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Confidential Secretary Duties and Responsibilities

A confidential secretary’s responsibilities will differ depending on where she or he works, but a notable number of core tasks tend to be associated with the job regardless of industry. Based on our analysis of listings, expect to do the following if seeking employment as a confidential secretary:

Handle Confidential Material Confidential secretaries deal with documents that shouldn’t be seen by just anyone in the office. Actions may include typing a manager’s personal correspondence, filing sensitive paperwork, pulling figures that aren’t readily available, opening certain types of mail, updating budgets, reconciling credit card statements, managing employee files, and compiling internal reports.

Attend Meetings Many gatherings require someone from the office staff to take notes or set up presentations. Leaders trust confidential secretaries to perform these tasks without disclosing what they see or hear.

Oversee Others As upper-level assistants, confidential secretaries often are called upon to monitor other office helpers. They may assign tasks, train new hires, and give feedback. The ability to provide clear instructions is a must.

Office Support Employers depend on confidential secretaries to be team players capable of doing whatever is necessary to help the organization run smoothly. Answering phones, assisting with mailings, greeting guests, handling travel arrangements, and organizing schedules are some of the tasks that may need to be done.


Confidential Secretary Skills and Qualifications

If you shun gossip, respect the privacy of others, and wouldn’t dream of leaving sensitive documents just sitting out on your desk, you’re well on your way to convincing employers that you’d be a great addition to their staff. Other skills essential to getting the job done include:

  • Multitasking skills – the duties confidential secretaries take on are often managed simultaneously throughout the day, which means they must be able to prioritize tasks
  • Attention to detail – errors tend to have a greater impact when you’re in charge of higher-level tasks, so proofreading text and double-checking figures is crucial
  • Collaboration skills – the ability to work well with people at various levels within the organization serves a confidential secretary well
  • Listening skills – leaders often want things done a certain way and depend on confidential secretaries to listen carefully to orders and carry them out to a T
  • Computer proficiency – confidential secretaries use a variety of office machines and especially need to be comfortable with computers
  • Professionalism – as someone who often acts on behalf of top execs, a confidential secretary should dress appropriately, possess exceptional manners, and aim to consistently reflect well on those they represent

Confidential Secretary Education and Training

At minimum, candidates need to hold a high school diploma. Many aspiring confidential secretaries take postsecondary classes to gain expertise in computers and office procedures. Some employers desire applicants with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Regardless of educational background, proven success in lower secretarial positions is often the key to landing a job as a confidential secretary.


Confidential Secretary Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies confidential secretaries under “executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants.” The median annual salary for this group is $55,860. Workers in the lowest 10th percentile earn $34,880, while the highest paid make more than $83,000 per year. Full-time confidential secretaries may be eligible for benefits such as medical insurance, paid days off, and retirement plans. According to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants is expected to decline 17 percent from 2016 to 2026. In many places, confidential secretaries and similar professionals are “doubling up” on duties to serve multiple leaders. And with technology making things like writing correspondence and scheduling travel easier, some managers are handling more tasks themselves.


Helpful Resources

Does this career sound suited to your skills and personality? These great resources can help you decide if becoming a confidential secretary is a good match:

American Society of Administrative Professionals – this organization focuses much of its efforts on continuing education, so confidential secretaries looking to improve their skills and advance their career might want to check out the ASAP’s webinars, articles, and career center

International Association of Administrative Professionals – touting integrity as one of the four core values necessary to success as an administrative professional (transparency, excellence, and collaboration are the other three), this group is right in line with the mindset confidential secretaries need

Executive Secretary Magazine – this LinkedIn group of more than 45,000 members provides a community for confidential secretaries and similar professionals to network and share knowledge

Trust Works! Four Keys to Building Lasting Relationships – assess your trustworthiness and learn about behaviors that can promote others’ confidence in you with this book co-written by best-selling author Ken Blanchard

Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook – if the topic is important to a confidential secretary’s job, chances are this comprehensive guidebook covers it