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Recording Secretary: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Working as a recording secretary requires no formal education. Learn about the skills needed, job duties and responsibilities of such professionals to see if this is the right career for you.

Essential Information

Recording secretaries differ from other secretarial workers in that they are responsible for keeping legal minutes of official meetings for their offices and organizations. They must also maintain the records from these meetings. Though completion of a postsecondary education program is not necessary to work as a recording secretary, such professionals must have a strong command of the English language in addition to being proficient with office equipment and word processing programs. Formal 1- and 2-year programs are available to help students gain these skills, if they choose.

Required Education High school diploma or GED; certificate and associate's degree programs in administrative assistance and related fields are available
Other Requirements Strong typing, grammar and punctuation skills
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) 12% for all secretaries and administrative assistants*
Median Salary (2013) $32,840 for secretaries and administrative assistants, excluding legal, medical and executive*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of a Recording Secretary

Recording secretaries keep a comprehensive log of items discussed and debated during meetings, conferences, workshops and brainstorming sessions. These records, also known as minutes, may cover what was accomplished, said or set at the meeting, and may exclude individual opinions from group members. Recording secretaries may note the members who are present, record group decisions and write down actions in the order that they occurred. Once the session is complete, recording secretaries may make formal reports and copies of the minutes for distribution.

Duties of a Recording Secretary

In addition to keeping the legal account of each meeting or workshop, recording secretaries must maintain records of past meetings, which may include indexing discussion topics. This involves noting amendments to previous minutes, reports of general matters and proposals under discussion. Additionally, recording secretaries may work with the presiding member to create an agenda for the meeting and discussion points. Should the group vote on any issues, the recording secretary may help with the process.

Requirements of a Recording Secretary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), secretaries in general do not need higher education or advanced degrees for their positions; however, the BLS does recommend that those interested in secretarial work attain basic office skills in high school, which may include word processing (www.bls.gov). Recording secretaries in particular must have knowledge of correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. They must also take precise notes quickly, in addition to interpreting these notes later.

Employers may favor applicants who are experienced with office machinery like computer technology, fax machines and copiers. As such, high school graduates may consider enrolling in postsecondary community college or vocational school courses in which they may expand their typing, transcription, computer and office administration skills.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2013, secretaries and administrative assistants, excluding legal, medical and executive, earned an annual median salary of $32,840, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Growth in employment opportunities of 12% was expected for all kinds of secretaries and administrative assistants from 2012-2022, per the BLS, which is about average.

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