Career Definition for Business Secretaries
A business secretary is responsible for administrative and clerical duties and assists with both daily tasks and long-term projects. He or she schedules appointments, maintains records, and files reports. During meetings, it is usually the business secretary who compiles and distributes the minutes. Often, a business secretary is the conduit through which clients and coworkers must communicate with upper management.
|Education||High school or trade school diploma and secretarial or administrative experience|
|Job Duties||Schedule appointments, maintain records, file reports, compile and distribute minutes|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$36,630 (secretaries and administrative assistants, excluding executive, legal and medical)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||-5% decrease (all secretaries and administrative assistants)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A high school or trade school diploma with experience in secretarial and administrative duties would be preferable when applying for a position as a business secretary. Prospective candidates would do well to take courses in computer applications and accounting.
A business secretary must be proficient in word processing and spreadsheet programs. He or she must be able to perform basic administrative duties, such as typing and filing. Organizational skills are essential. He or she must be able to transcribe notes into readable memos and reports. Interpersonal and phone skills would be helpful. Because many executives work long hours, a business secretary should have a flexible schedule.
Economic and Career Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), salaries for business secretaries can vary by industry. The median salary in 2018 for secretaries and administrative assistants, excluding executive secretaries and those in legal and medical offices, was $36,630. Salaries can vary based on skill, experience, and any certifications. Jobs for secretaries and administrative assistants are expected to experience a 5% decline projected during the 2016-2026 decade.
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options in this field include:
General Office Clerk
Many individuals enter this career with a high school diploma, although some complete business programs at vocational schools or community colleges. Office clerks make copies, answer telephones, keep records, and complete documents with word processing software. A 1% decline was anticipated by the BLS from 2016 to 2026, and a median annual wage of $32,730 was reported in 2018.
With a high school diploma or its equivalent, these clerks fulfill routine duties like collecting information, keeping records, and making information available to customers. A slower-than-average employment growth was expected from 2016 to 2026, with only 3% growth projected by the BLS. The median salary earned by information clerks and receptionists per year in 2018 was $29,140, according to the BLS.