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Secretary Jobs

Secretary jobs involve more than just posting agendas and taking phone calls. The secretary is often the first point of contact for many clients, customers and sales staff and often acts as a gatekeeper between a senior figure. In general, secretaries regularly take on the role of organizing staff members. In other cases, they may take notes and complete admin duties.

What Do Secretaries Do?

Secretaries (also known as administrative assistants) handle a variety of administrative tasks and duties that are vital to running an organization effectively. The typically maintain database and filing systems, answer telephone calls and take messages, and handle incoming and outgoing correspondence. Some may also update event calendars and arrange staff meetings.

How Much Do Secretaries Make?

The median pay for secretaries as of 2017 was $37,870 per year, which works out to $18.21 per hour. However, the actual wage depends on the type of secretary and the industry. Those in government were more likely to experience much higher wages at a median pay of $42,560, whereas secretaries in healthcare tended to earn a median wage of $35,290. Those classified as medical secretaries generally earned the lowest wages at $34,610 per year.

Types of Secretary Jobs Available

There are four secretary subcategories.

  • General secretary/administrative assistant: This is the broadest of the four subcategories. They perform office administrative tasks in mostof the economy, such as private corporations, schools, and the government.
  • Medical administrative assistant: People working as medical secretaries prepare reports/papers and transcribe dictation for medical scientists and physicians.
  • Executive administrative assistant: Executive secretaries give high-level aid to the offices and high-level executives of an organization. They often handle complex work, such as supervising clerical staff.
  • Legal secretary: Legal secretaries perform legal document preparation, journal reviews, and research. Because of this, they are required to have an understanding of legal procedures and terminology.

The job outlook for secretaries is not promising, with prospects declining 5 percent from 2016 to 2026. Positions will most like become vacant dues to individuals leaving the occupation. However, the medical field is expected to see a 22 percent increase (faster than the average for most occupations) in medical secretaries.

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