Occupational Outlook Secretaries


OccupationalOutlook: Secretaries


Secretariesor personal or administrative assistants are among the most importantpositions in the world of organizations, celebrities, and the wealthyamong others. The work of a secretary is to support in managementboth an individual and organizations. Gaskell (1983) explains thatthe secretaries are always endowed with great organizational skills,communication, and management of projects. Some secretaries inorganizations are always given the power of being the next in commandof the leader of an organization or an individual and therefore,given the respect that they deserve. They manage the time, events andschedule of their bosses or their organizations. It is, therefore, apossibility that an organization can have more than one secretary.

Thefield of secretarial occupation dates back to the age of timeimmemorial. The secretarial positions started in the era of BC.Majorly the serious occupation of secretary was witnessed during thelate of the 18th century. A school was founded by Sir Isaac Pitmanwho was mainly involved in the students were to qualify as shorthandwriters. Baron and Newman (1990) explain that a decade later womenjoined into the field as great typewriters. Women have sincedominated the field. In the 19th century, men were seen to join inthe field although not much. This field of secretary has since beenpopulated both with men and women in the 20th century, in fact by1952 a special day for the secretaries was effected the secretary’sday.

Themain functions and responsibilities of secretaries are alwaysexplained depending on the place of work. It is important tounderstand that the field of secretary is quite a wide field. Being apersonal assistant can be in the finance field, investment sectors,insurance sector, governmental offices, and security offices amongothers (Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2014). Depending on these officessecretaries are expected to have different responsibilities ascompared to the others. For example, the work that is done by asecretary in a security office or secretary to a security officialcannot be the same as that secretary in organization nor governmentaloffice. Although some functions of the secretaries may be different,there are some functions that all secretaries share.

Thefunctions and duties that most secretaries share includes, answertelephones, and transfer calls, organize meetings, scheduleappointments, draft routines and memos, edit company correspondenceand ensure the accuracy of the documents, maintain databases whetherelectronic or paper, perform bookkeeping, organize and update events.These duties vary depending on whether the secretary is involved inthe administrative position, medical, legal or virtual.



Theoccupation of a secretary has always been on the increase. Demand forthe secretaries brings the increase because of the continuous rise inthe number of companies and organizations. Most of the companies andorganizations cannot perfectly work without a secretary triggeringthe need for these new organizations to employ secretaries (Gaskell1983).Some companies also just grow to become big organizations withvarious departments hence the need for various secretaries.

Theemployment of secretaries is projected to grow by 12% by the year2012 and 2022 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). It is believed thatthe Secretary occupation just like some few occupations is the onesto grow by a margin. It is important that everyone note that thegrowth in employment will depend on the kind of offices that arerising and the urge in those fields. It is important to note that thefields that employ the secretaries have a different need for thesecretaries.

Differentfields of jobs are expected to increase or maintain the level ofemployment of the secretaries. Only one field, the legal secretariesare expected to drop by 2022. It is expected that the number ofsecretaries in the legal field to drop because most of the legalfirms are looking into ways to cut cost because the legal assistantscan now do most of the duties that were done by the secretaries. Oneof the major fields that are projected to increase the number ofSecretary Employees is the medical field. It is projected that theemployment in the field of medics is to increase by 36% (Bureau ofLabor Statistics 2014). The increase is to be realized because of theneed for insurance due to an increase in the population of the agedand the general population who need health services.

Theonly field that is expected to maintain or show little change in thenumber of employees as secretaries is the executive andadministrative fields. The little change is expected because most ofthe companies are looking into ways to replace the secretaries withadministrative assistants who are cheap yet can do the jobs done bythe secretaries. Most managers also have since developing the skillsof a secretary and would prefer to do the jobs by themselves withoutgetting help from the secretaries (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014).

Itis important to note that as much as some job fields look forward toreducing the number of secretaries or maintaining the employmentratio of secretaries, there is still the need for secretaries. Theneed for more secretaries cannot be a debatable subject. Therequirement to replace the secretaries who either leave theoccupation for other occupations is imminent.

Aresearch that has been carried out bureau of labor statistics showsthat the increase in employment of the secretaries is inevitable. Thenumber of secretaries in different fields of jobs is expected toeither increase by a large margin or decrease by a small margin(Baronand Newman 1990).Secretaries in the administrative jobs are expected to increase withapproximately 500,000 people by 2022. In the field of executive andlegal secretaries, the number of secretaries’ employment isexpected to reduce by approximately 10,000 and 7,000 respectively.The medical secretaries’ numbers are expected to rise byapproximately 200,000 accounting for 36% (Bureau of Labor Statistics.2014)

Marketfactors that impact the occupation

Thepercentage increase in the employment is expected due to variousmarket factors. One of the factors is the demand increase. There is awide number of a market that is opening up all over the world (Cox1991). Most companies and organizations are either growing into largecompanies or cropping up at a faster rate. The increase in the numberof the organizations and companies, therefore, cause demand in thenumber of the secretaries.

Anothermarket factor that has an effect on the occupation is the increase inthe number of people taking the courses related to secretary jobs inthe colleges and universities (Hurd, &amp Allred 1978). Theprojection of the need for more secretaries has influenced the springof schools that offer the courses related to the secretarial jobs. Ithas caused the occupation to be populated with some of thesecretaries opting to move out of the occupation to try otheroccupations. It can also be explained because some of the secretariesare retiring.

Anothermarket factor that is affecting the occupation is the payment offeredto the secretaries as compared to other fields of occupations (Juddand Oswald 1997).The pay (median annual wage) of the secretaries in the year 2012 wasrated at $35,330 with some earning up to annual of $57,750. The wagehas since been on the increase and is expected to reach a greaterlevel in the year 2022 (Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2014). From thewage, it is clear to see that some secretaries are among the mostearning people in their countries hence demand the job and thecompetition. The pay is an attractive force that cause an increase inthe populating the occupation (Wichroski1994).Judd and Oswald (1997) says that most of the youth especially ladywould, therefore, prefer the job of being a secretary.

Theother market factor that has an impact on the Secretary occupation isthe number of schools that offer the courses related to the numbersecretary jobs. Due to the demand in the number of secretarypositions, most schools have opted to offer courses related tosecretary occupation. It has resulted in a huge population of peoplethat desire to take on the opportunity. It has consequently resultedin a large number of people looking for almost the same type of job.When a large number of people look for the same kind of job, the jobbecomes overpopulated leading to a reduction in pay and reduction inthe number of positions (Hurdand Allred1978).


Baron,J. N., &amp Newman, A. E. (1990). For what it`s worth:Organizations, Occupations, and the value of work done by women andnonwhites. AmericanSociological Review,155-175.

Bureauof Labor Statistics. (2014). OccupationalEmployment and Wages, May 2014.Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151122.htm

CoxJr, T. (1991). The multicultural organization. TheExecutive,34-47.

Hurd,H. T., &amp ALLRED, H. F. (1978). Interest in and stereotyping ofthe secretarial position for males. VocationalGuidance Quarterly,26(3),255-259.

Gaskell,J. (1983). Conceptions of skill and the work of women: Somehistorical and political issues. Atlantis:Critical Studies in Gender, Culture &amp Social Justice,8(2),11-26.

Judd,P. C., &amp Oswald, P. A. (1997). Employment desirability: Theinteractive effects of gender-typed profile, stimulus sex, andgender-typed occupation. SexRoles,37(7-8),467-476.

Wichroski,M. (1994). The Secretary: Invisible labor in the work world of women.HumanOrganization,53(1),33-41.