How to Become a Secretary
When you become a secretary, you become the control room of an office. While often underestimated, it's the secretary who makes sure that office processes run smoothly, that people turn up to meetings on time, and that records are kept and maintained in the right way. A good secretary is a person with a wide skills base, who can multitask, and is also a good communicator.
For the most part, a secretary completes clerical tasks. This could include answering phones, greeting customers and scheduling meetings and appointments. The administrative part of the job of a secretary usually includes typing letters and correspondence, filing, and other ad hoc duties.
There is a lot of variation in the role of a secretary. Some may work for one person in a personal assistant role; others may meet the needs of an entire office of staff. Some secretaries may also perform other duties such as human resources, accounts, and payroll.
Education Requirements to Become a Secretary
If you would like to become a secretary, then there are a few educational pathways that you could choose to take. There are many entry level positions that don't require any formal training at all. While these positions don't pay a lot, you will receive invaluable experience that will lead to other opportunities later on.
Community colleges offer two year associates degrees in business administration where you will learn a range of secretarial and administrative skills. These courses can be integral in helping you get your first job, and also in helping you to progress faster up the career ladder.
Another option is to complete a four year bachelor's degree in business administration. If you are considering becoming an executive assistant, then this might be the kind of qualification you might consider.
Strong computer literacy is important when you become a secretary. If you don't feel your skills are up to scratch, you might like to take a short course, or get in some practice before you start looking for a job. Many employers will want to test you on this before you being.
Secretary Job Description
A secretary provides administrative support to a person, an office, or an organization. You will find them working in almost any type of industry. A good thing when you become a secretary is that there are always plenty of jobs available.
The role of a secretary is quite varied. They could be answering phones, or completing complicated reports and data sheets. While some secretaries only have a few duties, others take on complicated roles with much responsibility. The path you take when you become a secretary will depend on your interests, qualifications and skills.
Here are some examples of the kind of tasks a secretary might complete:
- Answering phones
- Greeting clients
- Scheduling meetings and appointments
- Data Entry
- Completing reports
- Preparing correspondence
When you become a secretary, you will work with a wide range of people. You'll learn to be pleasant and diplomatic at all times, a skill that is good to have in any occupation.
Secretary Salary and Career Path
When you become a secretary, you will begin your career in an entry level role. This will give you a good chance to learn about your job. You will most likely be completing very basic tasks. As you gain experience, you will be given greater responsibilities.
Some secretaries will go on to become specialists in the legal or medical field. These roles usually demand a high salary and offer more career progression. Others get work as administrative assistants, office managers, or other roles within the field. Here are some examples of roles similar to a secretary which you might move onto later in your career:
- Administrative Assistant
- Office Manager
- Legal Secretary
- Medical Assistant
- Medical Biller
- Court Reporter
- Book keeper
The median salary for a secretary is $29,000. Most in this profession earn between $23,000 and $35,000 a year. Those in specialized roles can expect to earn upwards of $40,000 a year.
If you're looking for an entry level role that can grow into a whole range of opportunities then you might consider working as a secretary. There is lots of opportunity to get your start in this role, and also a lot of opportunity for career progression.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics