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What Does an Executive Secretary Do?

Executive secretaries combine technological savvy with effective personal interaction to add significant value to their organizations. This article will briefly describe what an executive secretary does.

Executive Secretary Jobs

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants have some similarities, but executive secretaries work directly for and provide close administrative support to an executive. The extent of an executive secretary's own authority, along with his or her responsibilities and duties, often depends on the power exercised by the supervising executive. Whatever that may be, executive secretaries often have administrative and managerial duties, among other responsibilities.

Important Facts About Executive Secretaries

On-the-Job Training Potentially a few weeks to a couple of months
Key Skills Customer service oriented, close listening, time management, critical thinking, problem solving, clear spoken and written communication, good judgment and decision making
Work Environment Healthcare, educational services, government agencies
Similar Occupations Brokerage clerks, legal secretaries, administrative assistants, human resources assistants, accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing clerks

Executive Secretary Duties

Administrative duties include clerical and gate-keeping responsibilities typically associated with secretarial positions. Today, these duties have been much enhanced by information technology. Common tasks include the following:

  • Taking dictation and writing correspondence
  • Reading and screening correspondence
  • Receiving and screening callers and visitors
  • Coordinating the executive's calendar, schedule, and itinerary
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Producing documents, charts, and presentations
  • Maintaining records and files
  • Operating and maintaining office equipment
  • Monitoring office expenditures

Executive Secretary Job Description

Depending on the size of the office and the experience of the individual, an executive secretary may be delegated supervisory responsibilities. The following list outlines various managerial duties:

  • Hiring, assigning, and supervising office personnel
  • Writing, adjusting, and maintaining office procedures
  • Insuring compliance with organizational policies
  • Insuring compliance with federal, state, and local law
  • Planning and participating in meetings
  • Preparing budgets and reports

Enhanced Functions

Executive secretaries often have many years of experience and high levels of education. These, combined with a demonstration of trustworthiness and good judgment, may lead an executive to grant the executive secretary great independence of action. The executive secretary may provide important advice and counsel. They may act as a proxy in an executive's absence. In some cases, an experienced executive secretary may qualify for executive positions within an organization.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the employment of executive secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to experience a decline of 17% between 2016 and 2026. The BLS also reported the median annual salary earned by executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants as $59,340 in May 2018.