Print

Health Careers >> Browse Articles >> Administrative Health Careers

+4

Career Guide: Medical Secretaries

Career Guide: Medical Secretaries

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment

Secretaries and administrative assistants held more than 4.2 million jobs in 2006, ranking it among the largest occupations in the U.S. economy. The following tabulation shows the distribution of employment by secretarial specialty:

Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive – 1,940,000
Executive secretaries and administrative assistants – 1,618,000
Medical secretaries – 408,000
Legal secretaries – 275,000

Secretaries and administrative assistants are employed in organizations of every type. Around 9 out of 10 secretaries and administrative assistants are employed in service providing industries, ranging from education and health care to government and retail trade. Most of the rest work for firms engaged in manufacturing or construction.

Job Outlook

Employment of secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations. Secretaries and administrative assistants will have among the largest numbers of new jobs arise, about 362,000 over the 2006-16 period. Additional opportunities will result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave this occupation.

Employment change. Employment of secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to increase about 9 percent, which is about as fast as average for all occupations, between 2006 and 2016. Projected employment varies by occupational specialty. Above average employment growth in the health care and social assistance industry should lead to faster than average growth for medical secretaries, while moderate growth in legal services is projected to lead to average growth in employment of legal secretaries. Employment of executive secretaries and administrative assistants is projected to grow faster than average for all occupations. Growing industries—such as administrative and support services; health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific, and technical services—will continue to generate the most new jobs. Little or no change in employment is expected for secretaries, except legal, medical, or executive, who account for about 46 percent of all secretaries and administrative assistants.

Increasing office automation and organizational restructuring will continue to make secretaries and administrative assistants more productive in coming years. Computers, e-mail, scanners, and voice message systems will allow secretaries and administrative assistants to accomplish more in the same amount of time. The use of automated equipment also is changing the distribution of work in many offices. In some cases, traditional secretarial duties as typing, filing, photocopying, and bookkeeping are being done by clerks in other departments or by the professionals themselves. For example, professionals and managers increasingly do their own word processing and data entry, and handle much of their own correspondence. Also, in some law and medical offices, paralegals and medical assistants are assuming some tasks formerly done by secretaries.


AllHealthcare School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use AllHealthcare's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.


* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.