Administrative Assistant & Secretarial Science, General
CIP Code 52.0401
Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of administrative and clerical duties necessary to run an organization efficiently. They serve as information and communication managers for an office; plan and schedule meetings and appointments; organize and maintain paper and electronic files; manage projects; conduct research; and disseminate information by using the telephone, mail, websites, and email. They also may handle travel and guest arrangements.
Secretaries and administrative assistants use a variety of office equipment, such as fax machines, photocopiers, scanners, and videoconferencing and telephone systems. In addition, these individuals often use computers to complete tasks previously handled by managers and professionals. These tasks include: spreadsheet creation; correspondence composition; database management; and presentation, report, and document origination, using desktop publishing software and digital graphics. They also may negotiate with vendors, maintain and examine leased equipment, purchase supplies, manage areas such as stockrooms or corporate libraries, and retrieve data from various sources.
Secretaries and administrative assistants usually work in schools, hospitals, corporate settings, government agencies, or legal and medical offices. Their jobs often involve sitting for long periods of time. A few participate in job sharing arrangements, in which two people divide responsibility for a single job.
Most secretaries and administrative assistants, once hired, tend to acquire more advanced skills through on the job instruction by other employees or by equipment and software vendors. Others may attend classes or participate in online education to learn how to operate new office technologies, such as information storage systems, scanners, or new updated software packages. As office automation continues to evolve, retraining and continuing education will remain integral parts of secretarial jobs.
Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance by being promoted to other administrative positions with more responsibilities. Qualified administrative assistants who broaden their knowledge of a company’s operations and enhance their skills may be promoted to senior or executive secretary or administrative assistant, clerical supervisor, or office manager.
Version C: Graduation Years 2016, 2017, 2018
Version D: Graduation Years 2019, 2020, 2021
Approved Secondary School Partners