Secretaries are employees who are responsible for many of the administrative needs of the office. They are usually assigned to executives or to a specific department. They manage schedules and appointments, often handling the calendar in the office. They are also responsible for keeping files organized, whether physical or digital copies. During office meetings, secretaries are in charge of documenting the minutes of the meeting and highlighting the action steps that need to be taken. They may also be assigned to check on concerned departments who need to present deliverables in the next office meeting.

Secretary Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real secretary resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • 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
  • Maintain student records of attendance, discipline, and grades using PowerSchool.
  • Maintain new timekeeping system, KRONOS, track and reconcile employee benefit hours for payroll.
  • Maintain a prompt and organize EMR in a high-stress work environment to improve the efficiency of emergency physicians.
  • Make sure front office is clean and attend to all bathrooms have toilet paper windows doors and surface are clean.
  • Enroll and discharge students; request records from prior schools and distribute records to other schools as needed utilizing PowerSchool software.
  • Support HHS agencies in departmental initiatives.
  • Analyze HHS pilot programs for successful implementation.
  • Transcribe radiology results and schedule x-ray procedures.
  • Perform patient charting using EMR system efficiently and without errors

Secretary Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 15% of Secretaries are proficient in Customer Service, Telephone Calls, and Payroll. They’re also known for soft skills such as Interpersonal skills, Organizational skills, and Writing skills.

We break down the percentage of Secretaries that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Customer Service, 15%

    Scheduled appointments and provided quality customer service to customers, clients, inspectors, and effectively communicated with staff and management.

  • Telephone Calls, 11%

    Performed secretarial duties including processing and filing of paperwork, responding to telephone calls and completing financial reports through electronic database.

  • Payroll, 9%

    Provided support to management with budget preparation, supplying payroll information as requested.

  • Scheduling Appointments, 9%

    Conducted clerical and administrative functions such as organizing paper and electronic files, generating correspondence, scheduling appointments and answering telephones.

  • Word Processing, 5%

    Assist litigation/bankruptcy departments and word processing department with document design and production on evenings and weekends.

  • Office Equipment, 5%

    Typed correspondence, reports and other documents Maintained office files Opened and distributed the mail Coordinated repairs to office equipment Distributed payroll

"customer service," "telephone calls," and "payroll" aren't the only skills we found secretaries list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of secretary responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a secretary to have in this position are interpersonal skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a secretary resume, you'll understand why: "secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff" According to resumes we found, interpersonal skills can be used by a secretary in order to "team player energetic work attitude communication skills conflict resolution microsoft office proficiency strong interpersonal skills managed office supplies daily office operations"
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many secretary duties rely on organizational skills. This example from a secretary explains why: "secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently." This resume example is just one of many ways secretaries are able to utilize organizational skills: "performed organizational skills such as filing, scheduling appointments sorting mail and phone calls collaborated with professors for student questions"
  • Another skill that is quite popular among secretaries is writing skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a secretary resume: "secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "handled marketing, underwriting, accounting and word processing. "
  • See the full list of secretary skills.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious secretarys are:

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    What Administrative Clerks Do

    An 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. The clerks often set up office meetings and invite reliable speakers. Also, they do research and prepare reports or presentations. Candidates for the job must be organized, detail-oriented, and can manage their time well. They must be tech-savvy and have a basic knowledge of bookkeeping. The salary depends on their experience, industry, and location of the job.

    In this section, we compare the average secretary annual salary with that of an administrative clerk. Typically, administrative clerks earn a $4,115 lower salary than secretaries earn annually.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both secretaries and administrative clerks positions are skilled in customer service, telephone calls, and scheduling appointments.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A secretary responsibility is more likely to require skills like "payroll," "financial statements," "secretarial support," and "office procedures." Whereas a administrative clerk requires skills like "data entry," "patients," "payroll data," and "database systems." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Administrative clerks receive the highest salaries in the finance industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $33,044. But secretaries are paid more in the government industry with an average salary of $46,574.

    The education levels that administrative clerks earn is a bit different than that of secretaries. In particular, administrative clerks are 0.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a secretary. Additionally, they're 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of an Administrative Associate?

    An administrative associate is responsible for performing various tasks such as handling and processing paperwork, attending meetings and preparing minutes, responding to inquiries and other forms of correspondence, keeping accurate records, updating databases, and monitoring the company's financial activities. They also communicate with various department personnel, ensuring coordination should any important matter would arise. Furthermore, as an administrative associate, they are in charge of procuring supplies, implementing company policies, and supporting any staff members if needed.

    Next up, we have the administrative associate profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a secretary annual salary. In fact, administrative associates salary difference is $1,569 lower than the salary of secretaries per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of secretaries and administrative associates are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "customer service," "telephone calls," and "payroll. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that secretary responsibilities requires skills like "secretarial support," "office procedures," "routine correspondence," and "hr." But an administrative associate might use skills, such as, "patients," "data entry," "medical terminology," and "patient care."

    It's been discovered that administrative associates earn lower salaries compared to secretaries, but we wanted to find out where administrative associates earned the most pay. The answer? The finance industry. The average salary in the industry is $41,923. Additionally, secretaries earn the highest paychecks in the government with an average salary of $46,574.

    In general, administrative associates study at similar levels of education than secretaries. They're 4.9% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How an Administrative Support Specialist Compares

    An administrative support specialist is a professional who is involved in the office management, clerical tasks, and back-office duties of an organization. To run the office smoothly, administrative support specialists must manage the purchasing and inventory of office supplies as well as schedule the maintenance of office equipment. They serve as a liaison for executives by screening incoming calls and emails, sorting mails, and setting appointments with employees, customers, and vendors. Administrative support specialists must also be able to draft memos and edit report proposals and other business documents.

    The administrative support specialist profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of secretaries. The difference in salaries is administrative support specialists making $1,802 higher than secretaries.

    By looking over several secretaries and administrative support specialists resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "customer service," "telephone calls," and "payroll." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a secretary is likely to be skilled in "secretarial support," "direct calls," "patient charts," and "routine correspondence," while a typical administrative support specialist is skilled in "data entry," "patients," "strong customer service," and "phone calls."

    Administrative support specialists make a very good living in the government industry with an average annual salary of $42,241. Whereas secretaries are paid the highest salary in the government industry with the average being $46,574.

    Administrative support specialists are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to secretaries. Additionally, they're 3.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Administrative Support

    Administrative support specialists provide different types of governmental assistance. They carry out varied clerical duties in almost all industries. Most of these duties revolve around supervising and distributing information within an organization. This typically includes taking memos, answering phone calls, and managing, storing, and organizing files. They are also responsible for receiving and sending correspondence and greeting customers and clients. Some administrative support may be required to have vast professional knowledge as their duties are more specialized than the others.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than secretaries. On average, administrative supports earn a difference of $1,250 higher per year.

    While their salaries may vary, secretaries and administrative supports both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "customer service," "telephone calls," and "payroll. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a secretary might have more use for skills like "secretarial support," "office procedures," "patient charts," and "routine correspondence." Meanwhile, some administrative supports might include skills like "data entry," "phone calls," "patients," and "excellent organizational" on their resume.

    Administrative supports earn a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $40,623. Whereas, secretaries earn the highest salary in the government industry.

    Administrative supports reach similar levels of education when compared to secretaries. The difference is that they're 2.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.