Where do you want to work?
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Assistant Director
Top Careers After Assistant Director
Hispanic or Latino10.2%
Black or African American0.6%
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University of Phoenix15.7%
New York University6.9%
Grand Canyon University5.5%
Florida State University4.9%
University of Florida4.5%
Michigan State University4.2%
University of Alabama3.9%
Pennsylvania State University3.6%
George Washington University3.5%
George Mason University3.5%
University of Connecticut3.4%
Florida International University3.3%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Assistant Director, Regulatory Reporting-Policy and Govern||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||New York, NY||Nov 23, 2016||$204,500|
|General Assistant Director||GFR Media, LLC||Guaynabo, PR||Feb 22, 2016||$200,000|
|Assistant Director||American General Life Insurance Company||New York, NY||Apr 11, 2015||$200,000|
|Assistant Director||American International Group, Inc.||New York, NY||Nov 19, 2015||$200,000|
|Assistant Director||AIG Employee Services, Inc.||New York, NY||May 18, 2016||$200,000|
|Assistant Director||American General Life Insurance Company||New York, NY||Jan 10, 2016||$200,000|
|Assistant Director||American International Group, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 03, 2015||$200,000|
|Assistant Director, Risk||American General Life Insurance Company||Los Angeles, CA||Feb 15, 2016||$192,000|
|Configuration Manager-Assistant Director||Ernst & Young U.S. LLP||Secaucus, NJ||Oct 19, 2016||$171,000|
|Assistant Director, Statistics-Biometrics||Abbvie Inc.||North Chicago, IL||Oct 24, 2016||$165,000|
|Assurance Assistant Director||Ernst &Amp; Young U.S. LLP||Secaucus, NJ||Apr 17, 2016||$163,439|
|GHC .NET Development, Assistant Director (Mult. POS.)||Ernst & Young U.S. LLP||Alpharetta, GA||Dec 22, 2016||$161,000|
|Assistant Food and Beverage Director||Hyatt Corporation||Phoenix, AZ||Nov 11, 2016||$89,960 -
|Assistant Director, Benchmarking and Analysis||Temple University--A Commonwealth University||Philadelphia, PA||Apr 09, 2015||$86,737|
|Assistant Director, Hrad International Programs||Oklahoma State University||Stillwater, OK||Feb 01, 2015||$86,000 -
|Assistant Director||Friends of Crown Heights Educational Centers||New York, NY||Apr 26, 2016||$85,446|
|Assistant Director||Old Dominion University||Norfolk, VA||Dec 12, 2016||$85,231|
|Assistant Director, University Computer Systems||Florida Atlantic University||Boca Raton, FL||Jan 26, 2016||$85,000|
|Assistant Director, Connect Program||Search for Common Ground||New York, NY||Jul 10, 2015||$84,115|
|Assistant Director||Taneja Education Services, Inc.||Plymouth, MN||Jan 07, 2016||$62,608|
|Assistant Director||Taneja Education Services, Inc.||Plymouth, MN||May 26, 2016||$62,608|
|Assistant Director||Indiana Math and Science Academy-South Indianapolis Charter School||Indianapolis, IN||Jul 31, 2015||$62,390|
|Assistant Director of US Sino Pathways Program||Northeastern University||Boston, MA||Jan 07, 2016||$62,080 -
|Assistant Director Academic Enrichment||Morgan State University||Baltimore, MD||Aug 10, 2015||$61,892|
|Assistant Director of Education Abroad||Northern Arizona University||Flagstaff, AZ||Jan 11, 2016||$61,800|
|Assistant Director of Counseling||State University of New York at Buffalo||Buffalo, NY||Jan 08, 2016||$61,621|
|Assistant Director Mass Spectrometry Center||University of Massachusetts Amherst||Amherst, MA||Apr 15, 2015||$61,359|
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