Secretary

Alternative titles for this job include

Secretaries provide administrative support for all types of organisations.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter

to

£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a secretary

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You may find it useful to take a course in administration or secretarial skills. Colleges offer full-time and part-time courses, including awards, certificates and diplomas. Useful subjects include:

  • Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Business Administration
  • Level 2 Award in Touch Typing, Audio Transcription or Shorthand
  • Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills
  • T Level in Management and Administration

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could do a business administrator advanced apprenticeship.

This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could start as an administration assistant and work towards this role.

Employers may be more interested in your computer, telephone and office skills than your formal qualifications, although you may be expected to have some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English.

Volunteering

Volunteering, for example with a charity, could help you to get some relevant experience. It's a good way of developing IT and office skills that are valued by employers.

You can find volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

Direct Application

You could apply directly if you've got relevant skills and experience from working in an office.

You could also do a temping job to get into this kind of role. Temporary jobs can help you to build up your experience and could lead to permanent employment.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a secretary from The Institute of Administrative Management.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • administration skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you could:

  • be the first point of contact for visitors, phone calls and emails
  • arrange meetings and take minutes
  • manage an individual or team diary and make travel arrangements
  • produce letters, reports, spreadsheets and invoices
  • update records on IT systems
  • photocopy, print and file documents
  • handle confidential information

Working environment

You could work in an office.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a personal assistant or supervise a team as an office manager.

With further qualifications you could move into specialist secretarial work like human resources, education, legal or medical secretarial work.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a secretary right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Certificate in Business Administration

  • Provider: NCG
  • Start date: 31 January 2022
  • Location: London

Business and Administration Certificate

  • Provider: ISLE OF WIGHT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: Newport

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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