An executive secretary may also hold the title of executive administrative assistant. These secretaries are highly skilled administrative workers who are experienced reviewing information, crafting reports, booking travel, scheduling meetings, and may even supervise other administrative staff. These assistants can be a lifeline for their executive so they can more efficiently do their job while day-to-day details are handled by their assistant.
Watch a video to learn what an executive secretary does.
How to Become an Executive Secretary
According to O*NET OnLine, almost 35% of executive secretaries hold an associate’s degree with around 20% having earned some college credit. An employer may want to see a blend of work experience and education. If you do not have a certification or college degree in this field, you may need more experience as an administrative assistant to show you can handle the responsibilities of the job. It would be extremely important to showcase your professionalism in the interview.
Job Description of an Executive Secretary
An executive secretary helps top executives with tasks they are too busy to perform but need to be done. They may research information for an executive and give them that information in a quick to read report or review information given to the executive and highlight key points in the information for them to know.
Executive secretaries must have a high degree of integrity and must be reliable. Since an executive secretary handles phone calls, sets up meetings, attends some meetings to take notes, and may even sort through emails for their executive, they are also often privy to sensitive and confidential information. It is vital that the executive secretary be trustworthy and not to share confidential information with others.
These workers must be skilled at many tasks and they often float between various tasks on any given day. They must be able to book travel for their executive, create invoices if necessary, document important information, and coordinate any other office tasks that must be handled.
Executive Secretary Career Video Transcript
Well-organized, resourceful, persistent, detail-oriented, comfortable with both taking charge and taking orders, and a strong drive to make things work. All of these qualities get wrapped up in one job: executive secretary, also called executive administrative assistant. Executive secretaries manage the administrative tasks needed to support the work of top leaders. Their role is often tremendously varied, but invariably requires the ability to solve problems while maintaining confidentiality and integrity.
Executive secretaries work with documents and information, frequently developing spreadsheets, databases, researching and preparing presentations, reports, and documents. They may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Most answer phone calls and direct them appropriately. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants also operate videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. They may manage projects and plan special events or conferences. In most offices, executive secretaries greet visitors and often monitor access to specific employees. They train and supervise other office staff.
Executive secretaries generally work in office settings and are found in most industries, from health care to educational settings, scientific services, government, and more. Some executive secretaries may be self-employed, available for hire as virtual assistants who conduct their functions from a home office. Entry requirements are a high school or high school equivalency along with basic office, computer, and English grammar skills, available from technical schools or community colleges. Many schools offer programs leading to a certificate or associate’s degree in executive secretarial skills. Certification as an administrative professional will be helpful. Some temporary placement agencies also provide formal training in computer and office skills.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants.
National Center for O*NET Development. 43-6011.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.