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Occupation Profile

Learn details about any occupation including what you might do on the job, how much you might earn, and how much education or training you might need.


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Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive
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Overview


Employment


Wages

Education





Job Details






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= not available for this occupation
Description: what do they do?
Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
Also known as:
Staff Assistant, Administrative Specialist, Administrative Technician, Department Secretary, Administrative Assistant, Secretary, Administrative Secretary, Clerk Typist, Office Assistant, Administrative Associate

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center.

Career video
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Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Projected to have a large number of job openings


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
US
N/A
2014 Employment
N/A
2024 Employment
N/A
Percent change
N/A
Annual projected job openings
United States
2,457,000
2014 Employment
2,521,100
2024 Employment
3%
Percent change
32,310
Annual projected job openings
N/A: We do not have employment projections in this state for this occupation.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2014, the number expected to be employed in 2024, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions including a 5.2 percent unemployment rate in 2024 and labor productivity growth of 1.8 percent annually over the 10 years. While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central: Long Term Projections, through 2024.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Employment Projections: 2014–24.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive in United States
LocationUSUnited States
10%N/A$21,470
25%N/A$27,320
MedianN/A$34,820
75%N/A$43,920
90%N/A$53,060


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2016 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • Less than 1 month on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Operate computers or computerized equipment.
  • Execute sales or other financial transactions.
  • Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
  • Collect deposits, payments or fees.
  • Enter information into databases or software programs.
  • Record personnel information.
  • Select resources needed to accomplish tasks.
  • Report maintenance or equipment problems to appropriate personnel.
  • Operate office equipment.
  • Discuss account status or activity with customers or patrons.
  • Greet customers, patrons, or visitors.
  • Refer customers to appropriate personnel.
  • Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
  • Schedule appointments.
  • Operate communications equipment or systems.
  • Coordinate operational activities.
  • Distribute materials to employees or customers.
  • Record information from meetings or other formal proceedings.
  • Issue documentation or identification to customers or employees.
  • Make travel, accommodations, or entertainment arrangements for others.
  • Schedule operational activities.
  • Distribute incoming mail.
  • Route mail to correct destinations.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
  • Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
  • Search files, databases or reference materials to obtain needed information.
  • Prepare employee work schedules.
  • Develop organizational policies or programs.
  • Develop computer or online applications.
  • Send information, materials or documentation.
  • Manage clerical or administrative activities.
  • Maintain current knowledge related to work activities.
  • Supervise clerical or administrative personnel.
  • Train personnel.
  • Prepare informational or reference materials.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Use computers for various applications, such as database management or word processing.
  • Perform payroll functions, such as maintaining timekeeping information and processing and submitting payroll.
  • Answer telephones and give information to callers, take messages, or transfer calls to appropriate individuals.
  • Collect and deposit money into accounts, disburse funds from cash accounts to pay bills or invoices, keep records of collections and disbursements, and ensure accounts are balanced.
  • Create, maintain, and enter information into databases.
  • Set up and manage paper or electronic filing systems, recording information, updating paperwork, or maintaining documents, such as attendance records, correspondence, or other material.
  • Operate office equipment, such as fax machines, copiers, or phone systems and arrange for repairs when equipment malfunctions.
  • Greet visitors or callers and handle their inquiries or direct them to the appropriate persons according to their needs.
  • Complete forms in accordance with company procedures.
  • Maintain scheduling and event calendars.
  • Schedule and confirm appointments for clients, customers, or supervisors.
  • Make copies of correspondence or other printed material.
  • Operate electronic mail systems and coordinate the flow of information, internally or with other organizations.
  • Coordinate conferences, meetings, or special events, such as luncheons or graduation ceremonies.
  • Compose, type, and distribute meeting notes, routine correspondence, or reports, such as presentations or expense, statistical, or monthly reports.
  • Arrange conference, meeting, or travel reservations for office personnel.
  • Open, read, route, and distribute incoming mail or other materials and answer routine letters.
  • Provide services to customers, such as order placement or account information.
  • Review work done by others to check for correct spelling and grammar, ensure that company format policies are followed, and recommend revisions.
  • Conduct searches to find needed information, using such sources as the Internet.
  • Establish work procedures or schedules and keep track of the daily work of clerical staff.
  • Develop or maintain internal or external company Web sites.
  • Prepare and mail checks.
  • Manage projects or contribute to committee or team work.
  • Mail newsletters, promotional material, or other information.
  • Order and dispense supplies.
  • Learn to operate new office technologies as they are developed and implemented.
  • Supervise other clerical staff and provide training and orientation to new staff.
  • Train and assist staff with computer usage.
  • Prepare conference or event materials, such as flyers or invitations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.