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What Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Do
Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and organizational tasks. They organize files, draft messages, schedule appointments, and support other staff.
Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:
Although secretaries and administrative assistants work in nearly every industry, many are concentrated in schools, hospitals, government agencies, and legal and medical offices. Most work in comfortable office settings. Virtual assistants typically work from a home office.
The industries that employed the most secretaries and administrative assistants in 2010 were:
How to Become a Secretary or Administrative Assistant
High school graduates with basic office and computer skills usually qualify for entry-level secretarial and administrative assistant positions.
The median annual wage for secretaries and administrative assistants was $34,660 in May 2010.
Overall employment of secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to grow 12 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Among specialties, medical secretaries is the only occupation that is expected to have much-faster-than-average employment growth. This is driven by the rapid growth of the healthcare industry. Overall, the majority of job openings will result from the need to replace workers who leave these occupations.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
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