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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

  • $48,000

    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
Office Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Food Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Human Resources Manager
Human Resource Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Owner Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Owner Marketing Director Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Account Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Administrator Consultant Senior Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Administrator Business Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Business Analyst Senior Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Owner Assistant Vice President
Administration Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Specialist Executive Assistant
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Department Manager Administrative Manager
Human Resources Administration Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Executive Secretary
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Executive Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Executive Assistant To President
Senior Executive Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Buyer Contracts Administrator Project Administrator
Senior Project Coordinator
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Vice President Executive Assistant To President
Administrative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant To President Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Manager Executive
5 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
Division Secretary 4.0 years
Head Secretary 3.8 years
Program Secretary 3.2 years
Secretary 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Executive Secretary
Secretary 18.5%
Cashier 2.8%
Internship 2.0%
Clerk 1.7%
Top Careers After Executive Secretary
Secretary 6.8%
Cashier 2.9%
Owner 2.2%
Manager 1.7%

Do you work as an Executive Secretary?

Executive Secretary Demographics

Gender

Female

82.5%

Unknown

9.3%

Male

8.2%
Ethnicity

White

61.1%

Hispanic or Latino

16.5%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.7%

French

11.7%

Arabic

6.7%

Portuguese

5.0%

Chinese

4.0%

German

3.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

Italian

2.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Korean

1.3%

Hindi

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Tagalog

1.0%

Dutch

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Thai

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Russian

0.6%

Urdu

0.6%
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Executive Secretary Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.2%

Strayer University

7.4%

Katharine Gibbs School

5.5%

Kaplan University

5.5%

Ashford University

5.3%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.2%

University of Utah

4.2%

Miami Dade College

4.1%

The Academy

3.8%

University of Maryland - University College

3.6%

Brigham Young University

3.6%

Capella University

3.6%

Davenport University

3.1%

Liberty University

3.1%

Michigan State University

2.8%

Northeastern University

2.8%

University of Houston

2.6%

Walden University

2.6%

Pennsylvania State University

2.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.5%
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Majors

Business

35.5%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

6.6%

Accounting

6.5%

Health Care Administration

5.1%

Psychology

4.3%

Management

4.1%

English

4.0%

Legal Support Services

3.9%

Education

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Communication

3.0%

Human Resources Management

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Nursing

2.5%

Computer Science

2.4%

General Studies

2.3%

Marketing

2.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.1%

Elementary Education

1.9%

Finance

1.7%
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Degrees

Other

33.5%

Bachelors

30.1%

Associate

15.1%

Masters

9.9%

Certificate

7.0%

Diploma

2.9%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.7%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$48,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$34,000
Min 10%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Morgan Stanley
Highest Paying City
Milpitas, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.3 years
How much does an Executive Secretary make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Executive Secretary in the United States is $48,593 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $34,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $68,000.

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 05, 2009 $54,122
Executive Secretary Angel Loving Care Residential Services Agency, Inc. Mount Rainier, MD Nov 07, 2007 $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 09, 2016 $51,069
Executive Secretary Golden Travel Peers (USA) Inc. NY Sep 21, 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 Superline, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jun 23, 2010 $35,980
Executive Secretaries & Administrative Assts. Taeseob & Young's Mission Beauty, Inc. South Pasadena, CA Oct 30, 2007 $35,813

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Top Skills for An Executive Secretary

  1. Legal Documents
  2. Office Supplies
  3. Personnel Files
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide administrative support to superintendent, including correspondence, legal documents, financial managements, policy compliance and problem resolution.
  • Maintained office supplies that included ordering of specific materials for management, and other supplies/equipment as required.
  • Processed and maintained confidential information such as staff personnel files.
  • Processed division office invoices along with weekly Division office payroll.
  • Used IBM PC to produce professional financial reports and correspondence including company's certified financial statements and strategic operating plan.

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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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