Research Summary. Here are some key points about hiring secretaries in the United States:

  • In the United States, the median cost per hire a secretary is $1,633.
  • It takes between 36 and 42 days to fill the average role in the US.
  • Human Resources use 15% of their expenses on recruitment on average.
  • On average, it takes around 12 weeks for a new secretary to become settled and show total productivity levels at work.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Secretary

Before you start to hire secretaries, it pays to consider both the one-off costs like recruitment, job promotion, and onboarding, as well as the ongoing costs of an employee's salary and benefits. While most companies that hire secretaries pay close attention to the initial cost of hiring, ongoing costs are much more significant in the long run.

The median annual salary for secretaries is $36,442 in the US. However, the cost of secretary hiring can vary a lot depending on location. Additionally, hiring a secretary for contract work or on a per-project basis typically costs between $12 and $24 an hour.

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How to hire a Secretary, step by step

To hire a secretary, you need to identify the specific skills and experience you want in a candidate, allocate a budget for the position, and advertise the job opening to attract potential candidates. To hire a secretary, you should follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Identify your needs
  • Step 2: Create an ideal candidate profile
  • Step 3: Make a budget
  • Step 4: Writing a secretary job description
  • Step 5: Post the job
  • Step 6: Interview process
  • Step 7: Send a job offer and onboard your new secretary
  • Step 8: Go through the checklist for the hiring process

Identify Your Needs

Before you post your secretary job, you should take the time to determine what type of worker your business need. While certain jobs definitely require a full-time employee, it's sometimes better to find a secretary for hire on a part-time basis or as a contractor.

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Hiring the perfect secretary also involves considering the ideal background you'd like them to have. Depending on what industry or field they have experience in, they'll bring different skills to the job. It's also important to consider what levels of seniority and education the job requires, and what kind of salary such a candidate would likely demand.

The list breaks down common secretary roles and compares their salaries.

Type Of SecretaryDescriptionHourly Rate
SecretarySecretaries and administrative assistants perform clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.$12-24
Administrative ClerkAn administrative clerk provides support to staff and does clerical works. These clerical duties include answering and making phone calls, typing documents, compiling and filing records, and scheduling appointments... Show More$12-19
Administrative SupportAdministrative support specialists provide different types of governmental assistance. They carry out varied clerical duties in almost all industries... Show More$12-25

Create An Ideal Candidate Profile

Ideally, you should have the perfect candidate profile in mind before you write a secretary job description. This means you should have a clear idea of the skill set they need to be proficient in, what their main responsibilities will be, and what kind of background they'll have.

Here are some of the most common secretary skills:

Common Skills:
  • Customer Service
  • Telephone Calls
  • Payroll
  • Scheduling Appointments
  • Word Processing
  • Office Equipment
  • Travel Arrangements
  • PowerPoint
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Financial Statements
  • Front Desk
  • Purchase Orders
  • Clerical Support
  • Secretarial Support
Check All Skills

Here is a list of common responsibilities that secretaries may be expected to fulfill:

  • 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
Check all Duties

Cultural fit is also an essential factor that you shouldn't overlook. Consider how your perfect secretary will contribute to the team dynamic and help grow the team's culture in a positive way. If you can include a clear vision of this in your secretary job description, it'll help attract candidates who are better suited for the position.

Most Common States For Secretaries In The US

Rank #State# Of Jobs% of PopulationAvg. Salary
1New York2,02210%$39,836

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Make A Budget

Including a salary range in your job description is one of the best ways to attract top talent. A secretary can vary based on things like:

  • Location. For example, secretaries' average salary in south dakota is 46% less than in california.
  • Seniority. Entry-level secretaries 49% less than senior-level secretaries.
  • Certifications. A secretary with certifications usually earns a higher salary.
  • Company. Working for an established firm or a new start-up company can make a big difference in a secretary's salary.

Updated March 16, 2023

Secretary Salary Estimate


$17.52 hourly

Entry level Salary
$26,000 yearly

Secretary Average Salary By Location

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
3District of Columbia$43,233$2113
5New York$39,940$1964

Secretary Average Salary By Company

Writing a Secretary Job Description

A good secretary job description should include a few things:

  • Summary of the role
  • List of responsibilities
  • Required skills and experience
Including a salary range and the first name of the hiring manager is also appreciated by candidates. Here's an example of a secretary job description:

Example of Full Job Description

Among our many accolades, we have been designated 8 times the only A-Rated for Safety Hospital, awarded M a g n et Recognition for superior nursing, named Best Regional Hospital by US News and World Report and ranked among the 100 best places to work in healthcare (nationally). Jersey City Medical Center is also ideally located in the vibrant Jersey City waterfront community overlooking the harbor, just 10 minutes from New York City, with a grand view of the Statue of Liberty.

Job Description

Secretary responsible for answering the phones, screening calls and shall take complete message. Schedule all patients appointments according to guidelines Shall greet patients when arrive, give directions in preparation for registration. Provides administrative assistance / secretarial support to the department.

Additional Requirements

Minimum of two years prior secretarial experience required. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office/Outlook and other comparable programs required with expertise in typing/word processing skills at a minimum of 50 words per minute. Experience in healthcare and knowledge of medical terminology preferred.

We are committed to High Reliability and consistent demonstration of our Safety Together behaviors and tools:

S - Speak up for Safety

A - Accurately communicate

F - Focus on the task

E - Exercise and accept a questioning attitude

T - Thoughtfully interact

Y - You and Me Together

RWJBarnabas Health offers excellent-provided benefits which include: competitive compensation, comprehensive medical/dental benefits, 403 (B) savings plan, Flexible Spending Plans, PTO program, tuition reimbursement and so much more.

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Post A Job

There are a few common ways to find secretaries for your business:

  • Promoting internally or recruiting from your existing workforce.
  • Ask for referrals from friends, family members, and current employees.
  • Attend job fairs at local colleges to meet candidates with the right educational background.
  • Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to recruit passive job-seekers.

Post your job online:

  • Post your secretary job on Zippia to find and recruit secretary candidates who meet your exact specifications.
  • Use field-specific websites.
  • Post a job on free websites.

Interview Process

To successfully recruit secretaries, your first interview needs to be all about engaging with candidates to learn about their interest in the role and experience in the field. You can go into more detail about the company, the role, and the responsibilities during follow-up interviews.

You should also ask about candidates' special skills and talents to see if they match with the ideal candidate profile you came up with earlier. Candidates who are good enough for the next step can then move on to the technical interview.

The right interview questions can help you assess a candidate's hard skills, behavioral intelligence, and soft skills.

Send A Job Offer And Onboard Your New Secretary

Once you've found the secretary candidate you'd like to hire, it's time to write an offer letter. This should include an explicit job offer that includes the salary, as well as the details of any other perks. Qualified candidates might be looking at multiple positions, so your offer needs to be competitive if you really like the candidate. Also, be prepared for a negotiation stage, as candidates may way want to tweak the details of your initial offer. Once you've settled on these details, you can draft a contract to formalize your agreement.

It's equally important to follow up with applicants who don't get the job with an email letting them know that the position has been filled.

To prepare for the new employee's start date, you can create an onboarding schedule and complete any necessary paperwork, such as employee action forms and onboarding documents like I-9 forms, benefits enrollment, and federal and state tax forms. Human Resources should also ensure that a new employee file is created.

Go Through The Checklist For The Hiring Process

  • Determine employee type (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.)
  • Submit a job requisition form to the HR department
  • Define job responsibilities and requirements
  • Establish budget and timeline
  • Determine hiring decision makers for the role
  • Write job description
  • Post job on job boards, company website, etc.
  • Promote the job internally
  • Process applications through applicant tracking system
  • Review resumes and cover letters
  • Shortlist candidates for screening
  • Hold phone/virtual interview screening with first round of candidates
  • Conduct in-person interviews with top candidates from first round
  • Score candidates based on weighted criteria (e.g., experience, education, background, cultural fit, skill set, etc.)
  • Conduct background checks on top candidates
  • Check references of top candidates
  • Consult with HR and hiring decision makers on job offer specifics
  • Extend offer to top candidate(s)
  • Receive formal job offer acceptance and signed employment contract
  • Inform other candidates that the position has been filled
  • Set and communicate onboarding schedule to new hire(s)
  • Complete new hire paperwork (i9, benefits enrollment, tax forms, etc.)
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Hiring Secretaries FAQs

How Much Does A Good Secretary Cost?

A good secretary costs $17.52 an hour in the US. However, it can vary based on factors such as the secretary experience, abilities, industry, and the specific requirements of your business.

What Are The Duties Of A Secretary?

The duties of a secretary are:
  • 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.

Should I Hire A Secretary With No Experience?

Yes, you should hire a secretary with no experience. Hiring an entry-level secretary with no experience offers versatility for your team. They may lack some qualifications, but are adaptable and have not yet formed problematic habits. However, more training may be required compared to experienced.

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