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A secretary is an administrative assistant in business office administration.
The executive secretary (sometimes called administrative assistant or associate) has a myriad of administrative duties. Traditionally, these duties were mostly related to correspondence, such as the typing out of letters. The advent of word processing has significantly reduced the time that such duties require, with the result that many new tasks have come under the purview of the secretary. These might include managing budgets and doing bookkeeping, maintaining websites, and making travel arrangements. Secretaries might manage all the administrative details of running a high level conference or arrange the catering for a typical lunch meeting. Often executives will ask their assistant to take meeting minutes and prepare meeting documents for review. They may also do personnel paperwork which used to be thought of as a Human Relations function; this might also include understanding the complex rules regarding Visa and Immigration.
To be successful today the executive assistant must have a broad level of skills and be creative in managing new situations. As such a 4 year degree (Bachelors of Arts) is often preferred and a 2 year degree is usually a requirement.
The term is derived from the Latin word secernere, "to distinguish" or "to set apart," the passive participle (secretum) meaning "having been set apart," with the eventual connotation of something private or confidential. A secretarius was a person, therefore, overseeing business confidentially, usually for a powerful individual (a king, pope, etc).[clarify]
With time, like many titles, the term was applied to more and varied functions, leading to compound titles to specify various secretarial work better, like general secretary, financial secretary or Secretary of state. Just "secretary" remained in use either as an abbreviation when clear in the context or for relatively modest positions such as administrative assistant of the officer(s) in charge, either individually or as member of a secretariat. As such less influential posts became more feminine and common with the multiplication of bureaucracies in the public and private sectors, new words were also coined to describe them, such as personal assistant.
In the 1880s, with the invention of the typewriter, more women began to enter the field, and since World War I, the role of secretary has been primarily associated with women. By the 1930s, fewer men were entering the field of secretaries.
In an effort to promote professionalism amongst United States secretaries, the National Secretaries Association was created in 1942. Today, this organization is known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) The organization developed the first standardized test for office workers called the Certified Professional Secretaries Examination (CPS). It was first administered in 1951.
In 1952, Mary Barrett, president of the National Secretaries Association, C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation, and American businessman Harry F. Klemfuss created a special Secretary's Day holiday, to recognize the hard work of the staff in the office. The holiday caught on, and during the fourth week of April is now celebrated in offices all over the world. It has been renamed "Administrative Professional's Week" to highlight the increased responsibility of today's secretary and other administrative workers, and to avoid embarrassment to those who believe that "secretary" refers only to women or to unskilled workers.
A number of annual awards competitions seek to recognise the importance of secretaries within organisations, including The Best Secretary on Tyneside Award organised by Pitman Training in the North East of England.
In a business many job descriptions overlap. However, while administrative assistant is a generic term, not necessarily implying directly working for a superior, a secretary is usually a personal assistant to a manager or executive. Other titles describing jobs similar to or overlapping those of the traditional secretary are office coordinator, executive assistant, office manager and administrative professional.
- At the most basic level a secretary may need only a good command of the prevailing office language and the ability to type, and may spend a large part of his or her time filing and fetching papers (or the equivalent regarding electronic files and database information) or answering telephones.
- A more skilled executive assistant may be required to type at high speeds using technical or foreign languages, organize diaries, itineraries and meetings and carry out administrative duties which may include accountancy. An executive secretary / assistant may also control access to a manager, thus becoming an influential and trusted aide. Executive assistants are available for contact during off hours by new electronic communication methods for consultations.
- The largest difference between a generalized secretary and skilled executive assistants is that the executive assistant is required to be able to interact extensively with the general public, vendors, customers, and any other person or group that the executive is responsible to interact with. As the level that the executive interacts with increases so does the level of skill required in the executive assistant that works with the executive. Those executive assistants that work with corporate officers must be capable of emulating the style, corporate philosophy, and corporate persona of the executive for which they work. In the modern workplace the advancement of the executive assistants is codependent on the success of the executive and the ability of both to make the job performance of the team seamless whereas the job place evaluation is reflective of each others performance.executive secretary for now . .
A medical secretary provides secretarial support in clinics, and support physicians and other medical personnel. Duties are include typing medical notes, letters and other reports, scheduling patients for office visits, checking patients in and processing payment and insurance payments, and assisting patients with various resources for care offered. Other duties include answering telephones and relaying messages to doctors and other staff. Duties depend on instructions and pre-established guidelines from medical staff.
The job requires a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent in addition to 0-2 years of related experience. In the United States, the average annual salary for a medical secretary is $31,620. Medical assistant is well-paid job and you can always move up while staying in your position.