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:
Perform secretarial duties using legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
On the job, you would:
Prepare, proofread, or process legal documents, such as summonses, subpoenas, complaints, appeals, motions, or pretrial agreements.
Mail, fax, or arrange for delivery of legal correspondence to clients, witnesses, and court officials.
Receive and place telephone calls.
Safety and Government
law and government
Arts and Humanities
reading work related information
writing things for co-workers or customers
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
listen and understand what people say
read and understand what is written
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
You might use software like this on the job:
Sage 50 Accounting
Document management software
Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
Data base user interface and query software
some college or bachelor's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.