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Company secretary Chartered secretary

Company secretaries make sure that directors follow company law and financial regulations.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £35,000 to £70,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need a degree or professional qualification in business, law, accountancy or public administration.

You'll also need a lot of relevant business experience, especially in areas like:

  • pensions
  • personnel
  • accounts
  • credit control
  • purchasing
  • insurance
  • office management

To be the secretary of a public limited company (PLC), you must qualify with the ICSA: The Governance Institute or be an accountant, solicitor or barrister.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • presentation, organisational and time management skills
  • sound judgement and the ability to solve problems

3. What you'll do

You'll have a range of financial and legal management responsibilities, which would usually include:

  • preparing annual company reports
  • administering share option schemes and paying dividends
  • advising directors and board members about their legal responsibilities
  • dealing with other professionals like lawyers and auditors
  • sending company information to Companies House or the Stock Exchange

Depending on the size of company you work for, you may be responsible for payroll, budgeting and internal audits. You could also oversee health and safety, property and general management.

4. Salary

Starter: £35,000

Experienced: £50,000

Highly Experienced: £70,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, though you may have to attend evening meetings. Part-time work may be available.

You'll be mainly office-based, but may travel to some meetings.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could become a company's chief executive or managing director.

You could also work freelance as a consultant or a part-time company secretary for several smaller businesses.

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Last updated: 12 April 2017

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