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School Secretary

Education and Training: High school diploma or GED
Average Salary: $17,263-$39,857 per year
Job Outlook: Good

The school secretary is one of the most important jobs in the school aside from the child’s teacher. The school secretary takes care of the administrative duties of the school including customer service, phone calls, school correspondence and communication, scheduling appointments and providing information for parents. Depending on the type of school the secretary works at will determine the day to day tasks that are carried out.

The school secretary is the key person to contact regarding school immunizations, school lunches, extracurricular activities, and bus schedules. The school secretary is the person contacted when your child is sick or not in school. In some cases, the school secretary is the liaison between the school and the student’s home.

Education and Training Requirements

Most school secretary jobs require a high school diploma or GED in order to qualify for an entry level position. School secretaries should be proficient in spelling, grammar and typing. Computer proficiency is required. Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills are a must in dealing with parents, children, and teachers. The job requires strong organizational skills.

Testing of proficiency in office skills may be required at most schools. Qualified candidates for school secretary jobs must pass word processing and computer skill testing. Certifications for proficiency may be awarded upon successful completion of the required test.

Getting the Job

Getting a job as a school secretary requires filling out an application, undergoing a skills proficiency test, and completing an interview process. It is recommended that a candidate accept the position as a substitute school secretary first before applying as a full-time school secretary. The substitute position requires the individual to be flexible in showing up to any school in the school district on an as needed basis. Once the individual has their foot in the door, full-time employment may be more accessible.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The employment outlook for school secretaries is good according to the most recent data released by the United States Department of Labor. Favorable job growth is expected over the next decade as retirement aged individuals leave their positions and new schools are built.

Entry level school secretaries typically move up to senior level secretaries or move into administrative and executive level secretarial positions over time. Advancement is available but can take years.

Working Conditions and Environment

A school secretary works in an office setting and is often the first person parents and visitors see when entering the school. School secretaries must be outgoing, friendly, and good communicators to be able to interact with a vast public spectrum. Answering phones are a requirement of the school secretary job and customer service is a key component of the profession.

Most school secretaries work between 30 -40 hours per week and are not asked to work nights or weekends. School secretaries are usually busiest at the beginning and end of each day when students and parents are arriving and departing the school grounds. The phone calls are normally busiest at the start of each workday.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a school secretary varies by which type of school the individual is employed. Elementary and middle school secretaries earn less than secondary and post-secondary school secretaries. The typical salary range for this position is $17,263-$39,857 per year.

Excellent health and retirement benefits are likely of this profession. Most full-time school secretaries receive paid vacation and sick leave. Standard benefit packages from the school district include medical or health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, paid annual leave, and flexible time off. School secretaries are off when the school district is closed for all major holidays, school breaks, and summer vacations.

Where to Go for More Information

Association of Executive and Administrative Secretaries
900 S Washington St., Ste. G-13
Falls Church, VA 22046

International Association of Administrative Professionals
PO Box 20404
Kansas City, MO 64195-0404

National Association of Educational Office Professionals
PO Box 12619
Wichita, KS 67277-2619

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesEducation & Training