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What You Need to Know About Secretary or Administrative Assistant

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Job Description Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.

What Do Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Operate electronic mail systems and coordinate the flow of information, internally or with other organizations.
  • Mail newsletters, promotional material, or other information.
  • Make copies of correspondence or other printed material.
  • Open, read, route, and distribute incoming mail or other materials and answer routine letters.
  • Use computers for various applications, such as database management or word processing.
  • Locate and attach appropriate files to incoming correspondence requiring replies.

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Needed Skills

When polled, Secretaries and Administrative Assistants say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Other Secretary or Administrative Assistant Job Titles

  • Community Youth Secretary
  • Secretary Specialist
  • Secretary, Board of Commissioners
  • Secretary Office Clerk
  • Trust Operations Assistant

Is There Job Demand for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants?

There were about 2,536,200 jobs for Secretary or Administrative Assistant in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Secretary or Administrative Assistant. There will be an estimated 244,300 positions for Secretary or Administrative Assistant per year.


The states with the most job growth for Secretary or Administrative Assistant are Colorado, Washington, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Vermont, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants ranges between about $23,060 and $56,010 a year.


Secretaries and Administrative Assistants who work in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $35,670
Alaska $42,450
Arizona $36,050
Arkansas $30,860
California $43,670
Colorado $38,810
Connecticut $46,470
Delaware $39,930
District of Columbia $50,140
Florida $35,080
Georgia $34,520
Hawaii $40,290
Idaho $32,380
Illinois $37,930
Indiana $32,720
Iowa $35,210
Kansas $33,820
Kentucky $32,950
Louisiana $31,880
Maine $37,150
Maryland $40,870
Massachusetts $46,940
Michigan $36,980
Minnesota $40,580
Mississippi $32,160
Missouri $35,010
Montana $33,380
Nebraska $34,100
Nevada $40,060
New Hampshire $37,230
New Jersey $42,600
New Mexico $34,710
New York $41,190
North Carolina $36,630
North Dakota $38,580
Ohio $36,320
Oklahoma $32,090
Oregon $39,460
Pennsylvania $36,080
Rhode Island $43,120
South Carolina $35,510
South Dakota $29,300
Tennessee $35,000
Texas $35,550
Utah $34,400
Vermont $36,780
Virginia $39,390
Washington $43,260
West Virginia $31,980
Wisconsin $36,840
Wyoming $38,130

What Tools & Technology do Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Secretaries and Administrative Assistants may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • SAS
  • Linux

How do I Become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant?

What kind of Secretary or Administrative Assistant requirements are there?


What work experience do I need to become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant?


Where Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Are Employed


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.


Are you already one of the many Secretary or Administrative Assistant in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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