Secretary and Administrative Assistant
I. JOB SUMMARY
Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society
Overview: Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty. The following are examples:
Secretaries and administrative assistants form the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations.
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.
Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal.
Medical secretaries transcribe and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take medical histories of patients, arrange for hospitalization, or process insurance payments.
Geographical competency is important for secretaries and administrative assistants. They support business and government functions that are often inherently geographical, including recording and reporting of data tied to location. They interact with people from different locations and backgrounds, and who may speak other languages. They often represent businesses that sell products or services that are global in nature.
Geographers at work: Business geographer, cultural geographer, economic geographer, human geographers
Recommended College Courses: Human geography, physical geography, business geography, urban geography, economic geography, cultural geography
Skills: Understanding of business, cultural, language, and economic difference influenced by geography; map reading and interpretation; computer and database systems; critical thinking; teamwork
Occupation Group: Office and Administrative Support
Learn more about Secretary & Administrative Assistant from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm#tab-2
Written by Christopher Anderson