What is a Secretary or Administrative Assistant?
Secretary or Administrative Assistant Definition Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
Life As a Secretary or Administrative Assistant
- Take dictation in shorthand or by machine and transcribe information.
- Open, read, route, and distribute incoming mail or other materials and answer routine letters.
- Complete forms in accordance with company procedures.
- Perform payroll functions, such as maintaining timekeeping information and processing and submitting payroll.
- Arrange conference, meeting, or travel reservations for office personnel.
- Learn to operate new office technologies as they are developed and implemented.
What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Secretary or Administrative Assistant?
Below is a list of the skills most Secretaries and Administrative Assistants say are important on the job.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Administrative Technician
- Principal Secretary
- Departmental Secretary
- Administrative Liaison
- Virtual Office Assistant
Is There Going to be Demand for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants?
In the United States, there were 2,536,200 jobs for Secretary or Administrative Assistant in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Secretary or Administrative Assistant. There will be an estimated 244,300 positions for Secretary or Administrative Assistant per year.
The states with the most job growth for Secretary or Administrative Assistant are Colorado, Washington, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Vermont, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Do Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Make A Lot Of Money?
The salary for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants ranges between about $23,060 and $56,010 a year.
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants who work in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$50,140|
Tools & Technologies Used by Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Secretaries and Administrative Assistants:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Hypertext markup language HTML
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Data entry software
- Microsoft Windows
- Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft Visio
- Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Microsoft Dynamics
How to Become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant
Individuals working as a Secretary or Administrative Assistant have obtained the following education levels:
What work experience do I need to become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant?
Who Employs Secretaries and Administrative Assistants?
Below are examples of industries where Secretaries and Administrative Assistants work:
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those who work as a Secretary or Administrative Assistant sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
- Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping
- Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators
Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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