Executive Secretary Career Information and Job Description
Executive secretaries have always been responsible for the smooth running of organizations. In today's technologically advancing world, that means more than just answering phones and typing letters. An executive secretary manages information technology, creates presentations or proposals and takes responsibility for confidential company documents.
Executive Secretary Career Information
Executive secretary positions are very rarely entry-level positions, because an executive secretary interacts with top executives and their counterparts. Therefore, most employers require that applicants demonstrate several years of experience as administrative support staff. A college education is usually preferred, especially in an industry-related discipline. Excellent communication, organizational, interpersonal and administrative skills are also needed.
Executive secretaries are generally full-time employees. They often work in such places as legal offices, medical offices, corporate offices, small businesses, schools, hospitals and government offices.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the secretarial job market has some of the most job openings in the country, compared to other job fields. Employment for executive administrative assistants is expected to grow 13% over 2008 levels by 2018. The Bureau also reported that the average annual wages for executive secretaries, as of May 2008, were $42,340. The highest-paid executive secretaries earned more than $62,070.
Executive secretaries are not just a pleasant voice answering the phone, making coffee or typing memos. The main responsibility of an executive secretary is to provide administrative support to high-level officials in an organization. Executive secretaries are responsible for handling highly confidential documents, protecting an organization's confidential information, communication and information management, managing office supplies, making travel arrangements, scheduling meetings and events and negotiating with vendors.
The executive secretary should have great familiarity with office software and machines. She or he may even train new lower-level secretaries. In some professions, like law and medicine, the executive secretary is expected to be familiar with the technical vocabulary of the industry.
Changing Job Duties
The evolution of technology makes individuals more productive, and tough economic factors force companies to downsize. As a result, executive secretaries today don't just do traditional staff support work. They also take on increasingly more responsibilities, which individuals in higher management positions previously were responsible. These tasks may include project research and management, PowerPoint presentations and report generation.
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