Fact Sheet for Administrative Professionals Week & Day 2012

Administrative Professionals Week (April 22-28, 2012)

APW_2012_Logo_Final.jpgAdministrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day (Wednesday, April 25) call attention to the important workplace role of administrative professionals. The theme of the 2012 Administrative Professionals Week is “Admins, the pulse of the office.”

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Administrative Professionals Day and Week, which began in 1952 as "National Secretaries Week" by the National Secretaries Association (now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals) in conjunction with public relations executive Harry Klemfuss and a consortium of office product manufacturers. It was established as an effort to recognize secretaries for their contributions in the workplace, and to attract people to secretarial/administrative careers. IAAP remains the sole official sponsor of this annual event.

Over the six decades since the start of Administrative Professionals Week, the job of an administrative professional has changed dramatically thanks to new tools, techniques and seismic shifts in the economy and culture itself. But admins have remained the steady center of efficiency through it all, helping ensure that jobs get done right, on time and under budget.

Admins are one of the engines of business, particularly in a complex economy. In a world that demands the accurate and speedy movement of digital information, admins are masters of data. And they do this while maintaining their more traditional role as the gatekeepers for many customers, clients and employees. Quite simply, admins are the pulse of the office.
IAAP recommends that employers observe Administrative Professionals Week by providing education and training to administrative staff through seminars, continuing education and self-study materials.

A Large and Growing Profession

  • Today, there are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the United States, and 8.9 million people working in various administrative support roles. (U.S. Dept. of Labor)
  • 476,000 administrative professionals are employed in Canada, including 365,670 secretaries, 26,390 executive assistants and 84,140 clerical supervisors. (Statistics Canada)
  • 362,000 administrative assistant and secretarial positions will be added in the U.S. between 2008 and 2018, representing growth of 8.5 percent. More than 82,000 office supervisor positions will be added. (U.S. Dept. of Labor)

The Heart of Modern Business

Administrative professionals have an impact on nearly every facet of the world’s modern economy.

  • A wide range of industries were represented in IAAP’s most recent skills benchmarking survey. The top three, representing 39 percent of the total, are “education/training,” “government” and “healthcare.” The top 10 were filled out by “Manufacturing,” “non-profit,” “finance/banking,” “insurance,” “utilities,” “engineering/architecture” and “technology.” The remainder were distributed across 15 other choices.
  • Nearly half of all administrative professionals work for national or international companies. The rest work for local, state or regional employers.
  • Almost 60 percent of all admins work for companies with 1,000 or more employees.

Typical duties of today’s administrative professionals include:

  • Prepare documents, correspondence and presentations
  • Produce spreadsheet reports
  • Coordinate multiple schedules and calendars
  • Maintain computer files, directories and databases
  • Plan meetings and special events
  • Purchase office equipment and supplies and work with vendors
  • Participate on, or even lead, project teams
  • Interview, orient and supervise other staff
  • Conduct Internet research
  • Train managers and co-workers on latest software
  • Integrate new office tools
  • Manage social networks and other websites

Portrait of An Administrative Professional

According to IAAP’s 2011 Administrative Professional Skills Benchmarking Survey report, the typical administrative professional…

…is a 45-year-old woman.
…has at least an associate’s degree from a college or university.
…holds the title of “administrative assistant” or “executive assistant.”
…has at least 15 years of work experience.
…supports at least 3 managers and/or executives.
…works for a company with at least 500 employees.
…earns an hourly wage equal to about $45,000 a year.
…is responsible for troubleshooting office software and training others how to use it.
…makes purchasing decisions worth about $15,000 a year for their office.

IAAP is the world’s leading association for administrative professionals, with about 500 chapters and approximately 22,000 members worldwide. IAAP is the sole sponsor of Administrative Professionals Week® April 24-30, 2011 and Administrative Professionals Day® on Wednesday, April 27 (formerly called Professional Secretaries Week® and Professional Secretaries Day®). Further information, including history and a facts sheet on APW, is available from the IAAP Web site at:  www.iaap-hq.org/events/apw.

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