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Bilingual PA Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Bilingual PA. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Bilingual PA
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Bilingual PA Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

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Working Duties Expected

Bilingual secretaries are needed in organisations which work internationally, either with their own branches abroad or doing business with overseas organisations.

The work of a bilingual secretary varies and the amount of foreign language work can vary a lot. The job may include:

• translating letters, emails and other documents
• talking in the second language on the telephone, or face to face with visitors
• interpreting for colleagues at meetings
• organising conferences, travel or meetings abroad
• organising social or cultural activities for foreign visitors.

The second language might be used throughout the day. A boss who does not speak that language will rely totally on a bilingual secretary to provide an accurate translation for all spoken or written communication. However, a bilingual secretary may work mostly in English, using language skills only occasionally. The work may include some of the usual secretarial duties, such as arranging meetings, word processing and taking minutes of meetings. In some organisations the work may involve research, producing presentations or writing reports.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Bilingual secretaries usually work normal office hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, they may need to work outside these hours because of time differences with other countries. Part-time work may be available.

They spend a lot of time sitting at a desk in an office. There may go out when collecting travel tickets or visas or to meet foreign visitors. Senior bilingual secretaries may travel with their managers. Secretaries who interpret for colleagues could also attend meetings and liaise with staff elsewhere in the building.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• Starting salaries are around £15,000.
• With more skills and experience, it is possible to earn around £23,000.
• An experienced bilingual personal assistant with a large international organisation could earn £30,000, or sometimes more.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• be fluent at writing and speaking at least one foreign language
• have excellent English communication skills and a good knowledge of grammar
• be well-organised and methodical
• pay attention to detail
• have good keyboard skills and confidence with a range of software packages
• be friendly, polite and patient
• get on well with people
• work quickly, accurately and efficiently to meet tight deadlines
• be able to work unsupervised and on their own initiative.

What type of training will I receive?

Most employers provide in-house work induction and training on their procedures and how to use the equipment and computer packages.

They may work towards NVQ/SVQ language units at Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, Irish, Portuguese, Russian and Welsh. All language units are also available as GNVQ additional units.

NVQ/SVQ language units can be taken individually or as part of a full NVQ/SVQ or GNVQ/GSVQ.

Secretarial skills are recognised by NVQs/SVQs Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Administration.

Career Progression:

Career progress depends on efficiency and fluency in foreign languages. In a large organisation, a bilingual secretary could be promoted internally, perhaps to personal assistant or a senior secretarial post, or could move into junior management. There may be opportunities to move into other jobs, including sales, marketing and human resources.

For secretaries with a particular expertise in, for example, computer terminology, it is possible to pursue the language element of the work and become a translator.

Experienced bilingual secretaries can improve their prospects of promotion by gaining more qualifications and learning further languages.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Accountant: Industry and Commerce
Secretary: Executive
Word Processing Operator.

Where can I find further information?

CILT, The National Centre for Languages, 20 Bedfordbury, London WC2N 4LB. 020 7379 5101. Website:

City & Guilds Pitman Qualifications, 1 Giltspur Street, London EC1A 9DD. 020 7294 3500

The Council for Administration (CfA), 18-20 Bromell's Road, Clapham Common, London SW4 0BG. 020 7627 9876. Website:

Institute of Qualified Professional Secretaries (IQPS), 1st Floor, 6 Bridge Avenue, Maidenhead SL6 1RR. 01628 625007. Website:

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board (LCCIEB), Athena House, 112 Station Road, Sidcup DA15 7BJ. 020 8309 3000. Website:

OCR, 1 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1GG. 01223 552552. Website:

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), Hanover House, 24 Douglas Street, Glasgow G2 7NQ. 0845 279 1000. Website:

Is There Another Name For This Role?

Yes. Sometimes job roles attract similar titles. Another terms for this job might be:

Multilingual Secretary
Personal Assistant
Secretarial Linguist.

Other Useful Bilingual PA Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Bilingual PA job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Bilingual PA Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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