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Secretaries provide administrative support for all types of organisations.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You may find it useful to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, in subjects like English and maths.

A qualification in administration or secretarial skills may help. Employers also value experience, which you could get by temping or volunteering.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • an excellent telephone manner
  • skills in IT and administration
  • the ability to use your initiative and solve problems
  • organisational and time management skills

3. What you'll do

You could work in the public or private sectors or for a charity.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • being the first point of contact for visitors, phone calls and emails
  • arranging meetings and taking minutes
  • diary management and making travel arrangements
  • producing letters, reports, spreadsheets and invoices
  • updating records on IT systems
  • photocopying, printing and filing
  • handling confidential information

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £16,000

Experienced: £17,000 to £20,000

Highly Experienced: £25,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work in an office, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

You could also work part-time or get temporary work.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a personal assistant or office manager.

You could also move into human resources work, or train as a legal or medical secretary.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018