Career Development

What Does an Executive Secretary Do?

Find out what an executive secretary does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an executive secretary.

A secretary is a professional who supports an organization by performing clerical and administrative tasks. They are often the glue that holds everything together, ensuring that meetings run smoothly, documents get signed on time, and everyone in the office has what they need to do their job well.

Secretaries typically have a lot of contact with all levels of employees in their company or organization. They may also interact with clients or customers from time to time. In either case, they’re responsible for making sure that everyone feels valued and heard.

Executive Secretary Job Duties

Executive secretaries typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Drafting reports and correspondence based on the executive’s direction
  • Scheduling meetings, conferences, conventions, and other events with staff members or outside contacts
  • Coordinating the executive’s travel arrangements including booking flights, arranging hotels, and arranging for car rentals or limousine service
  • Greeting visitors to the office, answering phones, and routing calls appropriately
  • Managing calendars and scheduling meetings and appointments
  • Coordinating projects with other staff members and departments to ensure that deadlines are met
  • Maintaining filing systems by creating new folders, updating information in spreadsheets or databases, and filing documents in cabinets or on shelves
  • Filing paperwork with government agencies such as the IRS or DOL on behalf of the executive or company
  • Preparing agendas for meetings with staff or clients, including outlining topics to be discussed, arranging speakers, and sending invitations to participants

Executive Secretary Salary & Outlook

Executive secretaries’ salaries are affected by years of experience, level of education, and size of company.

  • Median Annual Salary: $56,500 ($27.16/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $87,500 ($42.07/hour)

The employment of executive secretaries is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment of executive secretaries is projected to decline because fewer workers will be needed as office automation increases productivity and efficiency. As offices become more efficient, fewer secretaries are needed to do the same amount of work.

Related: In-Depth Executive Secretary Salary Guide

Executive Secretary Job Requirements

The qualifications for an executive secretary position may include:

Education: Entry-level executive secretaries are usually required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some companies may prefer an associate’s degree or a certificate in business administration or office management.

Many executive secretaries choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. Courses in these programs include business communications, business law, business math, business administration and accounting.

Training & Experience: Executive secretaries often receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, computer programs and filing systems. Training may also include shadowing an experienced executive secretary to learn the daily tasks and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: It can be helpful for executives secretaries to obtain certifications to improve their qualifications and increase their earning potential.

Executive Secretary Skills

Executive secretaries need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Executive secretaries communicate with many people throughout the day, including their supervisors, other employees, clients and customers. They also need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely in writing. Effective communication skills can help you to convey messages clearly and to understand messages from others.

Organization: Executive secretaries often have excellent organizational skills, as they are responsible for maintaining their executive’s schedule, files and other important documents. They also often organize meetings, events and other activities for their executive.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes and make adjustments accordingly. Executive secretaries often have to make sure that all of the details of a project are correct, including the spelling of names, dates and other information. Attention to detail can also help you notice when a project is completed and ready to be submitted.

Time management: Executive secretaries often have to manage their own schedules and the schedules of their supervisors. This requires excellent time-management skills, as you may have to juggle multiple tasks at once and ensure you complete each task in a timely manner. You may also have to manage the schedules of other employees, which requires you to be punctual and aware of the importance of each meeting.

Computer skills: Executive secretaries may use computer programs to create presentations, send emails, create spreadsheets and more. Having computer skills can help you be more efficient in your job and complete tasks more quickly.

Executive Secretary Work Environment

Executive secretaries work in a variety of settings, including corporate offices, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. They typically work a standard 40-hour week, although they may occasionally work overtime to complete special projects or to meet deadlines. Executive secretaries typically work in well-lit, comfortable offices. They use computers, fax machines, and other office equipment on a daily basis and have regular contact with co-workers, clients, and customers. Because they often work closely with top executives, they must be able to handle confidential information with discretion and tact.

Executive Secretary Trends

Here are three trends influencing how executive secretaries work. Executive secretaries will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Remote Work

The growth of remote work is a trend that is quickly changing the way businesses operate. With the rise of technology, employees are now able to work from anywhere in the world, which has led to an increase in the number of people who work remotely.

This trend is having a major impact on the role of the executive secretary, as they are now responsible for providing support to employees who work remotely. This includes tasks such as answering phones, scheduling meetings, and managing calendars.

More Focus on Personal Development

As businesses become more focused on personal development, executive secretaries will need to develop new skills to stay competitive.

One area where executive secretaries can focus their efforts is on becoming better communicators. This means learning how to write effectively, speak publicly, and understand the needs of others. In addition, executive secretaries should also focus on developing their leadership skills so that they can be effective managers.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the workplace, and this is especially true for executive secretaries. As technology becomes more prevalent, executive secretaries will need to learn how to use it to their advantage.

This includes learning how to use software like Microsoft Office, as well as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Executive secretaries can also utilize technology to make themselves more efficient by using tools such as Google Docs and Dropbox.

How to Become an Executive Secretary

When starting your executive secretary career, it’s important to consider the company culture and how it will fit with your personality. You should also think about what type of work you want to do. Do you prefer working with people or do you enjoy working alone? Are you more interested in administrative tasks or are you looking for a chance to learn new skills?

Once you have considered these factors, start networking with other professionals in the industry. Attend industry events and join online forums where you can connect with other secretaries. This is an excellent way to learn about different companies and find out what they are looking for in an executive secretary.

Related: How to Write an Executive Secretary Resume

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance in this career is to get more education and training. Many executive secretaries have at least an associate’s degree, and some have a bachelor’s degree. The more education you have, the more likely you are to be promoted to a higher position. You can also advance by becoming certified as a professional secretary.

As you gain experience, you may be promoted to a position such as administrative assistant, executive assistant, or office manager. In larger organizations, you may be promoted to a position in another department, such as human resources or marketing. With experience and additional training, you may be promoted to a management position, such as office manager or department head.

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