An administrative secretary is expected to handle the daily operations of an office or small business. Read on to find out if this is a career for you.
As an administrative secretary or administrative assistant, your responsibilities can include answering phones, scheduling meetings, organizing office information, opening mail and performing many other tasks. You're expected to be familiar with computer office programs, finding information on the Internet and working with multiple types of office technology. You might use different types of software applications to prepare formal documents, letters, statements, spreadsheets or proposals.
You may be able to gain entry-level employment with relevant high school training. However, for increased employment opportunities, completing a postsecondary academic program may be beneficial. Some employers might even offer on-the-job training.
As an administrative secretary of administrative assistant, you might choose to explore related careers that you may be qualified for. You could become an accounts payable and accounts receivable clerk, file clerk, general office clerk, payroll clerk, receptionist, typist or work processor. You might even want to be self-employed and become a virtual assistant.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of secretaries and administrative assistants was projected to grow by 11% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). In May 2010, the BLS reported that secretaries and administrative assistants earned an average annual salary of $32,000. This figure does not include legal, medical or executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants.
Administrative secretary and assistant programs are offered through community colleges and other types of colleges. Programs can range from undergraduate certificate programs to diploma programs to associate degree programs, such as an associate degree in secretarial science. Online training is also available in a variety of formats, such as online secretarial courses or an online degree program in administrative assisting.
Some colleges might offer specialty programs, such legal or medical studies. By gaining an education in medical secretarial and assisting studies, you might gain employment in a medical clinic, doctor's office or hospital. You might choose to become a medical administrative assistant. By taking a legal secretarial and assisting program, you might find work at a courthouse, legal organization or attorney's office. You could decide to pursue a career as a legal administrative assistant. You may even gain employment through internship opportunities offered through some colleges.
Throughout your educational training, you'll learn how to operate office technology and computers, along with different types of software. Studies typically include bookkeeping, dictation, office practices, payroll processing, professional development, social interaction and typing. You might also consider enrolling in independent classes or distance learning courses in these areas.