Secretarial Skills & Duties
Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Secretaries provide administrative support to the management in an organization.
Secretary jobs can be found in a wide range of industries. The duties of a secretary vary from one employer to another and depending on the nature and the size of the business. Secretaries may greet visitors, answer phones, generate correspondence, maintain records, schedule meetings and appointments and perform administrative tasks such as filing and photocopying.
Most employers seek candidates that have a minimum of a high school diploma. An associate's degree or a bachelor's degree can be an asset, and may be preferred by some employers. Secretary classes are offered in some high schools and community colleges.
Prepare for the duties of a secretary by learning to type. Classes are offered in high schools, community development centers and continuing education programs. You can also find free tutorials online. The more secretary skills you can offer a potential employer, the better your chances of getting the job you want. Knowledge of standard office equipment, computer software such as Microsoft Word and Excel, good communications and organizational skills, the ability to multi-task and the ability to work well with others are important for an office secretary to possess.
Secretaries generally work in offices during regular business hours. Full time and part time positions are available, depending on the employer. Working as a secretary for a bank or law firm will probably require you to adhere to a dress code requiring conservative attire. Other employers may be much less formal. Regardless of how you're allowed to dress once you get the job, be sure to go to a job interview dressed neatly and professionally. Recruiters recommend a dark suit, white blouse, conservative heels and minimal jewelry.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a secretary is $37,870 per year, or $18.21 per hour. Median wage means that half in the profession earn more and half earn less. The pay for secretary jobs varies according to employer, geographic location, education, skills and experience.
The BLS projects a 5 percent decline in secretarial jobs through 2026. The availability of user friendly computer software has simplified many administrative tasks that used to be completed manually.
Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology. She has written for eHow.com, Library Journal, The Searcher, Bureau of Education and Research, and corporate clients.