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Secretary Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Secretary, or Administrative Assistant, is responsible for ensuring the office they work in runs smoothly and employees within the company are supported. Generally, a Secretary will maintain office records, respond to customers and clients on the phone or in email, and perform administrative tasks.

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What does a Secretary do?

While the job of a Secretary can vary based on the size of the company they work for, they generally will help perform administrative tasks and act as the first point of contact for customers or clients. In a small company, the role of a Secretary could include broader responsibilities such as booking travel for executives or taking notes in meetings. In larger companies, the role of a Secretary could be more streamlined to greeting customers and clients upon entering the building and answering phone calls. In service industries such as salons, a Secretary could be responsible for booking appointments.

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Secretary Job Description Examples:

Secretary duties and responsibilities

When writing a job description for a Secretary, it’s important to specify the main functionalities of the role by explaining the industry or type of building the applicant will be working in if this is relevant. Below is a list of the most important duties and responsibilities required to excel as a Secretary:

  • Answering phone calls from customers and clients while also directing them to the appropriate staff member
  • Greeting clients and customers upon entering the company building and helping them find the right staff member or room for their appointment
  • Helping to set up office meetings by making sure the conference room is well-equipped with office supplies, food, and drinks
  • Composing letters or emails to vendors, clients, or customers on behalf of the company
  • Performing administrative tasks such as paper shredding, copying, or printing material for staff members
  • Coordinating with third-party vendors such as maintenance workers on behalf of the company
  • Organizing company records and memos to ensure they can be easily found when required
  • Taking notes in company meetings and distributing notes to company executives afterward

Secretary skills and qualifications

A successful Secretary candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications required for the duties of this job. Some examples of the skills or qualifications needed by a Secretary include:

  • Strong organizational skills in order to maintain company records and file important documents effectively
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to work with various team members
  • Ability to solve administrative problems without supervision
  • Excellent typing skills for helping to draft company memos and take notes in meetings
  • Ability to switch between tasks easily when priorities shift
  • Knowledge of basic computer programs such as Microsoft Office
  • Basic accounting skills or help with processing payment from customers and clients

Secretary experience requirements

In most cases, prior work experience as a Secretary is not required. If prior experience is important, then two to three years of experience is a good start. Be sure to look for experience in a similar-sized company, especially if the job applicant will be working for a large organization. Experience in a similar industry can also be helpful.

Secretary education and training requirements

Many organizations will look for a job applicant with at least a high school diploma. A successful candidate could have additional vocational training from an accredited university or college. A Bachelor of Arts degree or an Office Administration Training certificate could be helpful in this role.

Secretary salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Secretary is $21.62 per hour. The salary can vary depending on experience, location, or the company that is hiring.

Job description samples for similar positions

Other job descriptions similar to the role of a Secretary are:

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Secretary job description FAQs

What should you look for in a Secretary resume?

When reviewing job applicants for a Secretary role, look at the size of any companies they’ve worked for in the past, as this can be an indicator of whether they have applicable experience. For example, a job applicant who has worked in a small company will often have experience performing duties that go above and beyond a regular Secretary job. Or, if the job is to take place in a service industry, finding a job applicant that has worked with computer software specific to booking appointments can help ensure a smooth onboarding process.

What is the difference between an Executive Assistant and a Secretary?

A Secretary will often be responsible for greeting customers and clients as they enter the company premises. While there are some duties that overlap, an Executive Assistant is typically responsible for helping an individual or a grouping of executives within a company. Their role entails having working knowledge of the executive’s day-to-day role that they oversee. An Executive Assistant may also represent their particular executive at company meetings or events.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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