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Career Profile: Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive

Perform routine administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 2,053,500 people employed as secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive in the United States. The median annual salary is $38,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $25,630 per year and senior employees earn approximately $59,090 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Answer telephones and give information to callers, take messages, or transfer calls to appropriate individuals.
  • Greet visitors or callers and handle their inquiries or direct them to the appropriate persons according to their needs.
  • Use computers for various applications, such as database management or word processing.
  • Operate office equipment, such as fax machines, copiers, or phone systems and arrange for repairs when equipment malfunctions.
  • Set up and manage paper or electronic filing systems, recording information, updating paperwork, or maintaining documents, such as attendance records, correspondence, or other material.
  • Operate electronic mail systems and coordinate the flow of information, internally or with other organizations.
  • Schedule and confirm appointments for clients, customers, or supervisors.
  • Maintain scheduling and event calendars.
  • Compose, type, and distribute meeting notes, routine correspondence, or reports, such as presentations or expense, statistical, or monthly reports.
  • Coordinate conferences, meetings, or special events, such as luncheons or graduation ceremonies.
  • Mail newsletters, promotional material, or other information.
  • Take dictation in shorthand or by machine and transcribe information.
  • Develop or maintain internal or external company Web sites.
  • Complete forms in accordance with company procedures.
  • Locate and attach appropriate files to incoming correspondence requiring replies.
  • Conduct searches to find needed information, using such sources as the Internet.
  • Open, read, route, and distribute incoming mail or other materials and answer routine letters.
  • Review work done by others to check for correct spelling and grammar, ensure that company format policies are followed, and recommend revisions.
  • Make copies of correspondence or other printed material.
  • Learn to operate new office technologies as they are developed and implemented.
  • Train and assist staff with computer usage.
  • Order and dispense supplies.
  • Prepare conference or event materials, such as flyers or invitations.
  • Perform payroll functions, such as maintaining timekeeping information and processing and submitting payroll.
  • Collect and deposit money into accounts, disburse funds from cash accounts to pay bills or invoices, keep records of collections and disbursements, and ensure accounts are balanced.
  • Establish work procedures or schedules and keep track of the daily work of clerical staff.
  • Provide services to customers, such as order placement or account information.
  • Prepare and mail checks.
  • Arrange conference, meeting, or travel reservations for office personnel.
  • Supervise other clerical staff and provide training and orientation to new staff.
  • Manage projects or contribute to committee or team work.
  • Create, maintain, and enter information into databases.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
2,053,500
Annual Openings:
195,100
Increase in Openings by 2030:
-8%
Annual Salary Range:
$25,630 - $59,090
Education Requirements:
High school diploma