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What Is A Secretary?

A secretary is an administrative assistant who performs a wide range of tasks to support their supervisor’s work. For example, they may answer phones, greet visitors, manage schedules and appointments, and handle other clerical duties. Some secretaries may also work to resolve conflicts and miscommunications clients and customers may have.

Secretaries must be organized, detail-oriented, and efficient, as they are often responsible for handling important documents and ensuring that deadlines are met. Secretaries must also be able to uphold confidentiality laws to protect the privacy of their clients and employer.

What Do People With Secretary Jobs Do?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the duties of secretaries can vary depending on their employer and position. However, everyday responsibilities may include:

  • Answering phones and directing calls
  • Greeting visitors and providing them with information
  • Managing schedules and appointments
  • Typing, editing, and preparing documents
  • Handling correspondence
  • Performing data entry tasks

Depending on the day or services provided, a secretary may be asked to complete other duties by their employer.

Where Do People With Secretary Jobs Work?

Secretaries are needed across the workforce and can be employed in a wide variety of fields, including in doctors’ offices, corporations, schools, and law offices. Some positions may be remote, which allows people to work from home while taking calls and organizing digital files for their employer. Other positions are in person, where a secretary will work on-site for their employer and work with customers and clients face to face.

What Degree Is Required To Become A Secretary?

Jobs typically require a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some employers may prefer to hire candidates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in business administration, communications, or a related field.

Additionally, most secretary jobs require certification in office administration or another relevant field.

Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) or Certified Administrative Professional (CAP)

The credentials offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) show proficiency in office systems and technology, administration skills, and management.

However, secretaries seeking to be certified professionals must first combine their education with work experience before achieving these high levels within an administrative field.

If you do not have any kind of higher degree or diploma, it will take about three years of experience before seeking certification in secretary work.

However, if you have a college degree or have completed some pre-employment training, the waiting time to pursue certification will go down significantly.

Many people who pursue certification as a secretary study full time while also working in the field. This combination of education and experience assists them in earning certification faster than those who are not working. Combining work and school, though difficult, is an impressive achievement to list on a resume, as it shows you are capable of multitasking. However, working while going to school is not necessary.

National Association for Legal Secretaries (NALS) certifications

The National Association for Legal Secretaries (NALS) certifications provide individuals with the opportunity to become certified legal secretaries. There are three different levels of certification available: Professional Paralegal, Professional Legal Secretary, and Accredited LegalSecretary exam requirements vary depending on which level one desires; however, one must pass these exams to receive these credentials.

Aspiring lawyers looking into obtaining their first job as administrative support professionals might want to note that there is more than just law involved when working behind the scenes. You must have the necessary people and organization skills on top of legal knowledge to succeed in this role.

National Association for Legal Secretaries (NALS) certifications

To be a successful medical assistant, one must first achieve AAMA certification. This certification must be completed via an accredited program or exam that ensures students have the skills needed for workplace success in this field of work.

Though it may seem like all hope isn’t lost if you fail your initial try at getting certified, there are always options available! You might consider taking another shot after five years since most people find themselves retaking their exams every five months because life gets busy.

Technology and systems are always changing as the years go on. Secretaries are often on the front lines of using new technology as it comes out. Even though the scope of a secretaries work can change rapidly, earning a certification can assist you in adapting to changes as they arise, which in turn will help your employer and clients.

How Much Money Does A Secretary Earn?

Secretary jobs typically pay an average salary of $37,000 per year or an hourly wage of $18.24. But this also differs depending on what type of secretary you are.

For example, administrative secretaries earn an average annual salary of $34,541. On the other hand, the average Legal Secretary salary in the United States is between $43,900 and $58,665 as of 2021.

Ranges can differ depending on numerous important factors, including certifications and education, the number of years you’ve been in the profession, and your skills.

Lastly, the current average Medical Secretary salary in the United States is $41,735, but the range typically falls between 37 and 46 thousand dollars. However, with experience and advancement opportunities, it is possible to make much more.

Secretary Job Requirements

Secretary jobs require several skills, including:

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good organizational skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Proficiency in Google Drive
  • Ability to learn and adapt to complex situations

Secretary Career Path

Secretary and administrative assistant jobs are projected to decline 7% from 2020 to 2030. Despite this trend, there will be an average of 324,000 openings each year. Replacements hires will happen due to the other workers transferring out of the position or entering retirement. The field hiring the most secretaries, compared to other occupations, is healthcare services.

Latest Secretary Jobs Listings

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Position Company Location Posted
Executive Assistant Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania US 06/13/2024
Assistant City Manager City of South Haven South Haven, Michigan US 06/12/2024
Executive Assistant Hubbard Broadcasting Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota US 06/12/2024
Assistant Company Secretary Bank of America London, GB 06/11/2024
Senior Counsel / Assistant General Counsel TEGNA Tysons, Virginia US 06/10/2024
Executive Assistant Sysco - Sysco Payroll, Division of Sysco Resources Services, LLC Houston, Texas US 06/10/2024
Assistant Director, Mission Church Santa Clara University Santa Clara, California US 06/07/2024
Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing - DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program The University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma US 06/07/2024
1.0 FTE 212 Day Assistant Principal Port Townsend School District Port Townsend, Washington US 06/06/2024
VP, Corp & Securities/ Assistant Secretary Ball Corporation Westminster, Colorado US 06/05/2024
Senior Administrative Assistant Irvine Valley College Irvine, California US 06/05/2024
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Fred Hutch Cancer Center Seattle, Washington US 06/04/2024
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