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Executive Secretary 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 Executive Secretary. This page details the following Information:-

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

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Executive secretaries work closely with a senior manager, supporting them, their team and their department. Their duties depend on the manager̢۪s responsibilities and the type of organisation. The work could involve making appointments and travel arrangements for the manager, maintaining their diary, screening phone calls, and organising and attending meetings.

Other duties include devising and maintaining office systems, dealing with correspondence and looking after visitors. There will be extensive use of software packages to produce reports, letters and presentations, and possibly to deal with accounts and budgets.

Executive secretaries are expected to work on their own initiative and sometimes make some decisions on behalf of their manager. The role can be quite pressurised at times, with tight deadlines.

Hours and Environment

Executive secretaries work 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Overtime and flexible working could be required at busy times or to meet deadlines. Job-sharing is sometimes available.

The work is office-based, but may involve some travel to attend meetings and other events.

Skills and Interests

To be an executive secretary you should:

  • have excellent organisational skills
  • be able to multi-task while remaining calm and professional
  • be able to work with people at all levels, particularly senior management
  • be flexible and adaptable
  • have excellent communication skills
  • have an excellent command of written English
  • be tactful and discreet as you could be dealing with confidential information
  • have an interest in business.


There are no minimum qualifications, although employers look for several GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3). English is particularly important and a foreign language may be useful. Most employers look for executive secretaries with a minimum of two years' experience in an office environment.

An increasing number of executive secretaries are graduates. Most degrees are acceptable, but business related degrees, or subjects which are relevant to the employer are particularly useful. There are also degrees in secretarial studies or secretarial administration. Entry requirements for a degree are five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) plus two A levels/three Highers. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.


Some employers run company training schemes. Professional qualifications for executive secretaries are available full-time or part-time. These include:
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Secretarys Diploma and Private Secretarys Diploma;
OCR Diploma and Higher Diploma in Administrative and Secretarial Procedures;
SQA higher national certificate and diploma in Administrative & Office Management.

NVQs/SVQs in Administration are available at Levels 3 and 4.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


Executive secretaries work in industry, commerce, the media and local authorities. Promoted to a managerial position or into a specialist role may be possible.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

The starting salary for an executive secretary is around £13,500 a year.
With more experience they can earn £17,000.
A senior executive secretary earns around £20,000.

Further information

Institute of Qualified Private Secretaries
1st Floor
6 Bridge Avenue
Tel: 01628 625007

Council for Administration *
18-20 Bromells Road
Clapham Common
Tel: 020 7627 9876

National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Other Useful Executive Secretary Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Executive Secretary 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 Executive Secretary 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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