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Become An Executive Secretary

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Working As An Executive Secretary

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

  • Repetitive

  • $50,865

    Average Salary

What Does An Executive Secretary 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

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 Jobs

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Executive Secretary Career Paths

Executive Secretary
Assistant To Executive Vice President Office Administrator Accounts Receivable Specialist
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Legal Secretary Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Administrator Development Administrator Service Administrator
Administrative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant/Office Manager Project Coordinator Business Manager
Business Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Operations Manager Chief Operating Officer
Chief Executive Officer And Operator
10 Yearsyrs
Administrative Coordinator Program Manager Deputy Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Specialist Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant/Office Manager Office Administrator Human Resources Coordinator
Executive Assistant/Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Administrative Coordinator Operations Manager Operations Vice President
Executive Vice President Of Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Human Resource Specialist
Human Resource Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Business Partner
10 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Human Resources Coordinator Human Resources Generalist
Labour Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Executive Executive Chef
Manager Executive
6 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Human Resources Assistant Office Manager Of Human Resources
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
7 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Accounts Payable Clerk Payroll Specialist
Payroll Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Executive
Senior Executive
5 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Project Coordinator
Senior Project Coordinator
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Secretary 4.0 years
Branch Secretary 3.9 years
Division Secretary 3.6 years
Head Secretary 3.5 years
Service Secretary 3.3 years
Sales Secretary 3.1 years
Program Secretary 3.0 years
Secretary 2.8 years
Project Secretary 2.6 years
Staff Assistant 2.6 years
Office Secretary 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Secretary 17.9%
Cashier 2.1%
Clerk 2.0%
Internship 2.0%
Teller 1.9%
Top Employers After
Secretary 6.8%
Owner 2.1%

Do you work as an Executive Secretary?

Executive Secretary Demographics

Gender

Female

90.1%

Male

7.8%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.7%

French

11.6%

Arabic

4.8%

German

4.5%

Portuguese

4.1%

Chinese

3.8%

Mandarin

3.2%

Italian

2.7%

Korean

1.8%

Japanese

1.7%

Hindi

1.2%

Greek

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Russian

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Dutch

0.7%

Tagalog

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Dari

0.5%
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Executive Secretary Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

6.8%

Strayer University

6.0%

Kaplan University

5.2%

Katharine Gibbs School

4.7%

University of Utah

4.4%

Brigham Young University

4.4%

Ashford University

4.1%

Liberty University

3.9%

University of Maryland - University College

3.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

Walden University

3.2%

American InterContinental University

3.2%

Community College of Allegheny County

3.2%

University of Houston

3.1%

University of Florida

3.1%

Michigan State University

2.9%

Miami Dade College

2.9%

New York University

2.9%

DePaul University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

35.0%

Accounting

6.4%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

5.8%

Health Care Administration

5.0%

Psychology

4.7%

Management

4.3%

English

4.2%

Legal Support Services

3.8%

Education

3.5%

Liberal Arts

3.2%

Human Resources Management

3.0%

Communication

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

General Studies

2.4%

Marketing

2.4%

Computer Science

2.3%

Elementary Education

2.2%

Nursing

2.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.1%

Political Science

1.7%
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Degrees

Other

34.8%

Bachelors

29.2%

Associate

14.3%

Masters

10.6%

Certificate

6.8%

Diploma

2.5%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.7%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Executive Secretary Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Publicist and Executive Secretary Gisele Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 01, 2014 $72,000
Executive Secretary-International Disaster Response General Board of Global Ministries Atlanta, GA Oct 09, 2016 $66,941
Bilingual Executive Secretary Brazil Products Company Torrance, CA Jan 30, 2015 $62,587
Executive Secretary-Corporate Planning Group The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. New York, NY Jun 03, 2011 $62,000
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative NTT Data, Inc. Princeton, NJ Jan 08, 2016 $59,446 -
$80,000
Executive Secretary Fitness M, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Apr 11, 2016 $58,573
Executive Secretary BB Bakery & Distributing, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Jun 23, 2016 $56,701
Executive Secretary Brazil Products Company Los Angeles, CA Nov 30, 2011 $54,912
Executive Secretary Angel Loving Care Residential Services Agency, Inc. Mount Rainier, MD Nov 07, 2007 $54,122
Executive Secretary Angel Loving Care Residential Services Agency, Inc. Mount Rainier, MD Nov 05, 2009 $54,122
Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assisstants Alumitech Inc. New York, NY Nov 17, 2010 $52,291
Executive Secretary Golden Travel Peers (USA) Inc. NY Sep 21, 2016 $51,069
Executive Secretary Golden Travel Peers (USA) Inc. NY Sep 09, 2016 $51,069
Executive Secretary Venus Laboratories Inc. Lacey, WA Sep 01, 2013 $46,958
Executive Secretary JXJ Technologies, Inc. Norcross, GA Jan 03, 2012 $45,914 -
$52,175
Executive Secretaries and Administrative E & Y Firestone Discount Inc. La Mexicana Meat MKT Los Angeles, CA Sep 16, 2010 $45,136
Executive Secretaries A & W Farms LLC Bakersfield, CA May 25, 2011 $44,574
Executive Secretary & Administrative Dream Homes Financial, Inc. Reston, VA Jul 02, 2008 $44,265
Executive Secretary Brazil Products Company Los Angeles, CA Feb 18, 2011 $43,827
Executive Secretaries and ADM. Ass'Ts Psicoaxis Corporation Miami, FL Nov 30, 2011 $43,000
Executive Secretary Mias Fashion Mfg. Co., Inc. Santa Fe Springs, CA Mar 19, 2009 $42,679
Executive Secretary Chinese Media Net, Inc. Great Neck, NY Jul 18, 2011 $37,232
Executive Secretary Law Office of Fuhao Yang New York, NY Oct 01, 2009 $36,731
Executive Secretaries & Administrative Scottex, Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 15, 2008 $36,189
Executive Secretaries/Admin Assist Automotive Filter Corp Santa Clarita, CA Mar 04, 2009 $36,189
Executive Secretaries Superline, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jun 23, 2010 $35,980

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Top Skills for An Executive Secretary

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  1. Outgoing Correspondence
  2. Office Supplies
  3. Personnel Files
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Screened all outgoing correspondence for clarity, completeness, grammatical and procedural correctness.
  • Full responsibility of ordering, receiving and delivering all office supplies from paper to furniture for office staff of thirty-four.
  • Coordinate continuing education information and work with staff development Director to ensure accuracy in maintaining nursing department personnel files.
  • Used IBM PC to produce professional financial reports and correspondence including company's certified financial statements and strategic operating plan.
  • Maintained accounting information and worked closely with payroll to ensure accuracy of summer school payroll authorizations.

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Top 10 Best States for Executive Secretaries

  1. Connecticut
  2. Maryland
  3. Rhode Island
  4. District of Columbia
  5. New Jersey
  6. New Mexico
  7. Nevada
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Alaska
  10. California
  • (103 jobs)
  • (256 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)
  • (329 jobs)
  • (50 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (385 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (977 jobs)

Top Executive Secretary Employers

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