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Secretary or Administrative Assistant

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All About Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Occupation Description 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: What Do They Do?

  • Operate electronic mail systems and coordinate the flow of information, internally or with other organizations.
  • Set up and manage paper or electronic filing systems, recording information, updating paperwork, or maintaining documents, such as attendance records, correspondence, or other material.
  • Take dictation in shorthand or by machine and transcribe information.
  • Conduct searches to find needed information, using such sources as the Internet.
  • Review work done by others to check for correct spelling and grammar, ensure that company format policies are followed, and recommend revisions.
  • Supervise other clerical staff and provide training and orientation to new staff.

Qualities of 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.

Other Secretary or Administrative Assistant Job Titles

  • Secretary-Bookkeeper
  • Administrative Specialist (Admin Specialist)
  • Senior Administrative Assistant
  • Escrow Secretary
  • Virtual Office Assistant

Is There Job Demand for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants?

There were about 2,536,200 jobs for Secretary or Administrative Assistant in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Secretary or Administrative Assistant. The BLS estimates 244,300 yearly job openings in this field.

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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.

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Average Salary

The average yearly salary of a Secretary or Administrative Assistant ranges between $23,060 and $56,010.

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Secretaries and Administrative Assistants who work in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

How much do Secretaries and Administrative Assistants make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $35,670
Alaska $42,450
Arizona $36,050
Arkansas $30,860
California $43,670
Colorado $38,810
Connecticut $46,470
Delaware $39,930
District of Columbia $50,140
Florida $35,080
Georgia $34,520
Hawaii $40,290
Idaho $32,380
Illinois $37,930
Indiana $32,720
Iowa $35,210
Kansas $33,820
Kentucky $32,950
Louisiana $31,880
Maine $37,150
Maryland $40,870
Massachusetts $46,940
Michigan $36,980
Minnesota $40,580
Mississippi $32,160
Missouri $35,010
Montana $33,380
Nebraska $34,100
Nevada $40,060
New Hampshire $37,230
New Jersey $42,600
New Mexico $34,710
New York $41,190
North Carolina $36,630
North Dakota $38,580
Ohio $36,320
Oklahoma $32,090
Oregon $39,460
Pennsylvania $36,080
Rhode Island $43,120
South Carolina $35,510
South Dakota $29,300
Tennessee $35,000
Texas $35,550
Utah $34,400
Vermont $36,780
Virginia $39,390
Washington $43,260
West Virginia $31,980
Wisconsin $36,840
Wyoming $38,130

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
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • SAS
  • Linux

How do I Become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant?

Individuals working as a Secretary or Administrative Assistant have obtained the following education levels:

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant?

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Where Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Are Employed

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Below are examples of industries where Secretaries and Administrative Assistants work:

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Career changers with experience as a Secretary or Administrative Assistant sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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