Secretary: Description and the best paid jobs


Description… and where to find the best paid jobs

Secretary Definition (meaning)

A person hired to perform administrative duties, routine work, make appointments and assist with correspondence.

Secretary job description

Secretary duties and responsibilities include:

  • Answering and directing phone calls
  • Responding to and directing emails
  • Arranging meetings
  • Managing the diary or calendar of management
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Maintain a filing system
  • Assist in report preparation
  • Maintain records of employees, customers and suppliers

Secretarial work can be full time or part time.

Secretary skills

A Secretary role involves using these skills:

  • Great communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Time management
  • Being organised
  • Ability to negotiate and be assertive when required
  • Diplomacy, discretion and tact when needed
  • Being proactive
  • Computer and software skills
  • Secretary shorthand

A typical secretary typing speed should be 30wpm (words per minute) or more. Ideally 60wpm or higher is considered most desirable.

The secretary role in a meeting is most commonly to take notes and support the meetings participants record the discussion, outcome and decisions made.

The most in demand secretary qualities are the ability to support the team or management, efficiently and effectively.

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Secretary VS administrative assistant

While secretaries are in an administrative role, an administrative assistant usually has more or a leadership role.  Secretaries may be required to work on reception while an administrative assistant takes on more responsibility and may be required to organise, schedule and create agendas for meetings.

An administrative assistant is usually required to think independently and anticipate what company needs will be. They may also be required to perform higher skill level tasks such as bookkeeping including managing a company’s budget and handling accounts payable or receivable.

The administrative assistant will then have a secretary assist them with data entry and delivering what management requires the administrative assistant to do.

Secretary Assistant

An assistant secretary will assist a more senior secretary or their team. The skills required are very similar to that of a secretary, the main difference being that the assistant is in a more junior role

A personal assistant is a different role to assistant secretary. To learn more about being a personal assistant check this out

Secretary VS receptionist

While there is a lot of overlap between the 2 roles, a receptionist has more customer or patient contact. A receptionist usually sits at a reception desk in the foyer or lobby of an organisation and greets customers and patients as they come in. A secretary may fill in for reception, however they usually don’t have the people contact a receptionist does.

How much do secretaries make?

Secretary salary:

  • Average – around $25 per hour
  • Range – between $19 and $32 per hour
  • Average weekly pay – $1,500

The secretary award wage will depend on a person’s age and experience.

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Secretary training

Secretary courses can be done online or at a tertiary education institution. Qualifications include:

  • Diploma or Advanced Diploma
  • Bachelor degree
  • Certificate 3 or 4
  • Post Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate
  • Having completed Year 12

Secretary Resume

Secretary cover letter

Interview questions

The most common interview questions and the best answers for each question are:

  1. Why do you want this job? For the best answer check this out
  2. What was your last job and experience do you have?

Both of these questions relate to your competency for the job. For the best way to show the employer you are the right fit for the job check this out

  1. What are your professional strengths?

Check this great way to answer this question

  1. Why should we hire you for this job?

Check out this great way to answer this question

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