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Career Guide: Medical Secretaries

Career Guide: Medical Secretaries

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Developments in office technology are certain to continue. However, many secretarial and administrative duties are of a personal, interactive nature and, therefore, are not easily automated. Responsibilities such as planning conferences, working with clients, and instructing staff require tact and communication skills. Because technology cannot substitute for these personal skills, secretaries and administrative assistants will continue to play a key role in most organizations.

As paralegals and medical assistants assume more of the duties traditionally assigned to secretaries, there is a trend in many offices for professionals and managers to replace the traditional arrangement of one secretary per manager with secretaries and administrative assistants who support the work of systems, departments, or units. This approach often means that secretaries and administrative assistants assume added responsibilities and are seen as valuable members of a team.

Job prospects: In addition to jobs created from growth, numerous job opportunities will arise from the need to replace secretaries and administrative assistants who transfer to other occupations, especially exceptionally skilled executive secretaries and administrative assistants who often move into professional occupations. Job opportunities should be best for applicants with extensive knowledge of software applications and for experienced secretaries and administrative assistants. Opportunities also should be very good for those with advanced communication and computer skills. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree will be in great demand to act more as managerial assistants and to perform more complex tasks.

Earnings

Median annual earnings of secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive, were $27,450 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $21,830 and $34,250. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,560, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $41,550. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive in May 2006 were:

Local government – $30,350
General medical and surgical hospitals – 28,810
Colleges, universities, and professional schools – 28,700
Elementary and secondary schools – 28,120
Employment services – 26,810

Median annual earnings of executive secretaries and administrative assistants were $37,240 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $30,240 and $46,160. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,190, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $56,740. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of executive secretaries and administrative assistants in May 2006 were:


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