Summary. We reviewed real candidate profiles to learn the best path to become a secretary. We'll guide you through the education, experiences, and skills hiring managers look for in a secretary.

  • Most companies require a secretary to have a bachelor's degree degree in a related field, such as business or accounting.

  • It's important to have relevant work experience, with typical job requirements ranging from 1-2 years in related fields.

  • Common job titles before becoming a secretary include cashier, administrative assistant, and customer service representative.

  • Hiring managers expect a secretary to have soft skills such as interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and writing skills.

  • Once you have all the required skills and experience, it takes an average of 3-6 months of job training to become a secretary.

  • Getting a certification as a Word 2010 Certification will help you to earn more as a secretary.

How to become a Secretary in 6 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore secretary education
  • Step 2: Develop secretary skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Get secretary certifications
  • Step 5: Research secretary duties
  • Step 6: Prepare your resume
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Key Steps To Become a Secretary

  1. Explore Secretary Education

    If you're interested in becoming a secretary, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 38.2% of secretaries have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.9% of secretaries have master's degrees. Even though some secretaries have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

    Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a secretary. When we researched the most common majors for a secretary, we found that they most commonly have business, accounting and psychology.

    Secretary Degrees


    38.2 %


    23.5 %

    High School Diploma

    23.1 %

    Secretary MajorPercentages
    Health Care Administration5.80%
    Other Degrees53.40%

  2. Develop Secretary Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop secretary skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in secretary job descriptions:

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Secretaries spend an average of 3-6 months on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new secretaries learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a secretary based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real secretary resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training


    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

    1-2 years

  4. Get Secretary Certifications

    Certifications can show employers you have a baseline of knowledge expected for this position. They can also make you a more competitive candidate. Even if employers don't require a certification, having one may help you stand out in an application. Plus, the process of getting a certification can teach you new skills that you can bring to your work. We determined the most common certifications for secretaries. The most common certification is Word 2010 Certification, but Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is also frequently seen in secretaries resumes.

    1. Word 2010 Certification
    2. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
    3. Professional Legal Secretary (PLS)
    4. Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM)
    5. Microsoft Office Specialist: Expert (Office 365 and Office 2019)
    6. Nationally Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA)
    7. Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (NHA)
    8. Certified Legal Secretary Specialist: Executive Legal Secretary

    More About Certifications

  5. Research Secretary Duties

    When you decide to become a secretary, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most secretary jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Manage and oversee all STO relate actions task to OSD impacting future and current operations in STO.
    • Manage financial bookkeeping efficiently for the company using QuickBooks.
    • Lead DoD team that assist Pakistan in gaining military capabilities to conduct counter-terrorism operations against the Taliban.
    • Present information orally, using Microsoft PowerPoint to military officials on various office and personnel administrative functions.
    • Track progress monitoring for corrective reading and corrective math.
    • Copy and distribute medical records according to guidelines set by HIPPA

  6. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Secretary Resume templates

    Build a professional Secretary resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Secretary resume.

    Secretary Resume
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  7. Apply For a Secretary Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Secretary Jobs

  8. How To Become a Secretary
    How To Become a Secretary Career Overview

Becoming a Secretary FAQs

What Degree Do You Need To Be A Secretary?

You do not need a degree to become a secretary, however, an associate's degree in secretarial science can help obtain work in the field. This degree gives a well-rounded education in business operations and office practices.

What Should I Study To Become A Secretary?

To become a secretary, you should study skills like bookkeeping, shorthand, and typing. These skills will help you become a successful secretary.

While a high school diploma is required, having a college degree or specialized skills will make you more attractive to potential employers.

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