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Benchmarking Compensation for Administrative Professionals

Help with career pathing may be the best reward

Two women sitting at a desk talking to each other.

As employers thank their clerical and administrative staff on Administrative Professionals Day (April 27), new research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that these professionals are highly valued by their organizations.

Salary ranges for employees in clerical and administrative roles differ based on their job responsibilities. To delve into how administrative staff are compensated, the SHRM Compensation Data Center compiled a snapshot of compensation ranges. Median compensation figures for administrative professionals are highlighted below.

[Need real-time, HR-reported compensation reports? Check out the SHRM Compensation Data Center]

An Uncertain Future

The number of administrative assistants in the U.S. is projected to decline by 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. During the same period, the average growth rate for all occupations is expected to be 8 percent.

Despite declining employment, about 324,300 openings for secretaries and administrative assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade. "All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire," the BLS said.

"Technology enables staff in many organizations to prepare their own documents" without the help of clerical or administrative assistants, the BLS posted on its website. In addition, the BLS noted, many executive administrative assistants "support more than one manager in an organization, and many managers now do tasks that were previously done by these workers."

The BLS does expect job growth for health care administrative assistants who handle billing and insurance processing, primarily due to the expansion of health care services as Baby Boomers age and require more medical care.

Help with Career Paths

Staffing firm Robert Half recommends that a way to reward and recognize the hard work of administrative staff is by providing:

  • New opportunities. Show the administrative team members that the company is invested in their future by offering new professional challenges and opportunities. If they are interested, ask them to oversee a project or encourage them to consider joining a mentorship program.
  • Professional development. Offer reimbursement for professional organization memberships or online courses. "Administrative professionals are eager to learn and expand their skills, and they need to stay abreast of the latest technologies and best practices in their field," Robert Half observed.

Related SHRM Articles:

Get Ready to Thank Your Administrative Professionals, SHRM Online, April 2022

Administrative Professionals' Day (Apr 27), SHRM Express Requests


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