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High school graduates who have experience using computer software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although most secretaries learn their job in several weeks, many legal and medical secretaries require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. Executive secretaries usually need several years of related work experience.Education
High school graduates can take courses in word processing and office procedures at technical schools or community colleges. Some temporary placement agencies also provide training in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.
Some medical and legal secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. For executive secretary positions, employers increasingly prefer to hire those who have taken some college courses or have a bachelor’s degree.Training
Secretaries and administrative assistants typically learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. During this time they learn about administrative procedures, including how to prepare documents. Medical and legal secretaries’ training may last several months as they learn industry-specific terminology and practices.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Executive secretaries can gain experience by working in administrative positions that have less challenging responsibilities. Many secretaries and administrative assistants advance to higher level administrative positions.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although not required, certification can demonstrate competency to employers.
The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience, depending on their level of education, and pass an examination.
Legal secretaries have several certification options. For example, those with 1 year of general office experience, or who have completed an approved training course, can acquire the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) certification through a testing process administered by NALS (previously known as National Association of Legal Secretaries). NALS also offers the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification, considered to be an advanced certification for legal support professionals.
The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification is conferred by Legal Secretaries International in areas such as intellectual property, criminal law, civil litigation, probate, and business law. Candidates typically need to have 5 years of legal experience and pass an examination to become certified.Advancement
Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor, office manager, or executive secretary.
With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals or legal assistants.Important Qualities
Integrity. Many secretaries and administrative assistants are trusted to handle sensitive information. For example, medical secretaries collect patient data that is required, by law, to be kept confidential in order to protect patient privacy.
Interpersonal skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff. They should communicate effectively and be courteous when interacting with others to create a positive work environment and client experience.
Organizational skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently.
Writing skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers. Therefore, they must have good grammar, ensure accuracy, and maintain a professional tone.
Hispanic or Latino10.5%
Black or African American0.6%
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Average Length of Employment
University of Phoenix23.0%
University of Maryland - University College5.2%
Midlands Technical College4.5%
Northern Virginia Community College4.4%
American InterContinental University4.3%
Trident Technical College3.6%
University of Arkansas at Little Rock3.6%
Grand Canyon University2.9%
Greenville Technical College2.8%
Southern New Hampshire University2.7%
University of Connecticut2.6%
Community College of the Air Force2.6%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Administrative Specialist||SNF Group Corp||Miami, FL||Mar 17, 2016||$110,800|
|Administrative Specialist||Finka Realty Group LLC||Miami, FL||Apr 19, 2016||$110,800|
|Administrative Specialist||Cup Culture Corporation||Irvine, CA||Nov 21, 2016||$99,757|
|Administrative Specialist||CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc.||Sacramento, CA||Sep 06, 2013||$85,000|
|Program Administrative Specialist III||Virginia Department of Transportation||Suffolk, VA||Feb 10, 2011||$75,000|
|Program Administrative Specialist III||Virginia Department of Transportation||Suffolk, VA||Oct 17, 2012||$75,000|
|Administrative Specialist||TEX-Ellent, Inc. (DBA. Paramount Textiles)||Los Angeles, CA||Oct 25, 2011||$73,588|
|Administrative Specialist||Prestige Network Resource Consulting Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||May 19, 2011||$73,588|
|Finance & Administrative Specialist||Dyyno Inc.||Palo Alto, CA||Mar 13, 2012||$70,228|
|Process and Administration Specialist||Aggreko LLC||Houston, TX||Oct 14, 2016||$65,229|
|Administrative Specialist 2||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory||Berkeley, CA||Jan 02, 2011||$61,500|
|Administrative Specialist Intermed Health (Financial Analyst||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||Apr 02, 2013||$61,000|
|Administrative Specialist Intermed Health (Financi||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||Feb 04, 2013||$61,000|
|Administrative Specialist||Ocean Blue Express Inc.||Compton, CA||Jul 16, 2015||$58,094|
|Administrative Specialist||Young S. Oh & Associates, P.S. CPA||Lynnwood, WA||Aug 26, 2016||$56,909|
|Accounts and Sales Administration Specialist||Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company||Houston, TX||Sep 28, 2012||$54,912 -
|Import Administrative Specialist||O.K.K. Trading, Inc.||Commerce City, CO||Dec 01, 2010||$54,617|
|Bilingual Contract Administrator/Specialist||Pacific Best Inc.||El Monte, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$54,617|
|Financial and Administrative Specialist||Par Systems, Inc.||Shoreview, MN||Jun 25, 2011||$53,851|
|Business Administrative Specialist||Upland Dental Implant & Orthodontics||Wildomar, CA||Jan 18, 2012||$53,219|
|Financial/Administrative Specialist||Interesse International, Inc.||New York, NY||Apr 01, 2014||$52,759|
|Corporate Administrative Specialist||Dentsu Holdings USA, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 16, 2012||$46,384|
|Executive Administrative Specialist||Komet USA LLC||Rock Hill, SC||Sep 08, 2010||$45,500|
|Press Administrative Specialist||Smart Alabama LLC||Luverne, AL||Sep 15, 2011||$45,142|
|Press Administrative Specialist||Smart Alabama LLC||Luverne, AL||Jan 24, 2011||$45,142|
|Executive Administrative Specialist||Komet USA LLC||Rock Hill, SC||Sep 08, 2010||$44,290|
|Accounting/Administrative Specialist||TOYO Tire North America Manufacturing Inc.||White, GA||Oct 01, 2013||$41,766|
|Administrative Specialist||Atlanta USA Investment LLC||Duluth, GA||Sep 28, 2016||$41,642|
|Administrative Specialist II||Iowa State University of Science and Technology||Ames, IA||Oct 11, 2011||$41,135|
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