What Do Secretaries Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of a Secretary and Administrative Assistant
are Secretaries and Administrative Assistants happy with their job

Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Other names for this job might include Admin Assistant, Admin Secretary, Administrative Aide, Administrative and Program Specialist, Administrative Assistant, Administrative Associate, Administrative Clerk, Administrative Coordinator, Administrative Liaison, Administrative Resources Associate

  • $35200
  • 70%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
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Being A Secretary: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Secretaries and Administrative Assistants do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Secretary and Administrative Assistant or not.

Job summary

Secretaries perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.

We asked Secretaries how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


70% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 57% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Secretaries Answer telephones and give information to callers, take messages, or transfer calls to appropriate individuals. They Greet visitors or callers and handle their inquiries or direct them to the appropriate persons according to their needs.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Secretary is to Locate and attach appropriate files to incoming correspondence requiring replies.

Some may also Open, read, route, and distribute incoming mail or other materials and answer routine letters.

In a normal work day, another thing that Secretaries do is they Complete forms in accordance with company procedures.

In addition to that, they Make copies of correspondence or other printed material..

A typical day for A Secretary look like this:

Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
Discuss account status or activity with customers or patrons.
Refer customers to appropriate personnel.
Greet customers, patrons, or visitors.

We asked some Secretaries a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?91% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?86% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?53% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?82% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?31% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?43% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?12% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?46% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Secretaries do, they Review work done by others to check for correct spelling and grammar, ensure that company format policies are followed, and recommend revisions. They might also Manage projects or contribute to committee or team work.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Secretaries Mail newsletters, promotional material, or other information. and Order and dispense supplies.

In addition, they Prepare and mail checks.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Establish work procedures or schedules and keep track of the daily work of clerical staff.

To some Secretaries, it is also their responsibility to Arrange conference, meeting, or travel reservations for office personnel.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
Manage clerical or administrative activities.
Send information, materials or documentation.
Distribute materials to employees or customers.
Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
Execute sales or other financial transactions.
Send information, materials or documentation.

Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Secretary, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do Secretaries work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Secretaries work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Secretaries work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Persuaders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Rank: C
Salary: $30820

They perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring knowledge of office systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.
Rank: C
Salary: $27830

They answer inquiries and provide information to the general public, customers, visitors, and other interested parties regarding activities conducted at establishment and location of departments, offices, and employees within the organization.
Rank: C+
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They compile records, sort, shelve, issue, and receive library materials such as books, electronic media, pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.
Rank: B
Salary: $53590

They provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
Rank: C+
Salary: $38740

They process applications for, changes to, reinstatement of, and cancellation of insurance policies. Duties include reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered, compiling data on insurance policy changes, changing policy records to conform to insured party’s specifications, compiling data on lapsed insurance policies to determine automatic reinstatement according to company policies, canceling insurance policies as requested by agents, and verifying the accuracy of insurance company records.

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Career type

Office and Administration
Administrative and Information Support

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Related to Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Job Description

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Additional resources

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