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Become An Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant

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Working As An Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant Do

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.

Duties

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:

  • Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
  • Schedule appointments and update event calendars
  • Arrange staff meetings
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
  • Prepare memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Edit documents
  • Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
  • Perform basic bookkeeping

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Secretaries and administrative assistants also use videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.

Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also review legal journals and help with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive is the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.

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How To Become An Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant

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.

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Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant Career Paths

Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant
Office Manager Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Human Resources Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Executive Assistant To Chief Executive Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Manager Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Consultant Senior Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Manager Operations Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Assistant To Executive Vice President
Senior Executive Assistant
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Owner Marketing Director
Community Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Owner Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant/Office Manager Owner/Operator Property Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant/Office Manager Business Owner Business Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant To President Consultant Senior Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant To President Administrator Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant To President Administrator Administrative Manager
Human Resources Administration Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Office Manager/Administrative Assistant Assistant Property Manager
Assistant Community Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Administrator Senior Administrative Assistant Senior Secretary
Principal Secretary
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Relationship Manager Client Relationship Manager
Client Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Administrator
Senior Executive Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Secretary 4.2 years
Head Secretary 3.8 years
Program Secretary 3.2 years
Secretary 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant
Secretary 10.8%
Cashier 5.3%
Clerk 2.7%
Internship 1.7%
Top Careers After Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant
Cashier 5.2%
Secretary 4.2%
Teacher 2.1%

Do you work as an Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$35,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
NTT Data International LLC
Highest Paying City
Santa Monica, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
5.0 years
How much does an Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant in the United States is $49,977 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $35,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $69,000.

Real Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants JP Morgan Chase & Co New York, NY Dec 21, 2012 $140,000
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants The Repton Group New York, NY Sep 03, 2014 $75,546
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants C & L USA, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Oct 18, 2012 $74,610
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 01, 2012 $74,200 -
$123,700
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Yerman & Associates LLC New York, NY Oct 16, 2012 $67,038
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Lincoln University Lincoln University, PA Sep 10, 2014 $66,950
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants S&K Imports, Inc. Philadelphia, PA May 07, 2014 $66,144
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Wade Austen Inc. Walnut, CA Jun 26, 2014 $65,333
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Garfield Law Group, LLP Washington, DC Jul 25, 2014 $64,113
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Full Gospel New York Church NY Feb 23, 2012 $63,211
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Joy International Exchange Student, Inc. North Wales, PA Jun 09, 2014 $63,024
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistant NTT Data, Inc. Plano, TX Jul 01, 2015 $61,714 -
$100,000
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Capital Craftsmen Inc. Great Neck, NY Mar 26, 2014 $61,568
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Hi-TEK Electric Co. Santa Fe Springs, CA Jan 22, 2014 $60,654
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Global Vending Inc. Ontario, CA May 17, 2013 $54,122
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Aerospace Manufacturing Corporation Wallington, NJ Apr 26, 2011 $52,467
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Nahlah Seaplus, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 21, 2014 $52,062
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Angel Dental Group, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 18, 2014 $52,062
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants All Nations Church CA Nov 06, 2013 $52,062
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Law Offices of PJ Lee, P.C. Los Angeles, CA May 05, 2014 $52,062
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Seonho Ha, DDS, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jul 24, 2014 $52,062
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Cocolove Apparel, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 26, 2014 $52,062
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Treehouse Interactive, Inc. Draper, UT Aug 15, 2014 $47,112
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Chomarat North America, LLC Anderson, SC Jun 08, 2012 $46,000
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Blue Water Shipping Us Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL May 29, 2014 $45,914
Executive Secretaries & Administrative Assistants PPS Consultants, LLC Berlin, CT Mar 24, 2011 $44,871
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants King Dental Lab Inc. Fort Lee, NJ Apr 27, 2011 $44,599
Executive Secretaries & Administrative Assistants Acapulco Motors Ontario, CA Jan 12, 2012 $44,512
Exec. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Century 21 King Rancho Cucamonga, CA Nov 15, 2011 $44,512
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Daiwa SB Investments (USA) Ltd. New York, NY Apr 29, 2011 $44,500

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Top Skills for An Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant

  1. Personnel Files
  2. Office Supplies
  3. Financial Statements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain Director's files and official, confidential personnel files.
  • Provide administrative support for Senior Manager including coordinating departmental employee attendance and files, phone support and procurement of office supplies.
  • Prepare budget and maintain control spending to ensure budgetary limits are met; coordinate and review monthly financial statements for accuracy.
  • Resolved discrepancies concerning product dissatisfaction, customer service, shipments and billing.
  • Worked with an outside Consultant to evaluate the need and set up word processing stations for the individual departments.

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Top 10 Best States for Executive Secretaries, Administrative Assistant

  1. New York
  2. Connecticut
  3. California
  4. District of Columbia
  5. New Jersey
  6. Maryland
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Nevada
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Virginia
  • (2,224 jobs)
  • (394 jobs)
  • (4,616 jobs)
  • (418 jobs)
  • (735 jobs)
  • (721 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (181 jobs)
  • (1,581 jobs)
  • (1,074 jobs)

Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

82.5%

Unknown

9.4%

Male

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

12.6%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.5%

French

9.5%

Portuguese

4.8%

Urdu

4.8%

Arabic

4.8%

Indonesian

2.4%

German

2.4%

Romanian

2.4%

Greek

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%

Tamil

2.4%

Italian

2.4%
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Executive Secretary, Administrative Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.1%

Miami Dade College

8.4%

Ashford University

6.3%

New York University

5.3%

Florida State University

5.3%

Prince George's Community College

4.2%

University of South Florida

4.2%

University of Houston

4.2%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.2%

Radford University

4.2%

Brevard Community College

3.2%

Auburn University-Montgomery

3.2%

Argosy University-Phoenix

3.2%

Brigham Young University

3.2%

East Tennessee State University

3.2%

Henry Ford College

3.2%

Saint Louis Community College

3.2%

University of Maryland - University College

3.2%

Bradford School

3.2%

John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York

3.2%
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Majors

Business

34.2%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

6.0%

Psychology

5.8%

Health Care Administration

5.2%

Legal Support Services

4.3%

General Studies

4.1%

Education

4.1%

Liberal Arts

3.9%

Criminal Justice

3.9%

Accounting

3.9%

Nursing

3.6%

Management

3.6%

English

3.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.1%

Communication

2.2%

Human Resources Management

2.0%

Real Estate

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Computer Science

1.6%

Marketing

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

35.5%

Bachelors

27.6%

Associate

17.9%

Certificate

7.7%

Masters

6.7%

Diploma

2.7%

License

1.3%

Doctorate

0.4%
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