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7 things to know about administrative professionals and Administrative Professionals Day

By ALLISON MILES
April 26, 2011 at 6 p.m.
Updated April 25, 2011 at 11:26 p.m.

Orchid arrangements are among the most popular gifts this year.

FlowersBreakfastGift certificates or gift cardsLunchGift basketsJewelryCards or thank-you notes

Looking for ways to thank the administrative professional or other office staffer at your business? Here are some options:

Fresh flowers spruce up a person's desk. Many florists have websites that offer suggestions for those who might not know what to get.

Take cinnamon rolls, biscuits or other breakfast treats to help the staff start off the day.

Such gifts allow people a chance to pick out exactly what they want, rather than having to guess.

A lunch away from the office is a nice way to show appreciation.

Baskets with wine coolers, snacks and other food items are popular options for such holidays.

Necklaces, bracelets and the like are all acceptable gifts.

These are simple and inexpensive ways to let people know you appreciate the things they do.

Sources: Clay Atchison, owner of McAdams Floral; Les Deuel, co-owner of Pizzazz; the Rev. Dan Morales, St. Mary's Catholic Church; Pastor Jerry Wirtley, First English Evangelical Church

Whether making copies for meetings, keeping the business calendar in check or training staffers on company protocol, administrative professionals often maintain busy schedules on the job.

And, Wednesday, many will receive recognition for the work that they do.

Wednesday is Administrative Professionals Day, a holiday that began in 1952 as a chance to do just that. Here are seven things to know about administrative professionals and the holiday that honors them.

Millions of jobs

In 2010, 4.3 million administrative assistants and secretaries were employed nationwide. That same year, 1.4 million supervisors of office and administrative support staff were employed.

Numbers may grow

The number of administrative assistants and secretarial positions is expected to grow by nearly 500,000 between 2008 and 2018.

Range of duties

Administrative professionals' job descriptions increased as the years wore on. Now, duties can include everything from preparing documents to purchasing office equipment, learning new computer programs and supervising staff members.

Name change

Originally dubbed Secretaries Day, the name changed to Administrative Professionals Day in 2010. The change was an effort to keep up with the job's increasing responsibilities.

Began in 1952

The International Association of Administrative Professionals began the recognition day and week in 1952. Administrative Professionals Week spans through Saturday and 2011's official theme is "This Year Celebrate All Office Professionals."

What they make

The average salary for executive secretaries and administrative assistants in the United States was $40,030 in 2008.

Where they work

The industries with the highest levels of administrative professional employment include colleges, universities and professional schools, local and state government, management of companies and enterprises and elementary and secondary schools.

Sources: International Association of Administrative Professionals website, United States Department of Labor website

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