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Administrative assistant vs secretary: Which one are for you?
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Administrative Assistant Vs Secretary: Which One Are For You?

What are the similarities and differences between an admin assistant and a secretary? Do they have the same tasks at work? BestLifeTips will reveal administrative assistant vs secretary difference right below.

We probably get confused when it comes to their job tittles, administrative assistant vs secretary. Even though their tasks may occasionally overlap, in most companies, an administrative assistant has more responsibilities than a secretary. Let’s find who they are with BestLifeTips in the article below.

Administrative assistant vs secretary difference

Secretaries and administrative assistants are both critical positions in any organization. Despite the fact that some of their tasks are similar, their roles are quite different.

Administrative assistant job description

An administrative assistant or admin assistant is often misunderstood with a receptionist. Because in some companies, they are in charge in greetings visitors or answering phones and emails.

Administrative assistant vs secretary difference

Source: Unsplash/@Sora Shimazaki

An administrative assistant assists employees, supervisors, and visitors with different administrative duties in the office. Some administrative assistants may even assume leadership positions, overseeing and training junior employees, depending on the organization.

The workload of an administrative assistant varies significantly depending on the size of the company and the amount of experience in the position. The majority of administrative assistants are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Greeting guests
  • Taking calls and responding to emails
  • Taking workplace correspondence
  • Taking care of mail
  • Creating a schedule
  • Doing research
  • Creating the spreadsheets that secretaries use
  • Building agendas
  • Taking control of long-term project
  • Purchasing supplies
  • Expense report generation
  • During meetings, taking notes
  • Making plan for business trip

Secretary job description

Administrative assistant vs secretary difference

Source: Pexels/@Cottonbro

When a visitor calls or visits a business, the secretary is generally the first person they speak with. Secretaries do basic secretarial tasks, such as greeting visitors or clients, recording essential information, answering phones, and scheduling appointments.

They take care of the majority of a company’s administrative tasks. This also causes the confusion administrative assistant vs secretary. Let’s dive deep into what a secretary does on a daily basic.

  • Greeting visitors as soon as they walk through.
  • Assisting customers
  • Taking calls and responding to emails
  • Typing correspondence for the company
  • Keeping track of things
  • Using the office equipment
  • Running errands

Overall, a secretary is a clerical employee who assists the administrative assistant with responsibilities such as transcription, document typing, copying, and phone handling. An administrative assistant, on the other hand, is more of a decision-maker and would generally work autonomously, fulfilling the duties of a secretary while also being in charge of projects.

As a result, an administrative assistant’s responsibility goes beyond clerical work and includes the capacity to make judgements and choices.

Administrative assistant vs secretary salary

The level of responsibilities leads to difference in income. According to Indeed, a secretary earns $13.79 per hour, while an administrative assistant earns $15.74 per hour. Administrative assistants are paid more than secretaries, since they have additional duties.

Both incomes, however, might vary depending on experience, education, location, and the size of the company. A secretary with greater experience, for example, may be paid more than an entry-level administrative assistant.

Reference: Administrative Assistant vs. Secretary: Similarities and Differences

What makes the administrative assistant paid more is that they have to supervise other team members. In some companies, they are also responsible for conference arrangement, working on crucial reports, memos and submissions.

Which is better administrative assistant or secretary

If you have no idea which one to choose, let’s see the jobs’ requirements and skills to land that job. To become a secretary, you are required to be proficient with Microsoft Office, organized, muli-tasking. The only education requirement to get this job is high school diploma. Sometimes, secretary report to a administrative assistant, if he/she doesn’t report to the boss.

Administrative assistant vs secretary

Source: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki

While secretaries just need a high school diploma, an administrative assistant position is well worth the extra education. You’ll be given greater responsibility inside the company every day. You’ll also have a higher position in the company.

In term of income, more responsibilities mean higher salary. Administrative assistant comes with more skills than a secretary. A higher understanding of technology, written and verbal communication and organization are some of them. A lot of tasks will be done on a computer, especially when it comes to Microsoft Office. You also need to learn about software that your company uses. Additionally, to thrive in this field, you’ll need excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills so you can give clear, concise information when it’s needed. Being organized is essential as an administrative assistant due to the wide range of tasks and responsibilities.

All in all, it’s clear that being administrative assistant is more challenging and requires you to invest in education and a high level of commitment. So the question which one is better is not more important than how much you are willing to take responsibility and strengthen your interpersonal skills.

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Administrative assistants and secretaries are people who help a company’s or institution’s top officials. Each of them plays a crucial role in company and requires a different level of the working skills. Getting to know administrative assistant vs secretary difference gives you an insight of the jobs. If you find it helpful, give us a thumb up and return BestLifeTips often for more career tips.