Secretaries perform secretarial, clerical and other administrative tasks in support of Managers, Legal Professionals and other professionals.

    You can work as a Secretary without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in business administration or a related field might be helpful.

    Tasks

    • liaising with other staff to arrange meetings, and to gain and provide information
    • preparing reports, briefing notes and correspondence, and proofreading work for typographical and grammatical errors
    • maintaining appointment diaries and making travel arrangements
    • processing incoming and outgoing mail, filing correspondence and maintaining records
    • answering telephone calls, responding to inquiries and redirecting callers
    • taking and transcribing dictation of letters and other documents
    • greeting visitors, ascertaining nature of business and directing visitors to appropriate persons
    • may implement management decisions and maintain records of meetings
    • may handle bookkeeping and petty cash functions

    More about Secretaries

    All Secretaries

    All Secretaries

    • $1,146 Weekly Pay
    • Decline Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 41,900 workers Employment Size
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • 46% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 50 years Average age
    • 97% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Secretaries (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
    from 41,900 in 2018 to 28,300 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 6,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,200 a year).

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Secretaries work in many parts of Australia. New South Wales has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Construction; and Administrative and Support Services.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,146 per week (below the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Around half work full-time (46%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 50 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (64%).
    • Gender: 97% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    2008109600
    200988800
    201078800
    201175900
    201273700
    201365200
    201456300
    201548500
    201649600
    201747500
    201841900
    202328300

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsSecretariesAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings11461460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services32.7
    Construction11.8
    Administrative and Support Services8.9
    Health Care and Social Assistance7.3
    Other Industries39.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateSecretariesAll Jobs Average
    NSW41.831.6
    VIC19.325.6
    QLD18.820.0
    SA6.67.0
    WA10.010.8
    TAS1.72.0
    NT0.51.0
    ACT1.31.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketSecretariesAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-191.4-5.05.0
    20-245.1-9.39.3
    25-3411.9-22.922.9
    35-4417.4-22.022.0
    45-5426.8-21.621.6
    55-5913.5-9.09.0
    60-6411.4-6.06.0
    65 and Over12.7-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationSecretariesAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate3.7-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree10.8-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma15.3-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV12.9-21.121.1
    Year 1225.2-18.118.1
    Year 118.6-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below23.6-12.512.5

    You can work as a Secretary without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in business administration or a related field might be helpful.

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Business Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Secretaries who have good people skills, are reliable, trustworthy and responsible, with sound computer skills.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Clerical

      86% Skill level

      Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

    2. Customer and Personal Service

      60% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Computers and Electronics

      59% Skill level

      Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    4. English Language

      55% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    5. Administration and Management

      44% Skill level

      Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-6014.00 - Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Telephone

      98% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    2. Contact With Others

      95% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      94% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    4. Electronic Mail

      91% Important

      How often do you use electronic mail?

    5. Structured versus Unstructured Work

      90% Important

      How much freedom do you have to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-6014.00 - Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive.

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