In general, executive secretaries provide a higher level of support to executives than other administrative staff. Though duties vary, they often conduct research, prepare reports and presentations, field calls, schedule meetings and oversee other support staff. In the health care industry, executive secretaries earn slightly less than the national average for the occupation.
In 2012, executive secretaries earned an average of $50,220 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. Of the top 10 percent, salaries often exceeded $73,530, while those in the bottom 10 percent earned less than $31,310 annually. But none of these figures account for industry. Executive secretaries at hospitals average closer to $47,730 a year.
A survey by Office Team, a national recruiter for administrative support, provides insight into the starting salaries for executive secretaries in the health care industry. As of 2013, medical executive assistants, as they’re sometimes called, started out at anywhere from $37,750 to $51,250, depending on location. However, senior executive assistants who support C-level executives, such as CEOs, earn roughly 10 percent more than average, so salaries could be $3,700 to $5,100 greater than stated.
Regardless of industry, executive secretaries can often improve their earnings with professional certifications and skills. The recruiters at Office Team note that salaries increase by roughly 6 percent with the Certified Administrative Professional, or CAP, designation. Becoming certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist helps even more, improving salaries by up to 8 percent. Even learning a second language can bump an executive secretary’s pay, at an average of 10 percent a year.
The BLS expects employment for executive secretaries to grow by as much as 13 percent through 2020. This is just shy of the national average for all U.S. occupations, an estimated 14 percent. With nearly 62,000 executive secretaries working at general medical hospitals, the 13-percent growth works out to the creation of over 8,000 new jobs in this particular industry. Expect additional openings to develop as executive secretaries retire or leave the field.
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