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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

  • $32,000

    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 Career Paths

School Secretary
Teacher Consultant Manager
Office Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Teacher Consultant Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Consultant Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Office Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Manager Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Secretary Manager
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Secretary Owner
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Secretary Owner Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Accounts Payable Clerk Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Administrator Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Administrator Bookkeeper Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Administrator Secretary Legal Assistant Assistant To Executive Vice President
Senior Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Administrator Secretary Legal Assistant Administrator
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Administrator Secretary Administrative Coordinator Administrator
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Substitute Teacher Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Accounts Payable Clerk Accounts Receivable Specialist Accounts Receivable Supervisor
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Team Leader Operations Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Teacher Aide Specialist Human Resources Generalist
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Aide Program Assistant Executive Secretary
Principal Secretary
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a School Secretary?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
School Secretary 4.0 years
Branch Secretary 3.9 years
Payroll Secretary 3.8 years
Head Secretary 3.8 years
Clerical Secretary 3.4 years
Service Secretary 3.4 years
Program Secretary 3.2 years
Secretary 3.0 years
Office Secretary 2.8 years
Junior Secretary 2.4 years
Student Secretary 1.6 years
Top Careers Before School Secretary
Secretary 13.3%
Cashier 4.5%
Clerk 3.7%
Teacher 3.2%
Volunteer 3.2%
Teller 2.7%
Bookkeeper 2.3%
Assistant 2.2%
Top Careers After School Secretary
Secretary 10.9%
Cashier 6.6%
Teacher 3.8%
Volunteer 2.8%
Bookkeeper 2.5%
Internship 2.0%
Owner 1.9%
Clerk 1.9%

Do you work as a School Secretary?

School Secretary Demographics

Gender

Female

81.8%

Unknown

11.7%

Male

6.5%
Ethnicity

White

63.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

79.1%

French

7.8%

Italian

4.3%

Portuguese

2.6%

Albanian

0.9%

Carrier

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Russian

0.9%

Arabic

0.9%

Navajo

0.9%

Thai

0.9%
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School Secretary Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

24.4%

Grand Canyon University

6.7%

Kaplan University

6.4%

Strayer University

6.0%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

5.7%

Liberty University

5.7%

Ashford University

4.9%

Houston Community College

3.9%

University of Maryland - University College

3.5%

Katharine Gibbs School

3.5%

Georgia State University

3.2%

Walden University

3.2%

A-Technical College

3.2%

Cardinal Stritch University

2.8%

Michigan State University

2.8%

Milwaukee Area Technical College

2.8%

Webster University

2.8%

Troy University

2.8%

Alverno College

2.8%

Ball State University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

29.2%

Health Care Administration

7.0%

Accounting

6.7%

Education

5.4%

Psychology

5.4%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

4.7%

Elementary Education

4.3%

Liberal Arts

3.8%

General Studies

3.7%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Human Resources Management

3.2%

English

3.0%

Communication

3.0%

Management

2.9%

Human Services

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.6%

Nursing

2.4%

Medical Assisting Services

2.3%

Legal Support Services

2.3%

Social Work

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

33.3%

Bachelors

29.6%

Associate

16.6%

Masters

10.5%

Certificate

6.2%

Diploma

2.4%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.6%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$32,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$21,000
Min 10%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Shelby County Schools
Highest Paying City
Gaithersburg, MD
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
4.1 years
How much does a School Secretary make at top companies?
The national average salary for a School Secretary in the United States is $32,692 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $21,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $49,000.

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Top Skills for A School Secretary

  1. Office Supplies
  2. Payroll
  3. Phone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed inventory of office supplies and coordinated the troubleshooting of various departmental equipment.
  • Perform all fiscal duties including payroll, purchasing, accounts payable and receivable for local public elementary school.
  • Helped with mail merges, mailings, proofreading, fielded phone calls with parents and reorganized the supply closet.
  • Maintained and recorded daily attendance records.
  • Maintained school-wide supply system from initializing requests to distribution via purchase orders.

How Would You Rate Working As a School Secretary?

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Top School Secretary Employers

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Jobs From 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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