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Graduate Secretary Jobs

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          Helping you find a career in the secretary industry

          Think Donna from Suits but with a smaller workload. A secretary is the face of the company, they are often the first person people encounter through the doors. This position is not to be mistaken with a personal assistant who performs all the responsibilities of a secretary but will focus more on supporting senior management in carrying out their work.

          A secretary needs to be reliable as the smooth running of the company depends on them. Their role is to help ease the workload of the boss or the team by helping them to organise their time. Secretaries can be found across lots of industries, including universities and schools, law firms, small businesses and government.

          Find out more
          • FAQs
          What does a Secretary do?

          A secretary carries out the company's office work, this can include filing, drafting correspondence, organising meetings and answering phone calls. They act as the business' first point of contact. For example, if you are arranging a job interview at a company, it will usually be the a secretary will book the interview in the diary.

          A typical day for a secretary will be:

          • Writing letters
          • Dealing with telephone and email enquiries
          • Photocopying and printing documents (sometimes carrying out printing jobs on behalf of colleagues)
          • Keeping diaries and arranging appointments
          • Scheduling meetings and taking minutes (writing down everything discussed in the meetings)
          • Ordering stationery and other office equipment
          • Creating and maintaining office systems such as colour coded filing
          • Organising travel, transportation and accommodation for colleagues and company guests
          • Arranging training for staff
          What skills and interests should an Secretary have?

          A secretary will need to be comfortable speaking to different people on the phone, as well as dealing with the diaries of members of their organisation. They will also need to draft important paperwork (sometimes highly technical - e.g. legal documents).

          What hours does a Secretary typically do?

          Secretaries tend to work between 35 and 40 hours per week. A working day typically begins at 8am and ends 6pm. Flexible working hours and overtime are available depending on the company.

          What environment is a Secretary based in?

          An office

          How much does a Secretary get paid?

          A secretary will earn between £16,000 - £19,000 per annum for positions outside of London.

          In London, starting salaries range from £20,000 to £24,000.

          The average salary of an experienced secretary ranges between £20,000 - £30,000 per annum.

          Secretary roles in finance, banking and law firms tend to pay more than roles in charity work and small family businesses.

          What qualifications does a Secretary need?

          Most entry-level secretary roles will require you to have at least 5 GCSEs (typically including English and Maths). For more senior or specialist positions (e.g. a secretarial position at a law firm) you may need to have A-levels or an undergraduate degree, too.

          It is always better if you have work experience in the sector, if not then try completing a secretarial course before applying. This will show employers that you are serious about the role and have taken active steps to prepare for the secretarial life.

          Other ways in are via apprenticeships and temporary work (which often lead to permanent positions). Once you start working, you will be trained by someone senior in the company.

          Many secretaries will work their way up to senior and executive positions.

          Useful subjects to study at school & university

          NVQ or Diplomas in Business Administration

          City & Guilds Secretarial Courses


          Further reading

          Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators