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All About Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

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.

A Day in the Life of a Secretary or Administrative Assistant

  • Coordinate conferences, meetings, or special events, such as luncheons or graduation ceremonies.
  • Conduct searches to find needed information, using such sources as the Internet.
  • Train and assist staff with computer usage.
  • Perform payroll functions, such as maintaining timekeeping information and processing and submitting payroll.
  • Compose, type, and distribute meeting notes, routine correspondence, or reports, such as presentations or expense, statistical, or monthly reports.
  • Collect and deposit money into accounts, disburse funds from cash accounts to pay bills or invoices, keep records of collections and disbursements, and ensure accounts are balanced.

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Required 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.

Types of Secretary or Administrative Assistant Jobs

  • Stenographer Secretary
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Membership Secretary
  • Senior Administrative Assistant
  • Appointment Scheduler

Is There Going to be Demand for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants?

In the United States, there were 2,536,200 jobs for Secretary or Administrative Assistant in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Secretary or Administrative Assistant. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 244,300 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants in U.S.

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.

How Much Does a Secretary or Administrative Assistant Make?

The average yearly salary of a Secretary or Administrative Assistant ranges between $23,060 and $56,010.

Salary Ranges for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

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 to Become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant

Are there Secretaries and Administrative Assistants education requirements?

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Work Experience

Where do Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Work?

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Sectors

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

Secretary or Administrative Assistant Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Career changers with experience as a Secretary or Administrative Assistant sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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