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Office Secretary Duties and Responsibilities

To keep an office running smoothly and efficiently, Office Secretaries perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Office Secretary duties and responsibilities.

Answer Telephones

Office Secretaries are the office gatekeepers – they answer the phone, take messages or refer calls to appropriate staff member.

Maintain Calendar and Plan Meetings

Office Secretaries schedule appointments and update event calendars. They also arrange meetings and coordinate conference room schedules. In advance of meetings, they assemble background materials and set up the meeting space. They attend meetings and prepare minutes or summaries of the meeting outcomes.

Handle Mail

Incoming and outgoing mail and faxes all go through the Office Secretary. They open, review, sort and distribute the mail to the appropriate recipients. Office Secretaries also maintain email lists, and distribute information to staff.

Prepare and Edit Documents

As the last person to see documents before they are sent, the Office Secretary reviews outgoing correspondence for grammar, correctness and completeness, and insures that appropriate material is attached. They prepare memos or other reports for internal or external distribution. They may also make travel bookings and prepare travel expense reports.

Maintain Databases and Filing Systems

Office Secretaries design, implement and maintain filing systems, both electronic and paper. When requested, they search for and compile requested material from the databases.

Maintain inventory

The Office Secretary tracks office supplies and orders replacements as required. They may be responsible for an office budget for supplies and other expenditures.


Office Secretary Skills

Well-organized and detail-oriented, a successful Office Secretary must be able to multi-task and take instruction from many sources. Key traits for an Office Secretary are strong interpersonal skills and a positive attitude. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking Office Secretary candidates with the following skills.

Core skills

Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Office Secretaries with these core skills. If you want to work as an Office Secretary focus on the following.

  • Knowledge of general office procedures
  • Knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software, including Word and Excel, and the ability to learn billing software and electronic medical records
  • Ability to operate office equipment (fax, copier, mail, etc.)
  • Customer service experience
  • Ability to type at least 40 words per minute
  • Proficient in proofreading, spelling, grammar punctuation and math

Advanced skills

While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Office Secretary toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Knowledge of ICD-9 and CPT Coding
  • Knowledge of medical or legal terminology
  • Proficient with tape transcription and ability to take shorthand
  • Familiarity with File Site, a document management system

Office Secretary Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as an Office Secretary. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

Read the latest news from the world of Executive Secretaries, and find out about training events and other great resources.

An entertaining and insightful blog from a seasoned

administrative professional.

On LinkedIn

Network and exchange information with over 110,00 other administrative professionals.

Finds jobs and news for Legal Office Secretaries, one of the biggest fields for Office Secretaries.

Industry Groups

This non-profit provides news, research, and advice for those working as corporate secretaries.

Take a free salary survey to find out what you might make as an Office Secretary, or find practical advice on various issues of interest to administrative professionals.

Loads of educational webinars, articles, and certification to build up Office Secretary skill-sets.

Office Secretary Books

by James Stroman – Everything you need to know to be an effective Office Secretary.

The Law Office Reference Manual by Jo Ann Lee and Marilyn Satterwhite – For those interested in working as a Legal Office Secretary, rush up on legal terminology and the workings of legal offices.

Jewel in the LEADER’s CROWN: Powerful Strategies to Shine as an Executive Assistant & Beyond by Ruth Mead – Full of secrets and strategies to be the best possible Administrative Assistant or Office Secretary.