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Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Secretaries and administrative assistants support an office by performing clerical functions.

Secretaries and administrative assistants support an office by performing clerical functions.

Quick Facts: Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
2010 Median Pay $34,660 per year
$16.66 per hour
Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation See How to Become One
On-the-job Training See How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2010 4,010,200
Job Outlook, 2010-20 12% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change, 2010-20 492,900

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.

Work Environment

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.

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.

Pay

The median annual wage for secretaries and administrative assistants was $34,660 in May 2010.

Job Outlook

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.

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