How Much Does an AA Make?

Michele Warg
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The median annual salary of an administrative assistant, or AA, is $35,330, according to data gathered by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2012. However, the exact amount that an AA earns depends on experience, qualifications and the responsibilities of the role.

Annual earnings of admin assistants vary widely, with the lowest-paid 10 percent earning less than $21,910 per year, while the highest-paid 10 percent enjoy salaries of more than $57,750. The median pay per hour for an administrative assistant in 2012 was $16.99.

However, the median salary of an administrative assistant also varies depending on the industry in which the administrative assistant works. The median salary of an administration assistant working in medicine in 2012 was $31,350, while the median pay for administrative assistants working in the legal sector was almost $11,000 more at $42,170.

The highest-paid jobs for an administrative assistant are typically as part of the management team for companies and enterprises. Administrative assistants who work as executive secretaries or executive administrative assistants for high-powered executives received a median pay of $47,500 in May 2012.

The exact salary of an administrative assistant depends on the responsibilities associated with the role. The role of the administrative assistant is expanding rapidly as businesses evolve and adapt to the 21st century. As well as the traditional secretarial duties, administrative assistants today often have technological responsibilities, such as monitoring and updating the company's website and social media accounts, in addition to their more traditional roles.

Unfortunately, taking on additional responsibilities does not always automatically translate into higher pay. Administrative assistants may have to negotiate with their employers to obtain a higher salary that better reflects their efforts at work. The best way to start this negotiation is to bring up the subject after a positive performance review. Let your supervisor know the amount of work you put into your administrative assistant role and that you deserve to be fully valued for your work.

One way for an administrative assistant to improve his or her salary is to gain a professional certification, such as the Certified Administrative Professional qualification. This qualification is offered by the International Association of Administration Professionals, an industry organization that offers training and networking opportunities to people working in administration.

Passing the CAP exam shows that an administrative assistant has the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this career. After passing this exam, the administrative assistant can study for further certifications, which can give the holder opportunities to work in particular industries or demonstrate his technological capabilities to potential employers.

With a median annual salary of $35,330 in May 2012, administrative assistants often have relatively modest incomes, compared to the level of skill that the role requires. However, an administrative assistant can increase his earning potential by studying for professional qualifications, such as the CAP qualification.


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