaining to the various workplaces.

Maintaining and organising files and presentations, as well as proposals and pitches are also major roles. Office administrators and administrative assistants often assign various duties to other staff and supervise certain schedules.


Duties are varied and can range from handling of budgets, account authorisations as well as office equipment and other office essentials. Other duties include organising and ensuring that employees know processes and procedure that are integral to the business.

Handling queries, liaising with clients and other staff are vital as an office manager as well as staying on top of the constantly changing workplace environment.

An office administrator and administrative assistant play a key role in the workplace and allow for optimum functioning.

If you are intrigued by the possibilities at hand, it is relatively easy to explore office administration jobs a career.

Education Needed: for Administrative Assistant Jobs

Many office administration and administrative assistant jobs only require Matric, or an equivalent; however, previous administrative experience is preferable for many companies and businesses.

While no formal education is required, short courses in office administration can be taken through a range of universities and colleges, from UCT to Damelin.

These short courses offer the opportunity to specialise and gain skills in new and relevant fields, allowing you to choose the career path you would most like to embark on.


The ICB Higher Certificate in Office Administration and the Professional Communication and Office Management online short course from UCT are popular choices if you are looking to gain qualifications. This will help you gain the necessary knowledge to fulfil the administrative and administrative assistant duties required.

A Matric is required for the various courses and the courses range from 5 months to 3 years, depending on whether they are taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

All these qualifications allow you to expand into a range of administrative roles, from an office administration, operations administrator, support administrator to a human resource administrator along with other options.


With the chance to work in many different environments, from retail, law to IT and everything in between, many office admin jobs, coupled with the various courses, allow you the opportunity to experience many different types of workplaces.

Interested in a job in office administration or looking for part-time administrative assistant jobs? You can start your search by registering your CV on Job Mail and exploring the range of opportunities advertised by employers. These include prospects of office administration jobs in sales and personnel as well as a host of assistant jobs. It is all just a click away.

Taking a look at Office Administration Jobs
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Taking a look at Office Administration Jobs
Administrative assistant and office administration jobs are the glue that holds the office together. Read our blog to learn more about this exciting career!
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Job Mail
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