Become A Secretary

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Working As A Secretary

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

  • Repetitive

  • $35,477

    Average Salary

What Does A Secretary Do

A Secretary is responsible for undertaking a variety of administrative tasks. They organize work through reading and routing correspondence, maintaining the department schedule, and preparing reports through collecting information.

How To Become A 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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45 Secretary jobs

Loudoun County Public Schools
Ashburn, VA
Secretary II - Bookkeeper

$35,477 Estimated

National Contract Management Association
Ashburn, VA
Part-Time National Secretary (1099 Preferred)

$50,000 Estimated

National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, DC
SECRETARY OA

$35,477 Estimated

M&T Bank
Rockville, MD
Secretary III

$33,028 Estimated

Nana Regional Corporation
Bethesda, MD
Secretary III (Medical Records - Walter Reed)

$33,028 Estimated

National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, DC
SECRETARY OA

$35,477 Estimated

Ukpeagvik Iupiat Corporation/Bowhead Family of Companies
Washington, DC
Secretary II

$35,477 Estimated

Leidos
Frederick, MD
Secretary (NCI)

$33,028 Estimated

Gap Solutions Inc.
Bethesda, MD
Secretary I

$33,028 Estimated

Commander, Navy Installations
Washington, DC
Secretary

$35,477 Estimated

CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc.
Washington, DC
Secretary IV (NSD) (TS Required)

$35,477 Estimated

Defense Information Systems Agency
Arlington, VA
SECRETARY (OA)

$35,477 Estimated

Offices, Boards and Divisions
Washington, DC
Secretary

$35,477 Estimated

Nana Regional Corporation
Alexandria, VA
Secretary III (Federal Travel)

$35,477 Estimated

CGI
Washington, DC
Secretary III (DOJ)

$35,477 Estimated

Caci International Inc.
Washington, DC
Secretary III

$35,477 Estimated

CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc.
Washington, DC
Secretary III (CIVIL

$35,477 Estimated

National Park Service
McLean, VA
Secretary (OA)

$35,477 Estimated

Offices, Boards and Divisions
Washington, DC
Secretary

$35,477 Estimated

Dynamo Technologies, LLC
Arlington, VA
Secretary II

$35,477 Estimated

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Real Secretary Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Secretary Lynn Marie Rondeau Baltimore, MD Mar 01, 2012 $80,400 -
$90,000
Secretary Uniform Kingdom Inc. Carson, CA Sep 15, 2016 $53,206
Secretary Rafalo Corporation Chicago, IL Jul 14, 2016 $50,088
Bi-Lingual Secretary (Spanish/English) Tuan Nguyen, DDS, PC Fairfax, VA Sep 11, 2009 $46,446
Secretary Shinobi Ny LLC D/B/A Ninja Restaurant New York, NY May 18, 2016 $46,218
Secretary Law Office of Yunsung Choi, P.C. NY Apr 17, 2015 $45,800
Secretaries Mosquera, Inc. Herndon, VA May 01, 2008 $45,017
Secretary Akropolis Marble & Granite, LLC Beltsville, MD Nov 06, 2009 $45,017
Secretaries R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home Inc. New York, NY Sep 06, 2011 $44,599
Secretary Anton R E Richardson Los Angeles, CA Mar 30, 2016 $44,554
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Top Skills for A Secretary

OutgoingCorrespondenceTelephoneCallsPayrollCustomerServiceDataEntryPhoneCallsAppropriatePersonsFinancialStatementsSchedulingAppointmentsTravelArrangementsOfficeSuppliesOfficeEquipmentWordProcessingPowerpointPurchaseOrdersMeetingMinutesQuickbooksLegalDocumentsFaxMachinesExpenseReports

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Top Secretary Skills

  1. Outgoing Correspondence
  2. Telephone Calls
  3. Payroll
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Received and reviewed incoming correspondence and reviewed and prepared outgoing correspondence.
  • Answered and directed telephone calls to appropriate person or branch office.
  • Inputted payroll, enrolled students and transferred students, and maintain all the student records in the AS400 computer database.
  • Provided excellent customer service, maintained filing system, answered multiple phone lines
  • Performed data entry and processed insurance claims for an insurance company.

Top Secretary Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Secretary

  1. Student Government Association
  2. State Farm Insurance
  3. Front Desk
  4. H&R Block
  5. Farm Bureau Insurance
  6. Allstate Insurance
  7. Northside Hospital
  8. Society of Women Engineers
  9. Dr. Tavel Family Eye Care
  10. ITT Technical Institute
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