Career summary

Details for Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive


Description

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

Tasks

  • Use computers for various applications, such as database management or word processing.
  • Answer telephones and give information to callers, take messages, or transfer calls to appropriate individuals.
  • 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.
  • Maintain scheduling and event calendars.
  • Complete forms in accordance with company procedures.
  • Schedule and confirm appointments for clients, customers, or supervisors.
  • Make copies of correspondence or other printed material.
  • Locate and attach appropriate files to incoming correspondence requiring replies.
  • Operate electronic mail systems and coordinate the flow of information, internally or with other organizations.
  • Compose, type, and distribute meeting notes, routine correspondence, or reports, such as presentations or expense, statistical, or monthly reports.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Perform payroll functions, such as maintaining timekeeping information and processing and submitting payroll.
  • 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.
  • Coordinate conferences, meetings, or special events, such as luncheons or graduation ceremonies.
  • Arrange conference, meeting, or travel reservations for office personnel.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take dictation in shorthand or by machine and transcribe information.

Interests

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

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Related careers

  • Billing, Cost, and Rate Clerks
  • Insurance Claims Clerks
  • Legal Secretaries
  • Loan Interviewers and Clerks
  • Municipal Clerks
  • Office Clerks, General
  • Receptionists and Information Clerks
  • Tellers
  • Word Processors and Typists