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Executive secretaries provide clerical and administrative support to high ranking individuals in an organization. The job usually requires a few years of experience in the secretarial field due to the responsibility it carries. A two year degree in a secretarial science academic program is required but a four year degree may be preferred by some employers. They are professionals whose duties go beyond those of the less experienced secretary. They may be involved in areas like bookkeeping and communications of the organization they work for.
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One career path for an executive secretary is with private companies. They may work for high ranking officers such as Chief Financial Officers and Chief Operating Officers. If an executive secretary has specialized experience they can also work in other divisions such as a company's legal division or sales department. They may be involved in training and supervising lower level clerical staff in addition to their administrative duties.
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The executive secretary can find opportunities in the field of education. Schools offer the possibility of working for a school principal or administrator. They may also work strictly for specialized groups like a Committee on Special Education.
Universities have an administrative composition with university officials and academic leaders. Executive secretaries can work for the president of the university or directors like the Dean of Students or Director of Development. They may also be working for the head of an academic department and in many cases provide administrative support for members of the department including professors and instructors.
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Another career path for an executive secretary is in small business. Because of the environment of working for a small business, they may need to multi-task with several responsibilities beyond their secretarial duties. They may end up working as an office manager in a physician's office, with responsibility over scheduling, billing, and supervising front-line clerical staff. They may also find employment with small production facilities. In addition to working for the company president or owner, they may be involved in other duties such as compensation and benefits of employees, and administrative support for safety compliance.
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Governments are bureaucratic organizations in which clerical work is an integral function. Executive secretaries could work in the office of a mayor or a county manager. They could also work for a legislative body like a city council. This may be on a part time basis. They may also find work for department heads, with one secretary working for several administrators, depending on the size of the city or district. Just like their counterparts in private companies, those with experience could find employment with specific divisions.
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Individuals with previous experience as an executive secretary, who may have been laid off or are returning to the workforce after an absence, can find work with temporary employment services. In a slow economy it may be a way to find work when other doors are closed. In a recovering economy, office workers are are often an occopuational group that is hired first. As a recession transitions into a recovery, companies typically hire temporary workers first. As business improves they hire permanent workers. Working in a temporary job is a good way to bet back in to the workforce after some time away, regardless of the reason.
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There are several options in the career path for an executive secretary. They are not confined to any specific job field. These administrative professionals are able to find employment in a variety of organizations. Because of the high level of skill and professionalism with this occupation, they are vital for the organizations they work for.