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The Duties and Responsibilities of an Office Secretary

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An office secretary is often the glue that holds an office or business together as she provides support to a variety of staff members and departments. Office secretaries do not need any formal education but most companies will look at the completion of coursework in computer skills and other office-related skills as an asset. According to, as of 2010, office secretaries make an average of between $20,893 and $30,990 annually.

Greet & Check-In

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The office secretary greets customers, job applicants and other visitors when they arrive to the office. If the visitor has an appointment with someone working at the company, the office secretary will check the visitor in and announce his arrival to the appropriate staff member.

Because the office secretary is often the first impression people have of the company, she must maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times. The use of proper etiquette and a friendly attitude are an important part of the office secretary's job. A handshake and eye contact upon arrival lets the visitor know his presence is acknowledged and appreciated. When a visitor or client leaves the building, the office secretary will thank her for coming and check her out, if necessary.

Communication & Correspondence

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Phone and written communication is vital to helping the company move forward and build business. The office secretary plays a large role in the communication process within the office and company. He takes phone calls, redirects the caller to the appropriate person or takes a message, places phone calls to clients, and provides information or directions to those who request help.

In addition to phone communication, the office secretary is also involved in written and email correspondence. Executives or managers may ask the office secretary to write letters or respond to customer inquiries. Whether the communication or correspondence takes place on the phone, through a letter or in an email, the office secretary must always communicate in a professional manner, maintaining the reputation the company has worked to build.

Record Keeping

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A busy office will require constant updating of records and data. If the company is involved in the sales of products or services, sales records, inventory and customer requests will need to be updated each day. The office secretary enters payments made by clients and customers and may also assist the accounting department with updated records of payments sent out to vendors.

In addition to sales-related records, the office secretary also keeps records of meetings through meeting minutes. Record keeping provides the company with a history of what has occurred and may be vital to the progress of the company. Many hours are spent, by the office secretary, updating and maintaining written records and records on the computer.


Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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