Why Administrative Professionals Day Matters—and Why These Jobs Are Hard to Get

Administrative professionals' day is a time to reflect on the crucial importance of these roles in any office

Tomorrow is Administrative Professionals Day—a time to thank the people who manage the big schedules and the big egos but often don’t get the big paychecks. From Indeed’s perspective, it’s also a time to ask: just how sought after are administrative roles in the age of organization apps and shared calendars?

The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is that “administrative assistant” continues to be among the most searched for jobs in the US. It comes in third just below roles in human resources and searches for part-time work, and above…well, everything else.

Why do so many people want to be administrative assistants, a position in which—let’s face it—you sometimes have to put up with a fair measure of grief?

Administrative professionals: crucial and rewarding roles

One reason these roles are popular may be the relatively low barrier to entry. After all, only about 30% of people (PDF) in the US have 4-year college degrees, and for people with a high school diploma, an admin role can be a great way to get your foot in the door and gain valuable work experience. Meanwhile, administrative jobs that require a bachelor’s (and some do) can open up opportunities for people with generalist, non-specialized majors.

As the world grows ever more connected it’s essential to have smart, shrewd people keeping a close watch on the increasingly complex day-to-day operations of our offices. And of course, senior management would be helpless without the admin staff working behind the scenes as planners, gatekeepers and secret fixers.

It’s a crucial role, and also a satisfying one. In fact, when we analyzed millions of company reviews for the Indeed Job Happiness Index, we found that administrative professionals were the most satisfied workers in the US.

The impact of supply and demand on admin roles

Before you add to the large number of people looking at the role, keep this in mind: There are far more admin job seekers than there are job postings.

In fact, office and administrative support roles appear at the top of another Indeed list: They’re number one for mismatch between job seeker supply and employer demand.

There are far more people looking for admin roles than there are job postings

What does this mean? Since there are more people than jobs on offer, this puts employers in the driver’s seat. They can often keep pay low and, when times are tight, look to bring in cheaper talent, or cut roles altogether.

And so, like any profession, administrative professional roles have pluses and minuses. But the truth is, without them the world of work would grind to a sudden and disastrous halt—and this Administrative Professionals Day is the perfect time to show your appreciation.