How to Become a Secretary?

Are you thinking of becoming a Secretary or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Secretary, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Secretary job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Secretary

If you're considering starting your Secretary career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Secretary and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Secretary career.

Earn a Degree

To begin your Secretary career path, a Associate's Degree in Business or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Secretary internship may be required to earn your Associate's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Secretary?

42% of people working as a Secretary earned a Associate's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Secretary?

  • Word Processing
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Typing
  • Written Communication
  • CPR First Aid
  • Excellent Organizational
  • Spreadsheets
  • Filing
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Secretary in the United States.

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Secretary, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Secretary field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Secretary specialty.

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Secretary

Once you've acquired a Associate's Degree in Business or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Secretary. In general, you can become a Secretary after completing your 3 year Associate's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Secretary role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified professional secretary certificate.

Advance in Your Secretary Career

Following entry-level, there are several Secretary career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Secretary to progress to the senior secretary position. Each advanced Secretary position requires approximately 0 years of experience at each level to advance in your Secretary career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Secretary career path.

Continued Education for Your Secretary Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Secretary career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Business can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Bachelor's Degree typically make $60,984 compared to $26,444 for those without that type of degree.

Secretary Career Path


0 - 1Years of Experience
$37K - $62K /yrMost Likely Range
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11% advanced to

Senior Secretary

2 - 4Years of Experience
$50K - $80K /yrMost Likely Range
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Secretary IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$44K - $65K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Secretary Career Path

Secretary I
Senior Secretary
Secretary IV
Principal Secretary
Executive Secretary
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Related Careers in the Administrative Industry

Interested in other Administrative careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Secretary skills. Discover some of the most common Secretary career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Executive Assistant
No skills overlap
42% transitioned to Executive Assistant