Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

The emergence of advanced technology continues to expand the sphere of businesses greatly. Organizational restructuring and office automation have led administrative assistants and secretaries to execute responsibilities once reserved for professional and managerial staff. The job of administrative assistants and secretaries is to coordinate and perform various administrative activities, retrieving, storing, and integrating information.

Job Prospect
Administrative assistants and secretaries execute various clerical and administrative duties required to run an establishment effectively. They work as communication and information managers. They plan, prepare, and schedule appointments and meetings, arrange and maintain electronic and paper files, conduct research, manage projects, and distribute information by using mail service, telephone, e-mail, and web sites. They also need to deal with guest arrangements and travel.

Secretary and administrative assistants have to use various office equipments such as photocopiers, fax machines, telephone systems, videoconferencing, and scanners. Additionally, administrative assistants and secretaries use computers to perform tasks that are earlier handled by professionals and managers such as compose correspondence, prepare spreadsheets, manage database, and create reports, presentations, and documents using digital graphic and desktop publishing software.

Secretary and administrative assistants may discuss with vendors, purchase supplies, examine and maintain leased equipment, and manage areas such as corporate libraries and stockrooms and recover data from many sources. Professionals and managers have to carry out the tasks such as answering the telephone and keyboarding.

Secretaries and administrative assistants coordinate, support, and direct administrative personnel. In large organizations, administrative assistants and secretaries have to work in a team. There are many administrative assistants and secretaries offer orientation and training to new staff. They conduct research using computer & internet and troubleshoot & operate new office technologies.

Specific job responsibilities may vary with titles and experience. The work of administrative assistants and executive secretaries is to provide administrative support for an organization. They perform some clerical tasks. Additionally, they arrange conference calls and oversee other clerical workforce. Sometimes, they need to cope with more complex responsibilities such as submissions, assessing incoming memos, report to establish their significance, and plan for their distribution.

Secretaries and administrative assistants prepare programs and organize meetings of executive boards and committees. They may prepare statistical reports and conduct research. Some medical and legal secretaries execute specialized work, which require knowledge of procedures and technical terminology. For example, a legal secretary prepares legal papers and correspondence such as complaints, summonses, responses, subpoenas, and motions under the close supervision of a paralegal or an attorney.

They also examine legal journals and facilitate legal research, for instance, evaluate citations and quotes in legal briefs. Additionally, legal secretaries teach and guide new lawyers to create documents for submission to the courts.

The work of medical secretaries is to write out dictation, assist physicians, prepare correspondence, facilitates medical scientists with speeches, reports, conference proceedings, and articles. They document simple medical histories, order supplies, and manage patient to get hospitalized. A medical secretary has to be accustomed to billing practices, insurance rules, and laboratory or hospital procedures.

Some technical secretaries who help scientists and engineers may collect and edit materials for scientific papers, prepare letters, and maintain the technical library of an organization.

Secretaries who work with high schools and elementary schools execute various administrative functions for the school. They are accountable for dealing with communications between parents, community, and teachers. These secretaries need to know details about bus schedules, registering students, immunizations, etc. They arrange appointments, prepare assignments for classes, keep record of student's academic records, etc. These secretaries require performing following responsibilities.


Work Environment
Generally, administrative assistants and secretaries work in hospitals, schools, government agencies, and corporate settings, medical and legal offices. These secretaries and assistants have to perform their tasks by sitting for long periods. They may face problems of eyestrain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and stress.

Educational Qualification
Communication, word-processing, and writing skills are necessary for all administrative assistants and secretaries. Nevertheless, employers need candidates who have wide knowledge of computer software such as project management, desktop publishing, database management, and spreadsheets. Candidates who have completed a high school diploma are eligible to apply for entry-level secretarial positions.

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