What Does a Secretary Do

To become a Secretary you must be good in communications skills, written and verbal.

Secretarial is a career path open to everyone. Most secretaries have full-time schedules, though those who work from home may have schedules that are more flexible. Secretaries often handle confidential information, so they must be discreet and respectful of their employers and clients. To find out if this career is something for you, take one of our entirely free career quizzes.

Secretary Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $36,400
  • Projected Lifetime Earnings: $1,460,500

Secretary – Education

High school graduates or GED holders who are experienced in using computers (word processing, spreadsheets) generally qualify for positions at the entry-level. After completing their high school education, those interested in this field can take courses in office procedures and word processing techniques at community colleges or technical schools, and there are also temporary placement agencies that offer education in spreadsheet or word processing.

Administrative assistants and secretaries generally learn the required skills via on-the-job training that usually will last for just a few weeks. They will discover all about administrative procedures and how to prepare or store documents. To see if this track may be your cup of tea, take a free career test.

Secretary – The Job

Secretaries are fulfilling important positions within the office setting. The phrase “secretary” is widely used and these professionals have responsibilities that may range from simple tasks to making crucial decisions. Secretaries are the gatekeepers of many businesses and corporations as they often are the first contact person between company and customer.

Secretaries must command computer skills because computers are vital tools in any organization nowadays. Proper phone etiquette is as well a crucial skill and secretaries should always make good and decent impression with customers or other relations. Secretaries must be able to work with anyone in our outside their business, so well-developed human and communication competencies are crucial as well.

Employers may require can varying education and certification for secretary positions, and entry jobs in general will only require basic education, whereas executive and top-level secretary positions call for a college degree that relates to the industry field of the employer. Certification and continuing education is in that type of positions absolutely necessary.

Secretary Duties and Tasks

Secretaries are expected to greet callers and deal with information requests. They will maintain electronic and paper files, compile data for statistical reports and expenses and type a company’s correspondence. They will arrange and schedule business travel and meetings, and make appointments.   One of the more attractive office positions is the job of a personal secretary or PA (personal assistant), and those who command several foreign languages will never have a hard time finding proper employment.

Career Goals For Secretary:

  • Seeking a challenging position with the opportunity to influence the growth of an organization and contribute to the success of its daily operation through my dedication and many years of administrative experience
  • Obtaining a position with a company that will respect and honor all their experience and skills
  • Seeking future growth in financial services and business opportunities

Skills Include:

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, and various other computer programs
  • Several years effective customer service skills
  • Professional attitude in appearance and manner
  • Strong communication and organizational skills
  • Experienced with telephone, typewriter, and computers (Word & Excel)
  • Strong communication and organizational skills

The Company Secretary

The job title of a company secretary is rather confusing because a company secretary has got nothing to do with the usual secretarial work. Their work is more of a legal and/or fiscal adviser in a corporate industry setting. A company secretary forms an indispensable part of a corporate house.

Role And Responsibility:
The role and responsibilities of a company secretary depend largely on the size of the company that he or she is associated with, and a company secretary has been given the title of principle officer by law of the company.

A company secretary handles the legal and/or fiscal part of the administration and is responsible for keeping track of the financial accounts of the company. He manages the public matters of a company in case it goes public, and is required to manage all the inter-corporate investments and matters related to loans. Company secretaries are supposed to look after all the meetings which are related to the board of directors of the company, and they are responsible for handling the matters related to sales tax, labor laws, excise laws, or corporate laws.

A company secretary looks into the specifications of the applications for appointments or remuneration and helps projects, licenses, or permits in getting approved.

The Typist

As a typist or word processor operator, you would use a computer to produce letters, reports and other documents.
A typist job duties include:

  • dealing with post and emails
  • using office equipment like photocopiers, faxes and franking machines
  • handling inquiries
  • answering the telephone
  • video typing – typing whilst listening to spoken notes that have been dictated onto video tape
  • working with computer spreadsheets and databases
  • shorthand typing – taking notes in shorthand then typing up the information later from their notes
  • copy typing – working from hand-written notes

Career Goals For Typist:

  • obtaining a position in the clerical field
  • Finding part-time, full-time, temporary or contract work as a Data Entry Specialist
  • Building up extensive managerial experience, also as a typist.

The Accounts Clerk

Accounts clerks keep financial records and help to prepare accounts in all types of business. Accountants Clerks must hold certificates in bookkeeping as well certificates in accounting. The job duties of an Accounts Clerk include:

  • using computerized accounting systems
  • helping to prepare final accounts, such as profit and loss accounts and balance sheets
  • preparing wages and processing expenses claims, if you deal with payroll
  • checking that accounts are accurate
  • completing VAT returns
  • preparing statements showing the company or department’s income and outgoings
  • processing sales invoices, receipts, and payments
  • balancing accounts (often known as ‘double entry book-keeping’)

The Payroll Administrator

As a payroll administrator clerk, it would be your job to make sure that people are paid correctly and on time. You might work in a company’s finance department, or for a bureau that provides payroll services for other companies. Payroll Administrator job duties include:

  • working closely with personnel departments
  • issuing tax forms
  • calculating overtime, shift payments and pay increases
  • processing holiday, sick and maternity pay and expenses
  • creating records for new staff
  • deducting tax and insurance payments
  • calculating and issuing pay by cash, check or electronic transfer
  • checking how many hours employees have worked

Career Goals For Payroll Administrator:

  • Becoming a successful Payroll and Benefits administrator with a strong background processing complex payroll in a high volume multi -state, multi- company environment. Proven ability to provide on time and accurate payroll processing.
  • Become skilled in customer service, problem resolution, and conflict management to assure customer satisfaction. Accomplishments demonstrate human resource abilities, payroll processing, strong leadership and management skills.
  • Have a challenging position as an Administrative Assistant at a growth-oriented firm, which will allow for developing skills and abilities.

The Receptionist

Receptionists are the first point of contact for an organization. They work in all kinds of settings, including businesses, schools, hospitals and sports centers. Receptionists’ job duties include:

  • Organizing reading material in the waiting area
  • keeping the reception area tidy
  • providing refreshments
  • dealing with phone inquiries
  • answering calls and taking messages
  • providing information and answering queries
  • managing the visitors book and issuing security passes
  • greeting visitors and directing them to the correct person or department

Required Skills:

Receptionists must have excellent computer and clerical skills, they must be competent in typing, filing, answering phones, and command Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. On top of that, they must have excellent interpersonal and communications skills, and they are required to understand how to present themselves verbally, non-verbally, and in appearance.