Growing technology and the expansion of office duties have forced many employers to hire secretaries. Secretaries and administrative assistants are clerical professionals responsible for a wide range of office procedures. Though the secretary is often viewed as just a front-desk person, secretaries are held accountable for tasks that offices and managers depend on.
Office staff members and clients rely on secretaries to store, organize, update and retrieve important electronic and paper files. This requires secretaries to remain organized to keep the company running efficiently. Secretaries are like managers in a sense, because they manage all documents coming in and out of the office. Secretaries must ensure that all appointments and meetings are running smoothly, and they may be responsible for setting up meetings.
Secretary office procedures involve communication. Whether a secretary is on the phone or talking face-to-face with clients or coworkers, secretaries often serve as the middleman to companies. Managers have taken on more duties and must rely on secretaries to be the face of their office. Secretaries may greet clients at their desk, phone their boss to let the boss know the client is available, then give the client directions or escort the client to the boss's office. Not all procedures are carried out in person, as secretaries must also communicate via email, instant messenger, text message or web camera video chats.
Most, if not all, secretarial office procedures involve electronics. Electronic equipment usage has replaced old clerical methods to keep up with demand. Secretaries may perform duties that require the use of copy machines, scanners, fax machines or computers. Computer usage is essential to office procedures. They are used to send and receive emails, create documents, make slide shows, organize schedules, update documents and schedule travel arrangements. Some secretaries are required to check and update any company websites. Without computers and electronic technology, many office procedures that companies depend on would not be possible.
2016 Salary Information for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
Secretaries and administrative assistants earned a median annual salary of $38,730 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, secretaries and administrative assistants earned a 25th percentile salary of $30,500, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $48,680, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 3,990,400 people were employed in the U.S. as secretaries and administrative assistants.