Well-organized… resourceful… persistent and detail oriented… with a strong drive to make things work. Secretaries and administrative assistants need a combination of all these qualities. They handle administrative activities in most organizations, including schools, healthcare facilities, government offices, and private companies. Secretaries perform a wide variety of tasks. They prepare documents and spreadsheets, organize files, schedule appointments, and support other staff. They may also buy supplies, plan events, and manage stockrooms. Most answer phone calls and direct them appropriately. In schools, they handle communications among parents, students, and school administration. Some duties are particular to a type of secretary: Executive secretaries work for top executives to handle complex responsibilities, including research and writing reports. Confidentiality and integrity are essential. They may also manage clerical staff. Legal secretaries prepare legal documents and help with legal research under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for doctors or medical scientists. They may handle communications with patients and process insurance payments. Most secretaries and administrative assistants work full time in offices; some work for administrative service companies out of their own homes. Jobs typically require a high school education and basic office, computer, and English grammar skills. Legal and medical secretaries need additional training to learn industry terminology. Most community colleges offer programs or courses to obtain these skills. Executive secretaries require several years’ related work experience.
What they do:
Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
On the job, you would:
Manage and maintain executives' schedules.
Make travel arrangements for executives.
Prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements, and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, database, or presentation software.
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
looking for ways to help people
changing what is done based on other people's actions
communicate by speaking
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
order or arrange things
notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Data base user interface and query software
Data entry software
associate's degree or high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
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