A Professional Secretary organizes an office and make sure that it flows smoothly. The tasks for a Professional Secretary vary widely - from filing to scheduling appointments. For entry-level jobs, only a high school diploma or GED is required.
Step 1: Researching a Professional Secretary's Career Duties and Education
Most Professional Secretaries perform clerical work. This can include planning and scheduling meetings and appointments, organizing paper and electronic files, managing projects and contacting clients or other businesses using the telephone, mail, websites and e-mail. They should know how to use fax machines, photocopiers, scanners and videoconferencing and telephone systems. They should have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to deal with different types of people. A Professional Secretary can learn many of their responsibilities on the job. To advance more quickly they can take individual classes or longer degree programs at vocational schools.
Step 2: Begin a career as a Secretary by Earning an Associate's Degree
A degree is not necessary to become a Professional Secretary. However, those wishing to jumpstart their careers can earn an associate's degree in administrative assisting. Often this includes learning certain computer programs and office procedures.
Step 3: Specialize in a Secretarial Degree
Those wishing to be a specific type of Professional Secretary can take further courses or pursue more specialized degree options. The most common areas of specialization are as a legal secretary or a medical secretary. Legal secretaries need to earn an associate's degree in paralegal studies, also called an associate's degree in a legal secretary. Those interested in health care can earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in medical assisting.
Step 4: Earn Licensing and Certification to Become a Professional Secretary
No specific certification is required to become a secretary. However, some organizations offer certifications that make an applicant more marketable. These include the International Association of Administrative Professionals, the National Association of Legal Secretaries and Legal Secretaries International. These designations include becoming a Certified Professional Secretary or a Certified Administrative Professional.
Step 5: Apply for a Job as a Professional Secretary
Secretaries find employment in any type of office, both public and private. Most employers require exceptional organizational skills, familiarity with Microsoft Office and good interpersonal skills. Specialized secretaries must be familiar with the type of business in which they are working. Industry-specific academic work or previous experience is necessary.