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Secretary or Administrative Assistant

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What Do Secretary or Administrative Assistant Do?

Position 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?

  • Arrange conference, meeting, or travel reservations for office personnel.
  • Compose, type, and distribute meeting notes, routine correspondence, or reports, such as presentations or expense, statistical, or monthly reports.
  • Take dictation in shorthand or by machine and transcribe information.
  • Supervise other clerical staff and provide training and orientation to new staff.
  • Provide services to customers, such as order placement or account information.
  • Order and dispense supplies.

Skills Needed to be a Secretary or Administrative Assistant

When polled, Secretaries and Administrative Assistants say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Administrative Assistant (Admin Assistant)
  • Administrative Associate
  • Administrative Liaison
  • Administrative Secretary (Admin Secretary)
  • Secretary-Bookkeeper

What Kind of Secretary or Administrative Assistant Job Opportunities Are There?

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. The BLS estimates 244,300 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants in U.S.

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.

How Much Does a Secretary or Administrative Assistant Make?

The typical yearly salary for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants is somewhere between $23,060 and $56,010.

Salary Ranges for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

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 different U.S. states?

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

What Tools do Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Use?

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?

Learn what Secretary or Administrative Assistant education requirements there are.

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant?

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Work Experience

Where Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Are Employed

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Secretaries and Administrative Assistants employed by various industries.

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Industries

Are you already one of the many Secretary or Administrative Assistant in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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