How to become a Secretary

Secretaries assist professionals, managers and executives by performing clerical and secretarial duties.

Personal requirements of a Secretary

  • good command of the English language, both written and spoken
  • sound organisational and interpersonal skills
  • able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • able to work independently
  • aptitude for working with computers
  • neat personal appearance
  • able to act with tact and discretion.

Duties & Tasks of a Secretary

Secretaries may perform the following tasks:

  • screen telephone callers
  • make and record appointments
  • operate office equipment such as photocopiers, fax machines, switchboards and computers
  • file correspondence and other records
  • receive and process incoming and outgoing mail
  • write letters and reports on behalf of the organisation
  • store and retrieve data on computers
  • talk to clients
  • prepare agendas or programmes for meetings
  • attend and take minutes of meetings, both in the office and at other locations
  • organise business itineraries, travel arrangements, conferences, meetings and social functions
  • hire and supervise staff
  • maintain budget and account records
  • purchase office supplies.

Working conditions for a Secretary

The duties secretaries perform vary a great deal according to the size and type of organisation in which they work. Experienced secretaries may advance to positions of higher responsibility.


A legal secretary uses knowledge of legal terminology to prepare documents and reports.

Medical Secretary

A medical secretary uses knowledge of medical terminology to prepare documents and reports.

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