What Does a Secretary Do? Career & Salary

The major question in the 21st business century setting has always been What Does a Secretary Do? Is the secretary’s office always needed? Can one have a life-fulfilled career as a secretary? Is the Secretary’s salary something to boost of…..?

Relax, Take a deep breath, and smile because the answers to all these questions lie in this article.

Interestingly, An organization cannot write its success story and efficiency measure employed in accomplishing its goals without the secretary’s office being mentioned. That is to tell you that the secretary plays a vital role in the smooth running of an organization.

In a nutshell, an Office Secretary maintains the smooth running of an office through various administrative and clerical duties. These duties include keeping files, taking minutes, handling office schedules, coordinating meetings and visits, organizing files, answering phones, and performing many other essential tasks.

Who is a Secretary?

secretary is a person whose work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication, or organizational skills.

However, this role should not be confused with the role of an executive secretary, who differs from a personal assistant. In many countries, an executive secretary is a high-ranking position in the administrative hierarchy. In fact, in Pakistan, federal secretaries are dubbed the most influential people in the country.

What does a Secretary do in an Organization?

The Secretary handles the Reception work.

Reception work in an office involves welcoming visitors and making them feel comfortable. Generally, the secretariat implicitly helps the new employee and the visitors get oriented.

It includes directing visitors to people who access and view new applications deployed in the home directory. However, a secretary project promotes the company’s reputation and image by offering a friendly and professional welcome to people who join the company.

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The Secretary handles Reception work

Reception work in an office involves welcoming visitors and making them feel comfortable. Generally, the secretariat implicitly helps the new employee and the visitors get oriented. It includes directing visitors to people who access and view new applications deployed in the home directory. However, a secretary project promotes the company’s reputation and image by offering a friendly and professional welcome to people who join the company.

Maintain Calendar and Plan Meetings

Office Secretaries schedule appointments and update event calendars. They also arrange meetings and coordinate conference room schedules. They assemble background materials and set up the meeting space before meetings. They attend meetings and prepare minutes or summaries of the meeting outcomes.

The Secretary Keeps and arranges files.

One of the important roles of a secretary is to arrange and keep staff and customers’ files. They keep records of other things in the company besides the files.

Keep the files alphabetically and use a system to facilitate key storage and retrieval for a successful file organization.

Handles Correspondence and Memo

The Correspondence, which includes phone calls and emails that come in and out of the organization, is received and confirmed by the secretary. They receive the emails before sending it to the address department or office.

Furthermore, Receive calls from customers, business associates, workers, or community members, and respond to calls or readjustments. Also, on behalf of the manager, they communicate information to clients, schedule meetings, or follow up on queries. Take notes from a manager, prepare a note or letter, and review the address of a secretary.

Managing of Documents

Secretaries copy documents for internal shipping or distribution. You can also fax company documents to clients or customers and receive faxes sent to the appropriate person.

In some offices, the secretary creates spreadsheets or documents and distributes them to employees or customers using Word, Excel, or email. Furthermore, the correction of documents and the preparation of emails are also his or her duties.

Hence, as the last person to see documents before they are sent, the Office Secretary reviews outgoing correspondence for grammar, correctness, and completeness and ensures that appropriate material is attached.

They prepare memos or other reports for internal or external distribution. They may also make travel bookings and prepare travel expense reports.

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Performs Routine Works

Now in a small office or organization, the secretary assists the staff and sometimes visitors or customers by running errands.

In addition to that, the secretary carries out other routine clerical functions, which include: canceling or rescheduling appointments, ordering office supplies, taking notes during meetings, and getting drinks for guests.

Secretary Career: What Does it take?

Having secretarial work as a career, although it’s not much demanding, especially in a small office setting, there are qualifications and training required or needed. These qualifications are what most employers look out for when recruiting or employing staff that can work as a secretary.

However, formal academic qualifications are not always needed; some employers do require you to be educated to GCSE/standards or A level/higher level. A small office might ask for a degree, in which case a degree in English, business, IT, or information science may be beneficial.

Most employers require applicants to have office or administrative work experience; relevant experience can be gained through temping via recruitment agencies. This, in turn, can lead to permanent work.

Some organizations ask for the ability to type a certain number of words per minute or to have experience in audio typing; however, shorthand is no longer asked for as a standard. A range of secretarial training courses is available online or via further education colleges.

Educational Requirements

You can have a secretarial career with a high school diploma and informational skills. Some companies, such as the legal and medical fields, prefer a secretariat that uses industry-specific medicines because it is familiar with terminology and practices. A license may be required for ejection secretaries.

What are the Skills Required?

Some of the key skills that you must possess as a secretary include the following:

  • Teamwork and team spirit
  • Organization and time management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communication, customer service
  • Relationship-building skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Assertiveness
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Tact, discretion, and diplomacy
  • The ability to be proactive and use your initiative: to see what needs doing and to do it
  • And also the ability to use standard software packages (eg, Microsoft Office) and to learn bespoke packages if required.

Are there Advanced Skills Required?

Yes, dear, there are advanced skills some organizations lookout for, and if you possess them, you get a higher chance of being employed. These skills include:

  • Knowledge of ICD-9 and CPT Coding
  • Knowledge of medical or legal terminology
  • Proficient with tape transcription and ability to take shorthand
  • Familiarity with File Site, a document management system

I don’t have any work experience

That shouldn’t bother you at all!

In a situation whereby you don’t have any work experience, and you don’t have a degree, you can take a secretarial course before looking for work. There are plenty of full-time and part-time courses, including GNVQs and GSVQs in business administration, NVQs, and SVQs or the specialist courses run by Pitman, OCR (RSA) the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Now, let’s narrow it down a bit….!

Apart from the general duties or roles performed by secretaries, other duties differ based on the secretary type. What a club secretary does will be a bit different from what a state secretary, school secretary, or unit secretary does.

What does the secretary of state do at the state Level?

The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser who carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department and the Foreign Service of the States.

The following are some of the duties assigned to different secretaries of state, secretaries of the commonwealth, lieutenant governors, and others across the country serving in a secretary-of-state role:

  • Administering elections
  • Appointing boards and commissions
  • Regulating businesses in the state
  • Leading selected social programs
  • Enforcing the financial disclosures of political committees
  • Taking a state census

The role of a legal secretary is to support the lawyers and paralegals in a law office or organization. Most legal secretaries converse directly with attorneys, clerical personnel, courtroom staff members, clients, expert witnesses, and commercial vendors.

However, they are involved in conducting research and reading legal articles, as well as standard secretarial duties, which might include answering phones and emails, filing, creating and maintaining schedules for lawyers, ordering supplies, copying, faxing, and maintaining the office.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, legal secretaries made a median annual income of $41,500 in 2010, or $19.95 per hour. This depends on the level of experience. 

What does a club Secretary do?

When talking about what the secretary of a club does, taking the primary purpose of the job into consideration matters. The Club Secretary carries out or delegates all the administrative duties that enable the club and its members to function effectively.

The Club Secretary has an essential role within the club, with close involvement in the general running of the club. The secretary and his/her assistant provide the main point of contact for people within and outside the club on just about every aspect of the club’s activities.

What Does a Secretary of Defense do?

The U.S. secretary of defense oversees the country’s Department of Defense, the federal service responsible for the country’s armed services and related military matters. This federal official acts as the principal defense policymaker and adviser.

The secretary of defense exercises authority, direction, and control over the three departments of the U.S. armed forces — the Army and the Navy, as well as the Air Force.

However, the main job of the secretary of defense, like in the USA, is to plan, develop and execute policies that concern the country’s military affairs and national security.

Also, he or she is responsible for the department’s resource management and fiscal and program evaluation. Furthermore, the secretary runs the entire department from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), which comprises the official’s entire staff. And also, the secretary’s staff assists in carrying out assigned tasks following their job titles.

What Does a Secretary Salary look like?

Secretaries and administrative assistants in all fields earn a median salary of $37,230 as of May 2016, meaning half earn more and half earn less. The top 10 percent of secretaries and administrative assistants earn more than $62,230. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $22,930.

Secretaries and administrative assistants in all fields earn a median salary of $37,230 as of May 2016, meaning half earn more and half earn less. The top 10 percent of secretaries and administrative assistants earn more than $62,230. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $22,930.

NOTE

A secretary’s salary significantly increases from entry-level to senior-level and can further increase with training in various skills. A secretary specializing in an industry, such as a medical or legal secretary, may command a much higher salary. Many front-office secretaries work up to executive secretaries, reaching higher pay levels.

Rate at which is Secretary Job Increasing

Over the years, Job opportunities for all secretaries have declined because of the introduction of modern technologies that can help others prepare documentation and other tasks formerly carried out by secretaries. Only one category was not affected.

In the case of executive secretaries, managers are now completing the functions of a secretary on their own, or the secretaries can support more than one manager.

The decreases in secretarial categories are as follows:

  •          General office secretary – 7 percent
  •          executive secretary – 17 percent
  •          legal secretary – 19 percent

The one category of secretary expected to have an increase in job growth is medical secretary. This secretarial field is projected to increase 22 percent over the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. This is primarily due to an aging population’s increasing healthcare needs.

FAQs

Who is a secretary?

The secretary and his/her assistant provide the main point of contact for people within and outside the club on just about every aspect of the club’s activities.
secretary is a person whose work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication, or organizational skills.

Qualities of secretary

Teamwork and team spirit
Organization and time management skills
Attention to detail
Good communication, customer service
Relationship-building skills
Negotiation skills
Assertiveness
Flexibility
Ability to work under pressure
Tact, discretion, and diplomacy
The ability to be proactive and use your initiative: to see what needs doing and to do it
And also, the ability to use standard software packages (eg Microsoft Office) and to learn bespoke packages if required.

salaries of secretary and assistant admin staff

Secretaries and administrative assistants in all fields earn a median salary of $37,230 as of May 2016, meaning half earn more and half earn less. The top 10 percent of secretaries and administrative assistants earn more than $62,230. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $22,930.

Sources

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