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Secretary

Job Duties

Secretaries perform a wide range of administrative and clerical duties that help keep organizations running smoothly. They manage information within an office, plan meetings, schedule appointments, organize files, and conduct research. They operate telephones and e-mail, and handle the postal mail in the office. When performing their duties, they use a variety of different types of office equipment, including telephone systems, photocopiers, and facsimile machines. They also operate personal computers extensively, using them to create spreadsheets, compose correspondence, manage databases, and create presentations and reports. They use desktop publishing software and digital graphics to create many types of documents.

Administrative Assistant Executive Assistant Secretarial

These days, secretaries have taken on many tasks that were previously completed by managers and professionals. Other office workers have also taken over many responsibilities that were previously the realm of secretaries, including dictation and typing. Because secretaries are no longer responsible for these tasks, they have more time available for supporting executives in the organization. Secretaries often work in teams so they can be flexible and share experience.

Job Skills

Secretaries should have excellent customer service skills. They also need to have good interpersonal communication skills in general. Because they deal with so many different types of people on a daily basis, they need to have a very tactful personality. Other important qualities include discretion, good judgment, initiative, and independence.

Income

In 2002, secretaries earned a median annual salary of $33,410. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $22,270, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $50,420. The following shows the median annual salaries in the industries employing the largest numbers of secretaries:

  • Management of companies and enterprises -- $36,770
  • Local government -- $34,600
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools -- $32,210
  • State government -- $31,220
  • Employment services -- $29,700

Training and Education

Secretarial positions usually require, at the very minimum, a high school education and knowledge of basic office skills. However, requirements increasingly surpass this level of training because organizations need secretaries who have greater knowledge of a wider range of software applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and database management. 1- to 2-year programs in office administration are becoming more and more common. These programs are usually offered by business schools, vocational-technical institutes, and community colleges. Temporary placement agencies also offer training in computers and office skills. Regardless of their level of training, newly hired secretaries usually receive a high amount of on-the-job training from other, more experienced employees. There are a couple different professional designations that can be earned, including Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). Click on this link to a list of schools offering Sectrarial Training Courses and to contact their admissions departments for more information.

Employment

In 2002, secretaries held about 1,975,000 jobs. They were employed in all different kinds of organizations.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of secretaries is expected to increase more slowly than the average. This is due to increased office automation, which results in rising productivity. This is expected to increase over the coming years as personal computers, e-mail, scanners, and voice messaging systems allow workers to complete larger quantities of work in fewer amounts of time. However, the personal, interactive, customer-service-oriented aspect of the job cannot be easily automated. Job opportunities will be best for those who have experience as well as strong knowledge of software applications.


Secretary Training

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            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
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            • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
            • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current.
            • Allows students to complete assignments on the go with its Blackboard Learn mobile app.
            • Gives online students live student support for technical or course questions.
            • Has campus locations in Florida as well as online learning programs.
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            • Online Courses
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            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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            Platt College , Anaheim
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
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            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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