What does a Secretary do?
Secretaries are the first point of contact for visitors, as they often work in the front office and also manage the office’s correspondence, including responding to emails and answering telephone calls. This means that they play an important role in representing a company and keeping clients happy. Apart from their client-facing duties, these professionals also take care of administrative and clerical tasks and help to keep a business organised and professional.
Secretary skills and qualifications
This role involves diverse duties that includes supporting staff, communicating with clients and managing administrative tasks. Secretaries also need a wide range of skills and should be good at multitasking and in order to be a successful a Secretary candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications including:
- Excellent communication skills to effectively deal with clients, staff and managers
- Excellent administrative and organisational skills
- The ability to prioritise tasks and remain calm under pressure
- The ability to work with others and work independently
- Good customer service skills and a friendly, polite disposition
- Experience maintaining and managing a manager’s calendar
- Sound knowledge of computer systems and relevant software programs
- Fluent English speaking skills
- Good writing abilities
Secretary experience requirements
Most employers expect that Secretaries have some form of administrative or secretarial experience. Specific criteria may include knowledge of general office procedures and relevant computer programs, such as Word, Excel, Systems Applications and Products (SAP), Timelink and ActivePay software. Employers may also require that candidates have customer service experience and know how to operate basic office equipment. Secretaries that work in certain industries like law and medicine, may need to prove experience within these fields.
Secretary education and training requirements
There are no fixed education and training requirements for this career. Some enter the profession with a few GSCEs at grades 9 to 4, including English, and basic computer skills, whereas others gain knowledge and experience through an apprenticeship. Candidates can also complete a course in administration or secretarial skills. Cambridge International College (CIC), for instance, offers a Diploma in Administrative, Personal Assistant and Secretarial Duties. An institute like The Institute of Administrative Management also offers various courses in this field, including an Award in Professional Personal Assistant and Administration Skills and a Level 4 Certificate in Office and Administration Management.
Secretary salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Secretary is £20,189 annually. Those who work in specialised fields like medicine or law, earn slightly more. A Medical Secretary, for instance, earns on average £21,506 per year. Senior Secretaries with many years of experience can expect to earn around £23,822 annually.
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