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Become A School Secretary

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Working As A School Secretary

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

  • Repetitive

  • $33,910

    Average Salary

What Does A School 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 A School 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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School Secretary jobs

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School Secretary Career Paths

School Secretary
Legal Assistant Legal Secretary Office Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Specialist Operation Supervisor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Billing Specialist Operations Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Controller General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Account Manager Marketing Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Adjunct Instructor Executive Chef
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Office Administrator Operations Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Human Resources Coordinator Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Administrator Secretary Executive Secretary
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Principal Secretary Office Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Administrator Secretary Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Human Resources Coordinator Payroll Specialist
Payroll Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Principal Secretary Registrar Billing Specialist
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Controller General Manager
President/Chief Executive Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Paralegal Office Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Bookkeeper Accounting Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Legal Secretary 4.2 years
Ward Secretary 4.2 years
School Secretary 4.0 years
Senior Secretary 4.0 years
Branch Secretary 3.8 years
Finance Secretary 3.7 years
Parish Secretary 3.7 years
Church Secretary 3.5 years
Head Secretary 3.5 years
Division Secretary 3.5 years
Unit Secretary 3.5 years
Service Secretary 3.3 years
Clerk Secretary 3.3 years
Payroll Secretary 3.3 years
Clerical Secretary 3.1 years
Attendance Clerk 3.0 years
Sales Secretary 3.0 years
Program Secretary 3.0 years
Personal Secretary 2.9 years
Secretary 2.8 years
Office Specialist 2.8 years
Clinical Secretary 2.8 years
Project Secretary 2.6 years
General Secretary 2.6 years
Staff Assistant 2.6 years
Office Secretary 2.5 years
Junior Secretary 2.4 years
Office Assistant 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Secretary 11.9%
Clerk 4.3%
Teacher 4.0%
Teller 3.5%
Cashier 3.1%
Volunteer 2.7%
Internship 2.2%
Top Employers After
Secretary 9.6%
Cashier 5.9%
Teacher 4.3%
Volunteer 2.8%
Clerk 2.2%
Teller 2.1%

School Secretary Demographics

Gender

Female

91.7%

Male

6.8%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

80.3%

Hispanic or Latino

12.4%

Asian

5.1%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

81.6%

French

7.9%

Portuguese

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Carrier

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Navajo

1.3%

Thai

1.3%
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School Secretary Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.4%

Kaplan University

8.5%

Grand Canyon University

7.1%

Strayer University

6.4%

Liberty University

5.7%

Ball State University

5.7%

Troy University

5.0%

Cardinal Stritch University

3.5%

Michigan State University

3.5%

Ashford University

3.5%

Southeastern Louisiana University

3.5%

Georgia State University

3.5%

South Texas College

3.5%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.5%

Montclair State University

3.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.5%

University of Missouri - Kansas City

2.8%

Santa Rosa Junior College

2.8%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

2.8%

Shasta College

2.8%
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Majors

Business

28.6%

Health Care Administration

6.7%

Accounting

6.1%

Psychology

6.0%

Education

5.7%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

4.6%

Elementary Education

4.4%

Communication

4.3%

Criminal Justice

4.2%

Liberal Arts

3.9%

General Studies

3.8%

Human Resources Management

3.1%

English

3.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.5%

Human Services

2.5%

Nursing

2.1%

Social Work

2.1%

Management

2.1%

Medical Assisting Services

2.1%

Legal Support Services

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

35.4%

Bachelors

28.4%

Associate

15.9%

Masters

10.7%

Certificate

6.3%

Diploma

1.7%

Doctorate

1.2%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A School Secretary

PayrollTelephoneCallsPurchaseOrdersStudentAttendanceRecordsDataEntryDailyAttendanceAdministratorsPhoneCallsStudentFilesOfficeEquipmentOfficeSuppliesCustomerServiceStudentInformationReportCardsStudentActivitiesFrontOfficeGeneralOfficeGuidanceSubstituteTeachersStudentData

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Top School Secretary Skills

  1. Payroll
  2. Telephone Calls
  3. Purchase Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform all fiscal duties including payroll, purchasing, accounts payable and receivable for local public elementary school.
  • Handled a large volume of telephone calls, visitors, and parents.
  • Prepared requisitions for purchase orders.
  • Performed secretarial work, data entry, customer services, assisted students with inquiries and translated school related material.
  • Maintained and recorded daily attendance records.

Top School Secretary Employers

School Secretary Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Head's PA & School Secretary by Carolyn J (Highlights)

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