What does a secretary do?
Secretaries are responsible for a number of clerical duties, all of which are focused toward keeping the organisational aspects of an office running efficiently. They deal with incoming mail and phone calls, coordinate the staff calendar, make appointments and maintain records. When working directly under a professional or executive, they are tasked with making sure their schedule and day-to-day workflow runs smoothly, coordinating meetings and travel arrangements on their behalf. Secretaries most often work in the legal and medical professions, and other large organisations such as government departments or multinational corporations.
- Update appointment diaries and calendars
- Schedule daily events
- Process incoming and outgoing mail
- Prepare reports, briefing notes and draft correspondence
- Coordinating staff meetings
What skills do I need to be a secretary?
Secretarial work requires someone who is highly organised, has immaculate communication skills, is able to meet strict deadlines and maintain an updated schedule day-to-day activities. Secretaries often demonstrate a versatility and ability to adapt which allows them to be involved in many aspects of the successful running of an office. When providing assistance to an executive or professional, having an intuitive and organised understanding of those you assist is crucial. Having IT skills is also expected as data-entry and retrieval and, increasingly, calendar coordination uses online systems.
- Knowledge of data-entry and filing systems
- Ability to multitask
- Organisational expertise
- Impeccable communication skills
There are a number of career options available to you are drawn to the challenges of administrative and secretarial work. You can use the skills you have as a secretary to take on a number of different positions in the administrative field.
Medical secretaries work in hospitals, nursing homes and doctor’s surgeries. They help with the planning and scheduling patient appointments, arrange for call-backs and maintain a filing system which provides medical health professionals with the correct patient information. They are familiar with a range of medical terminology, procedures and documents.
Study pathways for secretaries
If you want to get a head start in your career as a secretary, there are a number of courses available to you. Depending on what area you would like to specialise in, there are courses that target industry specific skills and knowledge.
Begin your career as a valued administrative professional with targeted training
Learn industry relevant skills and knowledge to help you pursue a career as a secretary
Equip yourself with the administrative knowledge you need to succeed
Some employers may require you to undertake further study to develop industry specific skills, particularly in a legal or medical context
Getting a job after graduation
Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your administration career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed
Job Prospects and Salaries
Competition for secretarial positions is high, there are few job openings expected over the next five years