Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive
Perform routine administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
Sample of reported job titles: Administrative Assistant (Admin Assistant), Administrative Clerk, Administrative Secretary (Admin Secretary), Administrative Specialist (Admin Specialist), Administrative Support Assistant (ASA), Administrative Technician, Department Secretary, Office Assistant, Secretary, Staff Assistant
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Answer telephones and give information to callers, take messages, or transfer calls to appropriate individuals.
- Greet visitors or callers and handle their inquiries or direct them to the appropriate persons according to their needs.
- Create, maintain, and enter information into databases.
- Use computers for various applications, such as database management or word processing.
- Operate office equipment, such as fax machines, copiers, or phone systems and arrange for repairs when equipment malfunctions.
- 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 electronic mail systems and coordinate the flow of information, internally or with other organizations.
- Schedule and confirm appointments for clients, customers, or supervisors.
- Maintain scheduling and event calendars.
- Compose, type, and distribute meeting notes, routine correspondence, or reports, such as presentations or expense, statistical, or monthly reports.
- Complete forms in accordance with company procedures.
- Locate and attach appropriate files to incoming correspondence requiring replies.
- Conduct searches to find needed information, using such sources as the Internet.
- Open, read, route, and distribute incoming mail or other materials and answer routine letters.
- Review work done by others to check for correct spelling and grammar, ensure that company format policies are followed, and recommend revisions.
- Make copies of correspondence or other printed material.
- Learn to operate new office technologies as they are developed and implemented.
- Train and assist staff with computer usage.
- Order and dispense supplies.
- Prepare conference or event materials, such as flyers or invitations.
- 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.
- Establish work procedures or schedules and keep track of the daily work of clerical staff.
- Provide services to customers, such as order placement or account information.
- Prepare and mail checks.
- Arrange conference, meeting, or travel reservations for office personnel.
- Supervise other clerical staff and provide training and orientation to new staff.
- Manage projects or contribute to committee or team work.
- Coordinate conferences, meetings, or special events, such as luncheons or graduation ceremonies.
- Mail newsletters, promotional material, or other information.
- Take dictation in shorthand or by machine and transcribe information.
- Develop or maintain internal or external company Web sites.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Access software — Citrix
- Accounting software — Fund accounting software; Intuit QuickBooks ; Sage 50 Accounting; Tax software
- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; Minitab ; SAS
- Backup or archival software — Veritas NetBackup
- Business intelligence and data analysis software — IBM Cognos Impromptu ; MicroStrategy ; Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition ; Qlik Tech QlikView
- Calendar and scheduling software — Appointment scheduling software
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Dropbox; Google Drive ; Microsoft SharePoint ; Slack
- Cloud-based management software — IBM WebSphere
- Computer based training software — Schoology
- Content workflow software — Atlassian JIRA
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge; Salesforce software
- Data base management system software — Apache Cassandra ; Apache Hive ; Apache Pig ; Apache Solr (see all 6 examples)
- Data base reporting software — SAP Crystal Reports
- Data base user interface and query software — Airtable; Blackboard software; Microsoft SQL Server ; Yardi software (see all 8 examples)
- Data mining software — Data warehouse software
- Desktop communications software — ClassDojo; Skype
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Microsoft Publisher
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat ; Filing system software
- Electronic mail software — IBM Notes ; Microsoft Exchange ; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise application integration software — IBM InfoSphere DataStage
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Microsoft Dynamics GP ; NetSuite ERP ; Oracle Hyperion ; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne (see all 13 examples)
- Enterprise system management software — IBM Power Systems software
- Financial analysis software — Delphi Technology; Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; SmugMug Flickr
- Human resources software — ADP Workforce Now ; Human resource management software HRMS; Oracle Taleo
- Information retrieval or search software — LexisNexis
- Instant messaging software — GroupMe
- Internet browser software — Mozilla Firefox; Web browser software
- Medical software — Medical procedure coding software
- Metadata management software — CA Erwin Data Modeler
- Mobile messaging service software — Intrado SchoolMessenger
- Network conferencing software — LogMeIn GoToWebinar
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Apple macOS ; Linux ; Oracle Solaris ; Palm OS (see all 6 examples)
- Portal server software — Apache HTTP Server
- Presentation software — Apple Keynote; Google Slides; Microsoft PowerPoint
- Process mapping and design software — Microsoft Visio
- Project management software — Confluence ; Microsoft Project ; Microsoft Teams; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Time accounting software — Timekeeping software
- Transaction security and virus protection software — McAfee; Symantec
- Transaction server software — Customer information control system CICS
- Video conferencing software — Cisco Systems Webex; FaceTime; Google Meet; LogMeIn GoToMeeting (see all 6 examples)
- Video creation and editing software — Loom; YouTube
- Voice recognition software — Dictation software
- Web page creation and editing software — Facebook ; Google Sites; LinkedIn ; Social media sites (see all 5 examples)
- Web platform development software — Apache Tomcat ; Drupal ; Hypertext markup language HTML ; Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
- Word processing software — 3M Post-it App; Google Docs ; Microsoft OneNote; Microsoft Word (see all 5 examples)
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
- Discuss account status or activity with customers or patrons.
- Greet customers, patrons, or visitors.
- Refer customers to appropriate personnel.
- Execute sales or other financial transactions.
- Enter information into databases or software programs.
- Operate computers or computerized equipment.
- Collect deposits, payments or fees.
- Operate office equipment.
- Report maintenance or equipment problems to appropriate personnel.
- Record personnel information.
- Select resources needed to accomplish tasks.
- Operate communications equipment or systems.
- Schedule appointments.
- Distribute materials to employees or customers.
- Issue documentation or identification to customers or employees.
- Record information from meetings or other formal proceedings.
- Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Develop organizational policies or programs.
- Prepare employee work schedules.
- Send information, materials or documentation.
- Compile data or documentation.
- Make travel, accommodations, or entertainment arrangements for others.
- Schedule operational activities.
- Distribute incoming mail.
- Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
- Route mail to correct destinations.
- Search files, databases or reference materials to obtain needed information.
- Supervise clerical or administrative personnel.
- Manage clerical or administrative activities.
- Coordinate operational activities.
- Maintain current knowledge related to work activities.
- Train personnel.
- Transcribe spoken or written information.
- Prepare informational or reference materials.
- Develop computer or online applications.
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- Telephone — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 87% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Electronic Mail — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 69% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 60% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 58% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 49% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 35% responded “Important results.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 34% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 26% responded “Never.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 50% responded “40 hours.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|50||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: CE Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- 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.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$18.68 hourly, $38,850 annual|
|Employment (2020)||2,053,500 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||195,100|
|Top industries (2020)||
Health Care and Social Assistance
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
- International Association of Administrative Professionals
- International Virtual Assistants Association
- NALS…the association for legal professionals
- National Association of Educational Office Professionals
- National Association of Professional Women
- National Education Association
- National Notary Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Secretaries and administrative assistants
- Society for Human Resource Management
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